Ep. 54 Behind The Smile | Melanie Walch

She shares her thoughts on digitization of the medical sector.


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Melanie Walch [EP.54]

[00:00:00] Melanie Walch: Actually there should be a bit more digital approach in patient recording anyway because why do I have to tell my story to my clinician every single time I'm changing one? Why can I not just have it on my card, on my digital file? Right? Like we store everything in a cloud. Why can we not store the most important thing is our health.

[00:00:19] [Afrika Design Ident]: [Afrika Design Ident]

[00:00:22] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Welcome, Melanie. You're here to tell us about teeth. We've had some experience with this stuff and got to 3D print some stuff a few years ago for you. Um, so, yeah. How did this start?

[00:00:34] Melanie Walch: how did it start?

[00:00:36] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Yeah,

[00:00:37] Melanie Walch: So, I'm by profession, a dental technologist. And when I moved to Kenya, I remember I met you quite early after I think I was there three months. And I worked with several dental labs in Nairobi. I started Simba Smile in 2017 only to avoid, basically work permits with like to be linked to one specific lab and just be a bit more of a consultant.

[00:01:04] That was the initial idea. But since you have then a company, you start thinking of like, okay, what else could I do? So that's when we formed Simbadent and we offer orthodontical treatment options, an alternative orthodontical treatment option for braces. So we have invisible braces basically, or visible aligners. And a lot of people already know them in the market and they are there to straighten your teeth. Although they are not like braces, you don't have like the wires and all that, you know, like we know it from comic figures and there's a lot of metal and everything gets stuck there when you eat. We don't have that.

[00:01:44] We purely have the aligners and we call them Simba liners.

[00:01:48] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): So take us back a bit then in terms of you came to Kenya and how did this idea formulate for you when you were working here?

[00:01:57] Melanie Walch: When I was working here, it was quite challenging, like from knowing all the things from Germany and being trained in Germany and then coming to Kenya, a lot of things is happening differently. So I tried to work with a lot of dental labs to see how do they operate? Like, how do they produce the teeth? Cause dental labs are basically working closely with dental clinics, right? They are the ones who actually make your denture, make your crown. The dentist prepare the tooth and then the crown has happened by the dental lab. So dental technologists are basically tooth artists.

[00:02:32] I call it all the time. Like we give back people's smile. And we forget a lot about oral health. It's not so dominant in our daily life. Although we speak because we have teeth, like we can do different pronunciations because our tongue is being hold back by the teeth, right? So even the 'the', I can do better because I have teeth.

[00:02:55] If I wouldn't have teeth, I would already struggle talking to you like that. We chew our food with our teeth, right? So we do basically, like for our digestion. My mom always said, Chew 30 times, so then your belly has no problem to digest your food. And it's actually true. The more we chew, the better it is for our stomach and for our inner system. So now if we don't have a good oral hygiene, all this is being affected. So we can even like if we have let's say cavities or a gum disease those bacterias can be transported into our inner system and infect us in our overall health. So, having crooked teeth can cause that our saliva cannot clean those crooked areas.

[00:03:39] So let's say we have some sort of like, you know, overlapping. And then on that side, we can't clean properly. We cannot go in between that well, and as well, the saliva cannot transport maybe food stuck there somehow like into our inner system, down into our body. So therefore there's a higher chance of getting carriers. So that's the health side, why it is important to align your teeth and take care of your oral health. The other good side effect, of course, which patients are more concerned about is the aesthetical appearance. Like how do I look when I smile? Right. Cause that builds a lot of confidence in someone. It can do a great goodness in mental health stages. Like if you don't want to talk openly because you are afraid, Oh my God, my teeth are crooked and people will notice it or discolored because of the crookedness. Then you will lock yourself a bit more in and you will not be happy of like freely open talk about a topic maybe because you might be ashamed of that.

[00:04:44] So it takes care of quite a lot of health sectors. And we have to think, I do believe we have to take responsibility of our own body. So also take responsibility of our own health.

[00:04:56] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): And how did you end up doing tooth technology in Kenya. Then, sorry, dental tech is it called?

[00:05:03] Melanie Walch: Yeah, tooth tech, dental tech.

[00:05:05] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): ...tech.

