2023 219 E2

Retainerbyte: A smart dental retainer

By: Nathaniel Lara, Runjun Su

Department: Engineering

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Hao Jiang

Retainerbyte is an innovative project that enables Orthodontists to effectively monitor dental retainer patient compliance, thus improving overall success rate of braces treatment. Orthodontists are currently faced with the ongoing challenge of patients insufficiently wearing their dental retainer during the first year of post-braces treatment. Without consistent retainer wear during this first year, the patient’s straightened teeth reverts to their misaligned position, which in turn would require a second braces treatment to fix. In an attempt to resolve this issue, the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry devised and implemented a battery powered Bluetooth retainer design but were unable to overcome a battery life greater than a week. Ideally, improving the battery life to at least 6 months or a year would effectively satisfy objective needs. In a joint pioneering effort, San Francisco State University’s Bioelectronics Lab agreed to innovate the current design to meet both battery design needs and real time monitoring capabilities. Retainerbyte, a smart dental retainer, features wireless charging by inductive coupling means, data logging, and data transmission via an energy efficient Bluetooth microcontroller, photodiode sensor, and multi-layer PCB design. Design criteria were based upon retainer size constraints and low power consumption during operation.