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Expanding ITEC Dental Training with Battery Technology

"While the training/traveling teams may be the more visible side of ITEC, there are many people who work behind the scenes to support the work being done overseas."
One of the things that makes ITEC unique is the diversity of backgrounds of the people on our team. There are not many organizations that combine medical, dental, engineering, aviation, and media all under the same roof. Having this broad spectrum of people brings some unique capabilities when it comes to problem-solving. An example of this would be a project that was started in the Fall of 2016. While the I-DENT program primarily consists of extraction training in developing countries, there are places where government restrictions prevent the teaching of extractions. In these places, we focus on training Christ-followers to clean teeth rather than to extract them. Traditionally, dental hygiene (cleaning teeth) has been done with hand instruments, in recent years this has switched to ultrasonic scaling primarily. Ultrasonic scaling is more efficient than hand scaling, and we've also found it to be easier to teach than hand scaling. Many places where we work (and especially where our students will be working after the training) are remote areas lacking electricity. Several months ago, I did a Google search for battery-powered ultrasonic scalers and was not able to find anything, anywhere. So we proposed the idea to the engineering department to develop an up-to-date battery pack for the ultrasonic scalers. What would seem like an impossibility to most of us turned out to be an achievable idea. dental instruments batteryHarnessing the latest lithium-polymer UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) battery technology, our engineering team was able to produce a portable battery box capable of powering small dental equipment. Most small equipment operates at 30 Volts. 110V or 220V wall power is brought down to 30V. The idea behind the battery box is to go in the opposite direction and take a 12V lithium-polymer UAV battery and bring it up to 30V. No big deal, right? We are now on our third generation of the battery box. The first was debuted in Greece back in October of 2016. The second generation was used in DRC in April 2017. The third generation was on display at the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville in November. While I-DENT will continue to primarily focus on extraction training, it is nice to have the ultrasonic scaling module as an option in countries that may not permit the teaching of extractions. Having the ability to use an ultrasonic scaler in the absence of continuous AC power gives the I-DENT program more versatility/flexibility. This is a great example of the collaboration/problem solving that goes on within the ITEC team. The I-DENT team recognizes an opportunity and goes to the engineering department for help. While the training/traveling teams may be the more visible side of ITEC, there are many people who work behind the scenes to support the work being done overseas. I often try to tell people about ITEC and the work that we do. But I feel that to really understand what ITEC is all about, you have to come and see it for yourself. God has brought together a unique team of individuals to rally around a common goal: to provide tools and training that will empower the indigenous Church to fulfill the Great Commission.  

Learn more about the ITEC Engineering Team.

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