[00:05:09] Melanie Walch: So yeah, as I said, I started working with a lot of dental laboratories mainly the ones which already had the tech inside. So a lot of computer aided design programs were already there. The last laboratory I worked with is also our partner. We have him as a manufacturing partner.

[00:05:27] He's also having a lot of CNC machines. He's milling metal. So it's a cutting edge technology he has already in Kenya. So now we started with exploring the 3D printing side because the way the aligners are being produced is you get first of all an intraoral scan. What is an intraoral scan now?

[00:05:47] It's a basically a digital impression. I don't know if you ever had gotten an impression where you have like all that stuff and it goes down to your throat and you're like, oh, that's too much. So now we have a scanner. And you can actually get the scan directly with us. Then we make a simulation of your tooth, like of your setup. So we would fix your teeth virtually and you will get that simulation on your phone, like via WhatsApp or email, whichever you prefer. And you can then see, oh, okay, that's my treatment plan. That's how long it will take for me to fix my teeth. And that's the cost. So after that step, we will be able to provide for you specific your duration and costing, because we are all individuals. We can't give a quotation before that is happening before diagnosis and orthodontical assessment. So after that, we 3D print now the models. And we thermoform now the aligner material itself onto the model.

[00:06:46] So, It was very exciting because 3D printing was not yet so much there in the market. Not the dental market, I would say. It was quite new that time when I started. So we explored, right? We explored with the 3D printer you had. We have now gone for a resin 3D printer. The reason being the one with the nozzle, which is heating up the material. And later on, we have to thermal form the material on the model. It will deform the model a little bit because of the heat. So it was an interesting journey to work with that new technology also in the dental health care field.

[00:07:21] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): What kind of differences are there between this and between traditional orthodontic treatments or braces, right? What are some of the advantages and differences between them?

[00:07:34] Melanie Walch: I had braces when I was 12 years old and coming to class as a 12 year old with braces. Surely I got bullied with all that metal in my mouth. And if you ever had braces, if you eat something, it gets stuck in between those wires and those brackets because the brackets are on the tooth surface and then the wire around, right?

[00:07:54] We all know roughly how braces look like. They are also not removable. So they are stuck on your tooth and you cannot take them out and have maybe a break. So with the aligners, the good thing is they are barely noticeable. I mean, people don't really notice them till they are like, you have something in your mouth? Like it's only when you remove them, they're like, what is that? So that's the only time they actually notice that you do have an orthodontic treatment ongoing, which is nice for someone who wants to be discreet. The other thing is now it's removable, so you can eat and drink anything you would like. You just have to remove it. Then you can eat and you put it back. So it's also very, very convenient for a patient. Also in terms of traveling. We have a patient at the moment and she traveled to London. Now she said, okay, obviously I can't come back for the checkups. I'm like, well, it's aligners. We do the checkup before. We see if we need to do anything in between those traveling time. If so, we do it before you go, you just change your sets. So after two weeks, you change the next step. So that way you are basically really dynamic in your treatment option. Those are the main benefits, I would say, it's barely noticeable, where the wearing part is very comfortable because it's very firmly fused around your teeth surface. That way it's very comfortable.

[00:09:18] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): As a patient, it would be very interesting to see my teeth 3D scanned from the beginning. You know, if a child is being born now, what is the reason for not scanning their teeth once every 6, 12 months, right? And we can have that model and you can see what's happened.

[00:09:35] And I found that really strange that dentists needed to rescan and see your teeth even though they technically had access to medical records but it always seemed like they don't really know what happened to your teeth beforehand and there's no medical record for teeth as such.

[00:09:54] I don't know how that works.

[00:09:55] Melanie Walch: Sadly, actually there should be a bit more digital approach in patient recording anyway because why do I have to tell my story to my clinician every single time I'm changing one? Why can I not just have it on my card, on my digital file? Right? Like we store everything in a cloud. Why can we not store the most important thing is our health because I am not a profession in terms of like, I'm not a pediatrician. I'm not a skin doctor, like a, dermatologist. So if I have to recall something like that to another clinician. I will not be able to do as well as a clinician to a clinician. So, a digital approach is what we want to do also in the future so that we have digital records and photographs and x rays. We can then share with any kind of orthodontic they're going. So we have partners within the country. We refer to our partners, but if let's say you have your favorite orthodontic or favorite dentist you're going to, and they're not our partners, if they're happy to work with us, we can still give you the treatment but it needs to be like a close communication. Communication is key in every relationship, like not only being married for the past five years, but also like working with dentists or like patients you need to communicate. So I also can be directly on my WhatsApp patients can ask me questions.

