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SensAble Secures To Expand Digital Dental Restoration Business

SensAble Technologies, a provider of haptic devices and dental restoration design and fabrication solutions, has received an $8m investment to propel sales, marketing and engineering efforts for its digital dentistry product line.

As part of the funding, Carmichael Roberts of North Bridge and Ed Cahill and Enrico Picozza of HLM have been named to SensAble’s board of directors.

SensAble expects to use the new capital to better compete in the $3bn worldwide market for dental restoration equipment and supplies. In 2008, SensAble had introduced the SensAble Dental Lab System, a solution that helps dental labs of all sizes migrate to the use of digital tools in scanning, designing, and fabricating dental prosthetics and oral devices. The additional funding will allow SensAble to build upon its initial success in a sizable and growing market.

SensAble claimed that its Dental Lab System is the only solution on the market to support the design and fabrication of both partials and crown and bridge in a single integrated solution. The system also incorporates a 3D ‘virtual touch’ stylus that allows technicians to work by holding a haptic (touch-enabled) device instead of a computer mouse, and use virtual wax-up tools to literally feel the onscreen model as they apply, smooth and carve digital wax.

The touch-enabled approach mimics the traditional method of hand-modeling dental restorations, allowing technicians to keep the artistry and manual dexterity they have spent years perfecting.

Curt Rawley, chairman and CEO of SensAble, said: “As dentistry goes digital, the dental lab business is in the early stage of a massive transformation with less than 20% of all dental labs currently leveraging digital technology while demand is on the rise as aging baby boomers need more and better dental restorations.

“It’s an enormous market with multiple opportunities to improve dental lab productivity and quality of output with solutions that integrate a wide range of newly advanced technologies. We’re pleased to have the support of two high-caliber venture capital firms who share our vision and will help us achieve these goals.”

Carmichael Roberts, a general partner of North Bridge Venture Partners, said: “SensAble has taken a very unique approach to the dental restorations market a huge market that is still dominated largely by artisans designing by hand in wax and porcelain.

“The company applied extensive expertise in haptics and voxel modeling to create a system that is not only intuitive for technicians to learn, but creates interesting possibilities for future fabrication technologies and advanced materials. We see this market as a huge and untapped opportunity, just waiting for real innovation from a company like SensAble.”