Sybron Endodontics – Elements Apex Locator 2017-08-04T16:24:52+00:00

Project Description

Elements Apex Locator

Sybron Endodontics

Contextual Research, Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, User Experience, Medical & Scientific

View Award

Background and Challenges

As a leader in quality endodontic products, SybronEndo turned to Nectar to help develop an important endodontic innovation: a diagnostic imaging device to assist endodontists in locating the apex, or point, of the root of a tooth.

Getting to the Root of Root Canal Procedures

SybronEndo, a division of Sybron Dental Specialties, has been an endodontic innovator for more than a century. In fact, its founding company, Kerr Endo, was the first manufacturer of endodontic instruments and supplies, and the K-file, the primary instrument used in root canal procedures, was named for Kerr. In developing the SybronEndo Elements Apex Locator, Nectar had to combine the needs of endodontists with digital imaging technology.

Locating the Apex Precisely

When performing a root canal, endodontists use small files to remove the nerve from the root. Reaching the apex of the root predictably, efficiently, and accurately is imperative to ensuring successful root canal procedures. Nectar not only had to design a functional diagnostic device, but also create a degree of precision and repeatability to enable procedural tracking, and a level of usability and ergonomics to support the endodontic work environment.

Graphic Depiction of the Root Canal

Nectar conducted extensive research in the development of the SybronEndo Elements Apex Locator, interviewing many endodontists and documenting the variables at play in performing root canal procedures. The firm created a highly readable graphical user interface with remote display to support the system’s imaging diagnostics technology.

In addition to creating and engineering the unit’s design, Nectar developed packaging concepts that reinforced SybronEndo’s brand attributes as a leading innovator in endodontic technology. The SybronEndo Elements Apex Locator represented a revolutionary breakthrough in endodontic care because the improved precision and efficiency that it affords endodontists translates into more positive root canal outcomes for patients.

Concept illustrations

Improving Usability and Root Canal Procedure Outcomes

The system’s enhanced usability lets endodontists view file position as it travels down the root toward the apex as well as the last file position following removal, giving endodontists a more accurate guide for precisely locating the apex of the tooth. The SybronEndo Elements Apex Locator exceeded initial sales goals and has become a standard piece of equipment in endodontists’ offices. The design also won Nectar an International Design Excellence (IDEA) Award.