[00:11:16] They can just send me some inquiries of like, okay, we can do ABC or like, let's say in the beginning, you might feel a bit discomfort because you're not used pressure points on your teeth. So your root, which is usually firmly fused into the perodontium has to move. Yeah. It has to shift. So on the one side it's being pulled on the other side it's being compressed. So that might, in the beginning, give you a bit of discomfort but that's why we are there for. That's why we want to have a transparency to all our patients that they can ask us and they can, you know, get all that knowledge they need to have.

[00:11:55] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): I'm tempted to ask about your thoughts on medical records being shared how that's moving forward I know there's a lot of concerns about privacy and so on. Is there a system that people are comfortable working with? Depending on the country again, I guess.

[00:12:11] Melanie Walch: It's very depending on the country. So I'm currently doing my healthcare informatics degree. And we have that topic quite often in terms of implementing knowledge managements into operating systems already or information managements, how do we treat those data and those informations in the clinics? How do we make the patient's experience better, but have it still secure? In Germany, data security is a big, big thing. We are very much behind it when it comes to things like implementing technology in our daily routines. So recently we have... how you call this... when you get medication and on a slip. So this medication, they want to make it electronical. It makes sense because now you eliminate the error of two medications, not going well with each other. And you as a patient, you're going to the pharmacy. You give that slip. They give it to you. Maybe they also don't know that these two medications are actually harming you in another way, but fixing that one problem you went for. So you will not know what is the underlying problem in cross medication or like is it the wrong medication I was given? A lot of times I heard it from colleagues in Nairobi as well, that it was just a wrong medication. That's why she had now a higher heart rate or the blood pressure. And that with the electronical system should not happen because there are faults in every systems, but it should not happen. So this is happening. So we are going in that direction in terms of my medical record being stored digitally, I don't think I would have a problem with it. As long as it is secured and I mean, every security system can be hacked. I mean, we do it, the governments, they do it in different zones when it comes to how to overcome another country or how to overthrow politically someone else. There we are very technical and they use the technology right to spy on others. But when it comes to the healthcare sector, they don't care about that as much. And here data protection is very high. So I'm like, I mean, again, it's your responsibility. It's your body. It's your health. You could actually just make it yourself, scan all your things, get all your x rays, make your own file. It's a lot of bureaucracy like behind it, like to do that now. So, yeah.

[00:14:32] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): True. And then it's no more backed up or no more protected because it's in your cupboard at home or it's in a safe somewhere that you have to go get access to every time. I don't expect people to build their own health care database, though. It's a really interesting thing because I remember going into a GP or a dentist probably 10 years ago and seeing some of the processes they had, and I just thought, I can't believe you are not using technology.

[00:15:02] It's some of these industries that we would expect to be at the forefront end up not, you know, technically maybe it it is leading, but the people on the ground don't have access to it. And of course, security and data protection are really important things to consider. And that's why it's such a high barrier to entry for something like medicine.

[00:15:22] Right?

[00:15:23] Melanie Walch: I mean, data protection, if I think of data protection I mean, my file is there, right? My JP has my file. My dermatologist has my file. So they have access to it. So what if they would misuse it,

[00:15:37] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): yeah. And...

[00:15:38] Melanie Walch: What if their system is hacked as well? I mean, it's the same data policy. So we can go to the next level. It wouldn't change the data policy. And also if it's written down in a file, like what is really old school in analog and then something happens with the file, it gets lost. It gets like, there's a fire. Then all my records are gone. I mean, what do I do then?

[00:16:00] Like, who can give me that back? And, I don't know, it's something you have to weigh against it, I guess. And we talk a lot about data policies, or they talk a lot about before implementation data policies. But again, there are other sectors which can implement that. So I guess it's more of priority, what is my, as a country, because it's a government, it's a country decision to do. So I guess their priority is not on it because I have seen it in the healthcare sector. It's just going a bit downwards and I would not believe the first diagnosis I have. I would always get a second opinion. Or a third one, or like educate myself in that topic and be like, but what if, because they don't look at you as one, they just look at you have had problems.

