Three students of IIT Kanpur – Amit Kundal, Mohit Tewari and Shivakumar M., have developed a low cost dental chair that can help dentists across the country in setting up their clinics easily.
The students are a part of the Design Program of the institute, and they have developed the chair in collaboration with Stanford University, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana University, Colombia, and Sardar Patel Institute of Dental and Medical Sciences, Lucknow. They worked under the guidance of Prof. Shantanu Bhattacharya, from IIT Kanpur.
The chair has been named ‘FLux’ and it worth Rs. 20,000, excluding the price of the dental tools.
Picture for representation only. Source: Wikimedia
According to reports, it is the cheapest dental chair in the Indian market. The cost of traditional chairs usually ranges between Rs. 1-5 lakh.
A prototype of the chair has been installed at Sardar Patel Institute of Dental and Medical Sciences, and it is being used there since September 2015. This has raised hopes that more such chairs can be produced in the near future.
The dental chair is very patient friendly. Unlike other chairs, dental tools are not visible in this one, which saves patients from going through unnecessary panic when they see the tools before a surgery or a procedure.
“It was after carrying out thorough study of the present day dental chairs and the needs of the patients that we started working on the design of our chair. While we omitted out those features which were not required, we added a few features which could have made our designed chair a comfortable experience for the patients,” Amit Kundal, a PhD scholar told The Times of India. He added that the spittoon in the chair is modular, and not manual.
Mohit Tewari added that the chair will make it easy for dentists in India to set up their own chairs, which is very difficult because the tools and the chair are so costly.
“In India every second person has dental hygiene problem. There is only 1 dentist for 2.5 lakh people in Indian rural market. In urban area for every 10,000 patients, there is only dentist…The cost of setting up dental facility is very high and that is the reason why there is such a gap in terms of dentist per person in India,” he said.
IIT-Kanpur and PUJ Colombia were the academic partners in this project, while Sardar Patel PG institute of Medical and Dental Sciences was the industry partner. Prof Shantanu Bhattacharya informed that they have filed a patent for the chair. It was developed under the ME310 program run at Stanford University.