OFD’s device pumps fluid from the mandible, through the dental implant and into the mouth to serve as a continuous supply of substitute saliva. The implant has three major components:
A permanently implanted portion that anchors the device within the bone. Its shape is nearly identical to conventional dental implants, with the addition of distal ports that allow for influx of fluid.
A replaceable pump-filter cartridge that is actuated by chewing motion and incidental tooth contact that occurs during swallowing.
A custom dental crown that provides the look and function of a conventional dental crown.
OFD had been granted U.S. Patent No. 9,872,757 for the invention and has multiple international patents pending.
OFD’s pilot animal studies have demonstrated that:
Dental implants can harvest fluid from within the mandibular bone for over a two-year period
The interstitial fluid is abundantly available and constantly replenished, and can provide a continual supply of substitute saliva
OFD’s pilot animal studies demonstrated that dental implants can harvest fluid from within the mandibular bone for over a two-year period and that the interstitial fluid is abundantly available and constantly replenished, suitable to serve as a continual supply of substitute saliva
OFD’s fully functional 2x scale prototypes have demonstrated that a device can pump fluid from inlet holes at the distal end of the implant, through a particle filter, and discharge the fluid at crown end of the device. The prototypes also demonstrated that small displacements at the crown end can be amplified to drive the internal fluid pump.
Ongoing development efforts include design refinement to improve pumping efficiency and the longevity of the filters, and fabrication of a scale model suitable for implantation in animal studies.
Q: Is the device permanent?
A: Yes. The device is permanently placed using the same technique used to place a standard dental implant.
Q: Will I have to go back to my dentist?
A: You will need to visit your dentist once every 6-12 months to have the internal pumping cartridge replaced. This is a simple, ten minute procedure.
Q: How do I maintain it?
A: All you have to do is maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing per your dentists recommendation.
Q: Do I have to do anything to make it work?
A: The device will pump a small volume of fluid into your mouth every time you chew or swallow. That's all you have to do.
Q: Will it affect the way I eat, drink or talk?
A: No. The device is designed to feel like a normal tooth, so you likely won't notice that it's there.
Q: Will it work while I'm sleeping?
A: Yes. Every time you swallow, which is several times per minute, fluid is pumped.
Q: Can I control the amount of fluid generated?
A: You can pump more fluid by intentionally bringing your teeth into contact, like you are pretending to chew gum.
Q: When will it be available?
A: The device still needs to undergo animal and human testing prior to submission to the US FDA, so we anticipate availability in 2024.
Q: Can I participate in the human clinical trial?
A: Check back periodically for further information.
Q: How much will it cost and will insurance cover it?
A: A price has not been established at this time, but we expect many health insurers will cover the cost of the device.