LOS ANGELES, March 30, 2021 -- Pearl, the leader in AI solutions for efficiency, accuracy, and consistency in dental care, today announced that the United States Patent Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 10,932,890 entitled "Enhanced Techniques for Determination of Dental Margins in Intraoral Scans." The patent covers Pearl's core technology underpinning Smart Margin® and Prep Assess®––products that bring greater precision, reliability and speed to the restorative fabrication workflow.
"The technologies we're developing at Pearl serve a range of dental healthcare needs, but each aims at the same fundamental goal: Eliminating inconsistency and elevating outcomes."
Creating dental restorations is a complex process that is time consuming and error-prone. Even as digital imaging and CAD/CAM design and milling technologies have helped streamline fabrication in laboratories and facilitated the advent of chair-side fabrication systems, flaws introduced at initial stages of the process remain a persistent impediment to reliably high quality results. Pearl's newly patented technology mitigates those flaws.
"The vast majority of restorations - 80% or more - are suboptimal to one degree or another, but 3D convolutional neural network algorithms have proved exceptionally effective in tackling the root causes," said Pearl CTO Cambron Carter. "The technologies we're developing at Pearl serve a range of dental healthcare needs, but each aims at the same fundamental goal: Eliminating inconsistency and elevating outcomes. This patent validates our machine learning team's effort to deliver on that objective within the restorative arena."
Optimal restoration fit depends on suitable preparation of the unhealthy tooth and creation of an impression – either via digital scanner or mold – that clearly captures the location and surrounding anatomy of the restoration placement. It also depends on the ability of lab technicians to manually delineate those features in the submitted impression. Errors result in ill-fitting restorations that, in between 5-10% of cases, necessitate a remake.
Prep Assess® uses the newly patented AI-driven system to give doctors and labs real-time feedback regarding the usability of impressions for restoration fabrication. Smart Margin® then uses the technology to automatically mark precisely where the margin - the shoulder dentists create when prepping a tooth – appears in the digitally scanned impression. This real-time feedback and process automation means that dentists can easily improve preps and recapture impressions while patients are still in the chair and labs can produce restorations with precision fit––eliminating key sources of waste, expense, and inconvenience for labs, practitioners, and patients alike.
"A zero-return rate for restorations has always been considered an unattainable ideal, but we don't see it that way," explained Pearl's founder and CEO, Ophir Tanz. "AI will dramatically elevate the standard of care in dentistry and will do so in myriad ways. Facilitating a flawless restorative workflow is one of them. And, as this patent grant indicates, the necessary technology is already at hand."