Skip to Navigation Skip to Page Content

Engineering brighter smiles

A mouthguard shines a bright blue.

The system uses a clear gel. After application, the user uses the Novashine mouthpiece, which contains 16 individual LED lights that can be powered by plugging the accompanying cord into a phone, computer, USB port or compatible electronic device. Photo courtesy of Nanova, Inc.

Nanova, Inc. has done cutting-edge work in the area of dentistry. Now, the company has developed a method to whiten teeth rapidly, affordably and with minimal pain.

Novashine is the latest dental product of Nanova, a company founded by four researchers, including Hao Li and Qingsong Yu from the MU College of Engineering.

The system uses a clear gel. After application, the user uses the Novashine mouthpiece, which contains 16 individual LED lights that can be powered by plugging the accompanying cord into a phone, computer, USB port or compatible electronic device. The light activates the compound in the gel to provide users with a whiter smile in as little as three uses, far fewer than over-the-counter whitening methods offer.

“Our gel aggressively combines with the blue light, and we can control the recipe and how the molecules interact with the light and control the release,” said Li, Nanova president and professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at MU.

Novashine fits nicely as a contrast to both over-the-counter whitening products and to in-office whitening services provided by a dentist. OTC products, such as strips, often require multiple uses and take weeks to produce results. Professional dental whitening, meanwhile, can be costly depending on one’s dental insurance and, while producing near-immediate results, can be painful.

“What we provide is that we can also get very effective results in three-to-five treatments, and each treatment takes 15 to 30 minutes,” Li said.

“In-office whitening is very effective, but based on clinical trials, can generate a lot of pain.  On a pain scale [of 1-6 as used by dentists], one in-office whitening product rated 5-6, while ours [Novashine] rated a 0 or 1. Some with a little sensitivity can go up to a 2, but no one really complained much of the pain and sensitivity.”

The product is available at the Novashine website, www.novashinesmile.com.