Sven Holtorf, like most dentists, appreciates that his patients don’t exactly look forward to visiting him. “Every time you’re going to the dentist, it’s fear, it’s uncomfortable, it’s pain, it’s not very much fun,” he says. But Holtorf recently invented something that he hopes will help, just a little bit, to ease the discomfort. And it’s not a special drill or a new kind of anaesthetic. It’s a set of glasses.
Holtorf’s device is the eyeCAD-connect system – a bit of augmented reality software developed by his firm, iDENT, that runs on a pair of smart glasses built by technology firm Epson. When Holtorf dons the glasses during a dental examination, he still sees his patient’s mouth – but superimposed over that, the glasses show real-time data coming in from his dental scanner. Once the scan is complete, Holtorf can send the data off to the lab, where technicians create a virtual model and design whatever crown or cap the patient needs.