This device was apparently developed in Europe and is basically a hinge that connects upper and lower dentures allowing more comfort and keeping the dentures in place. Dental prostheses: more effective, more comfortable A Belgo-German partnership, supported by the European CRAFT programme, has come up with an ingenious system for securing dentures. Reliable, inexpensive, and so comfortable the wearer forgets it is even there. For the vast majority of elderly people, dentures are a way of life. There are various systems for holding them in place: simple gluing, the expensive and more sophisticated implant method, or the traditional, spring-based method. It was this last method which gave André Vander Kerken the idea for a particularly reliable prosthesis stabiliser. A hinged system Vander Kerken, a dental technician from the Antwerp region of Belgium, has devised a simple yet ingenious device which can be adjusted to fit each patient. The system, which is hinged rather like the jaws themselves, comprises two parts - one for each side of the dentures - each consisting of an upper and lower arm connected by a spring-loaded hinge, and screwed to the upper and lower dentures. The whole device rests on the jaw. The lever effect keeps the lower dentures perfectly secure and there's no risk of foreign bodies getting in between the jaw and the dentures. Also, the fixing screws have sufficient play to enable lateral movements to be made without any trouble whatsoever. With its ultra-slim design, this stabiliser is so comfortable that the wearer soon forgets it is even there. It is also completely invisible. From plastic to steel André Vander Kerken realised that the product, which was originally made from plastic, would find a bigger market, and would gain in terms of quality, if it were made from stainless steel. "I visited numerous firms in southern Germany who were likely to be interested in this project," he explains. "That's how I met Mr. Bader, of the company Sträb, in 1993. It was his idea to apply for a grant from the European Commission in order to complete the research." The development of these dentures - now christened Affix - was assisted by the CRAFT research programme. Specially designed for SMEs, this programme provides one-off grants to help firms complete a particular product. The partnership was short-lived - just four months - but effective. "This European dimension is a guarantee of reliability for our customers. Also, it helps us to disseminate the result worldwide," concludes André Vander Kerken. A process which appears to be well under way. The stabiliser is now on sale in Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. It also won the gold medal for the best invention in the field of biomedicine at the 23rd Salon des Inventions in Geneva, in 1995. 1. Dental prosthesis stabilizer CORDIS RTD-PROJECTS / © European Communities. Record Control Number: 22914 Quality Validation Date: 1994-09-0 Update Date: 2003-02-28 Project Acronym: AFFIX I Title: Dental prosthesis stabilizer Subject Index : Aerospace Technology; Industrial Manufacture; Materials Technology Other Indexes: Medical/Biomedical equipment; Engineering (biomedical); Organometallic materials; Medicine/Health General Information: The development of a tooth-prothesis-stabilizer prevents the disadvantages such as bad fit, difficukties for the patient when speaking and eating food. The stabilizer is based on the use of energy of the movement of the lower jaw. Metal arms are holding thereby the upper and lower part of the complete prothesis together. A small pressure spring keeps the stabilizer in its original position. The stabilizer is attached at the protesis by bushings and screws. Such a development can lead only to success by extensive human-tests with various groups of weares, as well as through steady optimization and adjustement. The aim of these FTE-works is to make it possible for the weares of dentures to speak and eat without restrictions. Through the stabilizer the protesis fulfils the demands of the wearers for functionality, phonetic and esthetic. This work is an important contribution in the applied geriatry. In the European Communities there are concerned 6,6 - 7 million people who can be helped. This is an important contribution to increase the enjoyment of life and the self-confidence of these people. Start Date: 1994-01-01 End Date: 1994-04-30 Duration: 4 months Project Status: Completed Programme Type: 3rd FWP (Third Framework Programme) Programme Acronym : CRAFT Subprogramme Area: DESIGN OF PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES - Innovative design tools and techniques DESIGN OF PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES - Design methodologies for complex components DESIGN OF PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES - Maintainability and reliability Project Reference: CR129791/BRE20833 Contract Type: CSC (Cost-sharing contracts) Prime Contractor Organisation: Gebrüder Strab GmbH & Co Organisation Type: Industry Address: Behrstraße 53 Postcode: 73240 City: Wendlingen Region: BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG STUTTGART Esslingen Country: GERMANY
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