Over 49 million dental procedures conducted in the U.S. are restorative, which means that they use composite bonding to repair tooth damage in procedures such as fillings and crowns. Nearly 10% of these procedures fail because of improper saliva management. Saliva can be removed from the mouth using absorbents, like cotton rolls, and suction devices, such as those manufactured by DryShield and Zyris. Suction systems like these require compatible vacuum tips and utilize proprietary components that have high initial costs and increase setup time for each procedure. Dental professionals particularly expressed frustration over the lack of a way to hold absorbents in place. Specifically, cotton rolls tend to be pushed around by the tongue during a procedure and fall out. They wanted a design that was easy to use and able to retract the tongue and cheek while allowing them to maintain their field of vision. The Salivation Army devised SkeleFlex, an intraoral mouthpiece that increases patient comfort and decreases time and money spent by dental professionals and patients alike. It is capable of anchoring existing saliva absorbents, like cotton rolls and NeoDrys, in place against pressure from the tongue. Additionally, by following the contour of the mouth, SkeleFlex retracts the tongue from the operating area while allowing it to sit in a more natural position. It features a bite block on which a patient can comfortably rest their mouth, and a cheek retractor which creates space between the teeth and the cheek. SkeleFlex aims to make restorative dental procedures more comfortable for patients and easier for dental professionals.
Department Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor Microcopy Dental
Advisor Patrick Strane
Primary Email Contact
Table # 02-I


Name Major Hometown
Ahad Khatri BME Smyrna, Georgia
Jose Lopez BME Decatur, Georgia
Samuel Li BME King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Sisira Saraswatula BME Alpharetta, Georgia
William Cranford BME Augusta, Georgia