[00:16:45] Okay. We make a CT scan or something. They don't look at if your hip or your knees, like orthopedic surgeries, for example, are the most economically based to grow their, their profit surgeries, which is happening in all over the countries. Orthopedic surgeries are just a lot of time, not needed, but they do it because they make profit out of it. It's a very interesting topic. What the medical field has become. And again, I can just say how much responsibility I do have over my own body and should not believe just anyone who has a white coat on because we could all wear white coats.

[00:17:22] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): That's good to hear from you as well. I remember you said that, you know, braces are like a thing that people see, right? I remember going to Brazil and braces were almost like a status symbol. It was a, you know, whatever age you were, whether you're 17 or 45, it was like, well, now finally I can get braces, right?

[00:17:45] It's, it's... people also... yeah, it was like a showing off that I could smile with my braces. Yeah.

[00:17:52] Melanie Walch: Yeah, I mean there was a time where I missed that time when I had my braces, unfortunately, but there was a time where it was cool. It was hip and it was cool, but you will always find people don't want to have that. And again, it is a bit uncomfortable of wearing. You get used to it. You get used to everything. Our bodies get used to almost everything. But again, there is two types of patients. Those patients which I actually say you should go for braces, reason being the removable aligners, you can remove them. So if you don't wear them, the treatment won't get any success.

[00:18:29] So if you don't wear them, we can't hold you back from it. You know, like we can't force you. We can't be there by your side and be like, where are your aligner? It has to work. So we do something which is called the mid treatment scan and mid treatment evaluation. So after 50 percent of your treatment, we do another scan to see where your progress has become, like, where are your teeth now?

[00:18:51] So we overlay the 3D image of the initial scan with the mid scan and can show you, okay, that's where we have come. And we can show you where we want it to be. So have we reached our goal in the mid treatment or do we have to shift the treatment? Or are you honest and be like, yeah, okay, I didn't wear them as I should, which is 22 hours a day. Which is most of the day. So I didn't wear them. I might be not suited for the treatment option. So that way you have a chance to tap out and be like, okay, I'm going for braces but still something has happened with your teeth. Like there's still some beginning of orthodontical treatment happening. So you're not doing nothing basically.

[00:19:32] So that is an option, that is an option which not many companies, I don't know of any competitors which do that because we would lose basically a patient for our treatment but reason being why we do that is because we want to see you, we want to see what is best for you.

[00:19:48] And we stand for aligning teeth is good for your oral and overall health, no matter if you do it with us or with somebody else. Like, just be aware that you should be doing what is most comfortable for you. And if it's not our treatment, then we would be happy to even like our partners to brace us as well.

[00:20:06] So they can continue your treatment just with another treatment option.

[00:20:10] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): How has it been perceived around the different markets that you've tried it? Are there people in different countries, do they see it as an advantage for different reasons, for example? Right. Are some markets more price sensitive, some are more sensitive to the visual aspects or the practicality of it. Or is it the type of people rather than the market, right?

[00:20:33] Maybe it's the type of customer you're actually talking about.

[00:20:36] Melanie Walch: I have only marketed it in Kenya so far. I do know of companies here and the way people got really interested in that treatment option. I do believe that the first impression people had was like, Oh, it's, it's easy. I basically have to do nothing. Right. Cause we are lazy. That's why cars exploded at one point because we don't want it to walk.

[00:21:00] We are just, humans are lazy. And the thing is with aligners. You shouldn't be lazy. You should follow the procedure. And I think the misconception they had was like, it's faster than braces. And it's easier to use for me. Like I said, braces are fixed.

[00:21:16] That one is removable. So it really depends on who you are and what is your preferences. Do you not care about the visuals and you're okay with braces or do you care about the visuals and what you eat and the comfortness? Because then you have more benefits with the aligner treatment. So it really depends on a certain person, I would say.

[00:21:36] And we find them wherever, right? Like in Kenya, we have a lot of people which do like the discreteness. They want to have the discrete option rather than the braces. I feel like a lot of people which I talked to, which had braces or had already braces inside their mouth.

