Dental Tribune America

Project for new type of braces wins entrepreneur prize

LOS ANGELES, USA: A startup that is developing an inventive type of orthodontic appliance has recently been awarded first prize in a business plan competition at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). With this revolutionary device, the founders aim to halve treatment time, reduce the number of visits to the orthodontist, and lower overall pain for the patient.

Mechanodontics is a startup established by UCLA law students Angela Li and Jenny Chen, as well as dentistry resident Dr. Mehdi Roein-Peikar, who started developing the new braces when he was a resident orthodontist in his native country of Iran. Together, he and his two teammates, whom he met through networking at UCLA, are performing clinical trials with five patients; sorting out legal, regulatory and patent matters with outside counsel; and seeking financing to expand their manufacturing and trials for a possible commercial launch, they said during the contest.

The new braces, which are aimed at shortening the treatment time and are more aesthetic and hygienic than conventional products, sit on the lingual and palatal surfaces of the teeth and use an advanced design that lends comfort while improving effectiveness.

The project was recently chosen as the winner of the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs, the largest competition for entrepreneurs at any law school in the U.S., worth $70,000. The event is sponsored by the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy and the UCLA School of Law.

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