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How an Austin dentist is trying to make a better bite-measurement tool

Posted January 23rd, 2017

Dentist Shane Matt has been cleaning and fixing teeth in Austin since 1999.

But over a dozen years ago, Matt (rhymes with “lot”) had an idea that he couldn’t let go: what if technology could be used to better measure bites?

About four years ago that idea started to become a business.

“I was watching my son play a video game and he would tilt his phone,” Matt said. As he watched the images flip around on the screen based on the movement of the phone, Matt said he realized this same type of technology could be used to wirelessly measure patients’ mouths. 

His company is called AnatoMotion, and the e-Bite tool could be available for sale later this year.

WHAT THEY DO:  Instead of using the goopy stuff we’re all familiar with to create molds of a person’s bite, AnatoMotion is working on a way to use motion-tracking sensors inside someone’s mouth to create 3D images. 

Matt noted that 3D images in dentistry are already in use. But his product, because it also captures motion, will be helpful in treating disorders such as sleep apnea or TMJ. 

“The treatment of choice for mild to moderate sleep apnea is a dental appliance,” Matt explained. He wanted to “come up with a way where we could see the teeth in motion in real time while we’re doing a sleep study.”

Contributed by AnatoMotionIn this photo, a computer is shown using AnatoMotion’s software.

WHO THEY ARE: Besides Matt, there are three other AnatoMotion employees and he expects to hire more engineers this year. 

Matt said he also has several experienced advisors on his team, including Joe Breeland, who used to be vice president of sales for Invisalign, and Sal Uglietta, who used to be a chief marketing officer for Aetna and operating executive for Johnson & Johnson.  

INVESTMENT: Matt said he raised $500,000 last year in a friends and family round. He’s currently raising another $500,000, and has plans to raise money in a Series A round. 

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: The biggest challenge, Matt said, is overcoming barriers typical to any new technology. 

He said that they intend to first sell it as a “jaw-tracking system,” which only requires notification to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Later on, if the company wants to make any claims about how AnatoMotion’s products can help better treat sleep or breathing disorders, Matt said they will have to go through clinical trials and an FDA approval process. 

Matt said they plan to build “AnatoMotion into a product that is recognized as raising the standard of care.”

 

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