[00:21:52] And I told them about the liner option. They're like, Oh, I didn't know if I would have known I would have gone for that because I don't like that there's a lot of metal in my mouth. So...

[00:22:01] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): hmm.

[00:22:01] Melanie Walch: I guess it depends also which gender I do believe that the ladies out there, they are way more cautious about how they appear that we have more requests from ladies than from men.

[00:22:14] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): And so do you want to talk more about the actual process of how it all works?

[00:22:20] Melanie Walch: So if I would want to have the aligners, you can come to the website and basically book an appointment for a intraoral scan plus a 3d simulation. The intraoral scan, we charge 5, 000 Kenya shilling for it. And it can be done next to Tmall, with our partner. And that's also where the aligners are being manufactured later on. You do your 3d scan, it will be sent to me and I do the simulation on a computer aided design program. So what it does, it has certain parameters behind which determines how much torque or how much pressure points we give on a certain movement on a tooth. So that's how the software calculates the steps.

[00:23:03] So if I have a tooth again overlapping like this, and I want to move it like this. Now the software says we can't do it in one step. It's too much force on the tooth and the tooth might fall out. That is basically what can happen if you do too much force on the tooth. So it does it in steps, basically like this, and it says, okay, now you need eight steps for that particular movement. That's what the software does in the treatment plan. What I do is I have a orthodontic, which is planning together with me and overlooking like if there's some challenges in some movements, so they're overlooking it.

[00:23:37] We created a team of clinicians and myself in the treatment plan section. Then if the patient and the clinician are happy with the result, with the simulation. Our patient goes after the intraoral scan to the clinic and gets also an orthodontical assessment. So are your teeth healthy? Can we move them? So I make the simulation, but parallel you go to the dentist and you get checked if everything is fine because we can't move teeth if they have carriers. Yeah. Or if you have a gum disease, you can't move teeth because again, the risk is they fall out and then you won't have teeth at all. I mean, you don't have to worry about the crookedness then again, but still, that's not our goal. So after all that assessment has happened and you are a good candidate, you get this 3D simulation via email or on your phone and you can discuss it with our partner. And you say, okay, you have basically power over your own bodies because you can say, no, I don't want that.

[00:24:35] I want it changed in that way, or that angle a little bit like this, you know, you can do it yourself basically, or you can discuss it with them and they get back to me and I changed that accordingly. And after only you and the dentist approve the treatment plan, that's when we then go into manufacturing mode. We send it to the lab. We send the files to the lab and they 3d print that file. Because it's the model. Each step of the model is being printed. After that, we thermoform the aligner materials itself. That material is a plastic sheet, which yet is not biodegradable, but I want to give some insights.

[00:25:15] We are very much looking into biodegradable sheets. We found a company which is working on it and they hopefully launch it by the beginning of next year. So we are very excited to have sheets you can throw into the compost and you're good. So we try also to have a very economical based system that we don't harm any environment but for now, it's a plastic sheet that is being thermoformed. Cut out manually by a technician. Then we package it nicely. You get like a patient care package. So we have like a pouch, which is an African print on it. We wanted the brand and the packaging to be also market oriented cause all the other brands are basically imported and developed from outside. We really wanted to have that recognition, the brand recognition. So we have some pouches, aligner cases and some sort of a hook. That hook you can grab in the aligner and you can remove it. When all of it is produced, we send it to the clinic, to your dentist or to your orthodontist, and they start the treatment because sometimes you might need to create some space. So you might have to grind a little bit of your tooth surface in between to create space for the movement but that will be discussed as soon as the treatment plan is done, it all will be discussed with you, what it means for you, what's the duration and all that. And then you basically start your journey, your smile journey, we call it a smile journey.

[00:26:40] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Mm. Nice. And so you mentioned 22 hours a day before, and now we're talking about eating. So do people take it out while they're eating?

[00:26:49] Melanie Walch: They take it out while they're eating. You can drink water with it but not hot water, since it's thermoformed, it might deform. So no hot drinks, no eating with it, because food could get stuck in between the tooth and the aligner, and then it can be not good for your oral hygiene.

[00:27:06] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): So do you need to brush your teeth after you've eaten a meal then, before you put it back in?

