While there are camera-equipped toothbrushes that let users see how well they’re cleaning their teeth, the Zaamigo goes considerably further. It uses AI to analyze the photos it shoots, in order to monitor the health of its user’s teeth and gums.
Developed by ETH Zurich spin-off company Zaamigo, the device of the same name has the form factor of an electric toothbrush, but it isn’t used for brushing the teeth. Instead of a ring of rotating bristles, it features a tiny waterproof digital camera surrounded by a ring of eight LEDs.
After brushing their teeth with a conventional third-party toothbrush, users stick the head of the Zaamigo in their mouth, and utilize it to take a total of six photos of their upper and lower teeth.
Those images are wirelessly transmitted to an iOS app on their iPhone or iPad, where artificial-intelligence-based algorithms check for stains, inflamed gums, and accumulated calculus (aka tartar). The algorithms were developed by having a panel of dental experts analyze a database of thousands of Zaamigo-captured images, identifying the problems present in each one.
Depending on what’s detected, the app will either advise users on how to improve their brushing/flossing technique, or it will tell them to visit their dentist. In fact, although the Zaamigo is being marketed mainly to the public, some dentists are reportedly already using the device in their clinics.
It should be noted that the technology is currently not able to detect cavities. The developers hope that such functionality will become possible as the AI is developed further, along with the ability to detect problems such as periodontal disease or nocturnal teeth grinding.
Should you be interested, the Zaamigo is available now, priced at US$100. It’s demonstrated in the above video.
By: Ben Coxworth
Based out of Edmonton, Canada, Ben Coxworth has been writing for New Atlas since 2009 and is presently Managing Editor for North America. An experienced freelance writer, he previously obtained an English BA from the University of Saskatchewan, then spent over 20 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Ben is particularly interested in scientific innovation, human-powered transportation, and the marine environment.