Augmenting reality in the dental chair
A first-of-its-kind AR application that enables orthodontic patients to try on braces before they start treatment.
Braces can dramatically improve oral health and enhance a patient’s smile. When we learned that many people feel unhappy about how they look during treatment, while others ask to have their braces removed early or reject the treatment entirely, we got to work. Neon partnered with a Fortune 100 company to strategize, design, and build Tx Selector™ – an innovative Augmented Reality (AR) application that enables orthodontic patients to try on braces before they start treatment.
More than 4 million North Americans currently see an orthodontic specialist. One in three of these patients are adults. But whether you’re 9 or 49, seeing yourself in braces for the first time can be shocking. Many patients reject essential orthodontics because they’re afraid of how they’ll look during treatment. Orthodontists can demonstrate braces on plastic models, called typodonts, but it’s an impersonal experience. Discussing this challenge with a colleague sparked an insight: what if patients could use AR to preview braces on their own teeth?
We partnered with an oral care industry leader to bring the idea to life. After successfully testing the concept, our team designed a first-of-its kind AR application for the iPad Pro. With Tx Selector™, patients can see how ceramic and metallic braces, or clear aligners, will look as they speak and smile, just like looking in a mirror. They can also use the product to take and share selfies.
Our team developed proprietary AR techniques to solve the challenges of dynamic AR occlusion (the visual layering of real and virtual objects) precision object tracking, and variable lighting. That means braces appear only on the teeth, and don’t superimpose on the lips when users close their mouth. The app also tracks the braces precisely onto individual teeth as patients move their heads, while adjusting for ambient lighting and reflections.
Now, orthodontic patients can see exactly what different braces will look like on their smiles before they invest in treatment. Tx Selector™ is fun, interactive, and easy. The product has already garnered high praise from orthodontists who are eager to use it with their own patients.
"I would use this in my practice today."