A behind the scenes look at ACTEON North America’s SoproCARE

October 10, 2013

Issue 9

We talk with ACTEON North America Vice President/COO Tim Long about the development process behind the SoproCARE detection device and camera.

We talk with ACTEON North America Vice President/COO Tim Long about the development process behind the SoproCARE detection device and camera.

Most patients don’t know the difference between plaque and tarter, and trying to explain that in a hygiene appointment can be a bit of a challenge.  And while it’s fairly easy to show patients their bleeding gums, showing them the inflammation in their mouth  is another story.

That’s why ACTEON North America developed the SoproCARE.

This camera not only allows hygienists to show patients occlusal caries when the device is in CARIO mode, it enables them to show patients gingival inflammation in their mouth while in PERIO mode, giving dental professionals another educational tool to convince patients that yes, oral health care is important.

The device serves as an intraoral camera in Daylight mode, which can provide high-quality images from the face to the tooth structure. 

We recently spoke with ACTEON North America Vice President Tim Long about the development process behind this versatile detection device and camera.

Q: What was your role in the SoproCARE’s development?

A: My role really was to identify the need. I worked with clinicians, universities, hygienists,  and hygiene schools on product testing and getting feedback to make sure we had the right product to bring to market.

Q: What was the idea behind the product? What problem did it solve?

A: We identified a challenge in the hygiene operatory that involved explaining the difference between plaque and tarter to patients as well as showing them gingival inflammation in their mouth.

About 80 percent of the U.S. population has some form of periodontal disease. The feedback we got from periodontists and hygienists is that they’re unable to show patients this inflammation.

Q: How long was the development process?

A: We used our original patent we filed in 2003 so in reality more than a decade. SoproCARE is kind of the next evolution and the next step from where SoproLIFE started.

SoproLIFE is a detection device that does caries detection but you can use it in the restorative process and as an intraoral camera. We introduced SoproLIFE to the market in 2010, so  at that point we were really able to start to play with fluorescent light.

We identified that we could use fluorescent light to differentiate between plaque and tartar as well as show and highlight gingival inflammation-and still detect occlusal caries. 

Q: What were the main challenges?

A: This is a versatile device with three modes, so I would say the biggest challenge was trying to figure out the light arrangement.

Every time you make a change it effects something else. So getting that light arrangement correct to make sure the device was  accurate in PERIO and CARIO modes, as well as maintain high image quality in Daylight mode as an intraoral camera, was key.

Q: What feedback have you received?

A: We’ve received a lot of great feedback, especially from hygienists. The patient education portion of the camera is what’s important.

The  clinicians and hygienists are obviously trained to see caries and gingival inflammation and know the difference between plaque  and tartar.

This gives them a tool that’s versatile so they can communicate that to patients. This enables them to get better case acceptance, and they can document findings in imaging software so they can share the information with insurance companies and track it for the patient’s next visit.

Q: What features are you most proud of?

A: The versatility of the device. Being able to not only detect caries but also to provide a unique feature by being able to differentiate between plaque and tartar and show gingival inflammation. Our hope is this will help patients get to better oral health.

So many patients have gingival inflammation and most of the time it goes untreated. Seeing the inflammation on the screen will hopefully drive people to take better ownership of their oral health.

Q: Are there any other benefits you’d like our readers to know about?

A: We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from hygiene schools that this device is a great teaching tool. Hygiene students are able to detect and differentiate between plaque and tartar and if they miss an area, instructors can show them why. This is how techniques can be improved. 

Want more details on the SoproCARE? Check out this video: