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HomeBusinessStartupThis Pune-based dental-tech startup is bringing the dentist to your smartphone

This Pune-based dental-tech startup is bringing the dentist to your smartphone

For a mean Indian citizen, oral hygiene is restricted to brushing tooth twice a day, regardless of a number of oral care merchandise, together with floss and mouthwashes, extensively out there in the nation.

Dental surgeon Dr Vidhi Bhanushali and her husband Rajat Kabade, whereas discussing an analogous concern, realised that they might detect dental ailments early and forestall their severity by leveraging expertise.

The husband-wife duo — who all the time relied on expertise to clear up issues — from in search of superior analysis to studying new strategies — began Pune-based DentalDost in 2018 as a weblog.

“We discovered that India has a surplus of dentists, but we rank lowest when it comes to oral well being — one thing that immediately corresponds to our horrible general well being. We recognized that the main cause for this is a ignorance about one’s oral well being and the correlation between oral well being and normal well being,” Vidhi, Co-founder, DentalDost, tells YourStory.

DentalDost Team

A tech platform for oral hygiene

Vidhi and Rajat determined to develop their weblog DentalDost into an AI-powered dentist by leveraging synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying (ML).

They additionally launched a 24×7 helpline to higher perceive their sufferers’ issues so as to diagnose their oral ailments.

“When a affected person comes to the DentalDost platform, we provide free teleconsultation or session by the app. A remedy profile is created for the affected person, and we refer him to the nearest companion clinic for remedy,” Vidhi explains.

After learning the viewers that consumed the platform’s content material on dental care and serving to sufferers that known as on the helpline, the duo realised that they want to create expertise to assist sufferers self determine and diagnose indicators of dental ailments.

Eventually, the duo ended up constructing their proprietary ML mannequin, educated with a picture dataset to precisely detect oral ailments.

How does it work 

“We began exploring varied methods to implement AI and ML to assist sufferers diagnose oral ailments. The first step was to create a dataset of intra-oral photographs. We invested a yr working with medical universities and dental clinics throughout India and picked up a dataset of 30,000 photographs,” says Vidhi.

She provides the 24×7 dental helpline is manned by expert dentists, who’re on a full-time payroll of DentalDost. These dentists are educated in teledentistry and may perceive and clarify oral points over a telephone name.

Patients are requested to add their intra-oral photographs on the app, the place the ML expertise pre-assesses and the dentist verifies the ML-analysed outcomes.

Post this, the DentalDost crew will get in contact with the sufferers and helps them perceive the varied remedy choices. In case the affected person doesn’t want medical remedy, they supply them with dwelling cures and inform them how to forestall future points.

The ML mannequin is a mix of a number of convolutional neural networks, which converts the uploaded photographs right into a format understood by the machine, and cross-checked towards the educated dataset, arriving at a prognosis.

DentalDost has been delivering teledentistry earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic started. With the assist of its app, the dental-tech startup helps sufferers take care of their oral well being from the consolation of their properties.

The workings

From diagnosing a cavity in the tooth to jaw joint points, orthodontic therapies like braces, to just lately creating consciousness round early indicators of mucormycosis or “black fungus” — DentalDost guides sufferers each step of the means.

“In this second COVID-19 wave, we’ve been advocating for suspending and managing non-emergency therapies as we realised it was too dangerous to inform sufferers to step out in the center of a pandemic,” says Vidhi.

In truth, the startup’s crew of dental specialists assist sufferers perceive which issues and coverings take precedence, Vidhi says.

She provides, “We’ve made it our duty to assist folks deal with, cut back, or handle oral points that may wait till the worst of the second wave is over by our app, blogs, social media, and helpline.”

The Pune-based startup has 18 staff, together with six dentists. 


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the advisable dentists to inhabitants ratio globally is 1:7500However, in India, it is 1:5000. Moreover, solely 12.4 % of Indians avail remedy for his or her oral points.

Amidst COVID-19, a number of healthtech startups similar to Practo, mFine, and extra just lately, Eka.Care, are offering teleconsultation companies. However, DentalDost doesn’t work as an inventory platform or aggregator; it differentiates itself as an internet ‘dentist.’

The startup competes with Toothsi, Denta Mitra, and MobiDent, amongst others in India.

The co-founders had bootstrapped DentalDost with about Rs 22 lakh from their funds. In September 2020, the Pune startup raised a seed spherical of Rs 30 lakh.

With the funding spherical, Amit Dakhane onboarded as an investor and advisor to the startup.

Revenue and future

DentalDost’s common margin is 15 % per remedy bill worth. In a month, a mean of 5,500 folks go to the startup’s weblog, about 8,250 people attain the startup by its helpline service, and practically 761 sufferers go for remedy by its partner-clinic community.

While the startup refused to share how a lot it prices its customers, it claims that it clocks Rs 12.8 lakh income, with a mean margin of 12 %.

Since January 2021, it is reaching over 52 new sufferers day-after-day. In truth, it has onboarded over 114 dental companions, and its ML mannequin illness detection accuracy is now at 67 %.

Speaking of the startup’s future plans, Vidhi says, “The topmost precedence for DentalDost app is to obtain up to 98 % of accuracy by the ML mannequin. We have chalked out a roadmap, which can take us one other six months to get there. We are engaged on making a 3D mannequin of an individual’s jaw and smile. This will assist us simulate post-treatment look on the affected person’s smartphone.”

The startup additionally goals to develop its inner dental crew to all main Tier II and III cities. It is additionally taking a look at including extra Indian languages.

The co-founders additionally intention to launch DentalDost in the South Asian market with the proper channel partnership.

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