[00:27:11] Melanie Walch: Best would be that you floss and brush your teeth. That is basically similar to the braces because you can also not have food stuck in between and then continue your day. It's not very good for your oral hygiene. So on that aspect, the aligner is a bit better or a bit easier to handle because you can just brush quickly and then put it back in.

[00:27:33] We also recommend to rinse the aligner. What patients usually do, because I ask that to a lot of patients. So how do you feel when you're in a restaurant? How do you manage it? How do you handle it? Because you don't want to sit there, you know, like in probably a saliva, you know, like an old grandmother removing their dentures like a string. So they go to the toilet, they go to the washrooms and they remove it, they rinse it and they put it in their case. And even after eating, you can just go, if you don't have a toothbrush, I mean, it's better than doing nothing is going to the bathroom or like, just, you know, I don't know how you call this in English, when you have water and then you just,

[00:28:09] uh, try to mouthwash, Yeah.

[00:28:12] for example, you mouthwash and then you put your aligner back in.

[00:28:16] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Nice. So what's next for you as a company doing this stuff? What's next in your plans for the market as well?

[00:28:25] Melanie Walch: Next in our plan is to make the process more an automation process. So, we want to, or we are looking into getting an automated cutting out machine so that all the aligners from the design program, we can create a cut line so that the machine, the CNC cuts always on the same line. And as well, we are looking into the packaging, make that more environmental friendly. So, because the liners are packed in foils, because they are medical, right? We don't want them just to be thrown in a box.

[00:28:58] They are packed, but we want to have more again, biodegradable packaging if possible, and we want to trace it. So we want also that if your aligners are produced, what we are looking at is that it is basically being scanned into a system and then you get a notification that your aligners are being sent to your clinic and you should soon they will be scheduling a appointment with you, for example, or maybe that you as a patient know where is the aligner at the moment, right? Because some people that are really excited and they want to know, so we are looking into that factor that we make it also more digital that you get notifications as a patient of the manufacturing process and that you have the possibility also to have in the application, make photos, you can see your process, you can have question answer chats, for example, in the application.

[00:29:49] And what we want to have is a shared community so that other aligner users can be on that platform and they can just exchange experience. So how was it with you? Was it in the first day? So they help each other basically a lot of times, right? So that's what we are looking into. Still a lot to do.

[00:30:07] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): It's really cool to have that community growing. Enthusiasts, people who can vouch for it. And all the other things. It's also that, you know, you try to bring the minimum viable product to market and then you realize, Oh, and then we want to do a pouch and then we want to do a thing and then, Oh, we want to make it more trackable and give people a better experience.

[00:30:28] And it just keeps growing and growing,

[00:30:30] Melanie Walch: it? keeps, it's like a little plant. You just keep on watering and you just see how it's becoming a tree.

[00:30:37] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): water. Mmm.

[00:30:39] Melanie Walch: all the water, yeah. Yeah, that's true.

[00:30:45] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Yeah. Well, okay, okay. You guys also exhibited at this year's Nairobi Design Week. So, uh, you were showcasing the technology, showing people how it works. So are you doing more activations as well with the public? Is that something you're doing in malls or?

[00:31:03] Melanie Walch: Yeah. So we want to, or we do a lot of our Instagram page. We try what we're doing now or started now is doing fun facts about aligners. So a little bit of when did they start it and other interesting facts I don't want to reveal now. So if you want to have those fun facts you can follow us.

[00:31:23] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Mm. Really cool. It's good that you talked about facts on the social where you've shared some interesting things here with me. I've never thought about talk when talking about teeth um, but, but as soon as you said the word talk, I could feel it in my, in my teeth. I could remember what it's like to wear a rugby gum shield protector thing. And I remember seeing your products in, real life it's much slimmer when I compare it to a mouth protector, it's much, much thinner, of course, than something like that. It doesn't kind of push your mouth out in strange angles. It doesn't pad out your mouth as much.

[00:32:00] Melanie Walch: No, cause, it's a, it's a 0. 8 millimeter sheet actually. The thicker it is, the less firm it is attached to your tooth surface. And our engagement is the tooth surface, right? We need as much contact to it on the engaging tooth. So that's why we experienced a little bit with 1. 0 millimeter, 0. 6 millimeter, but the 0. 8 millimeter is the one which gave us the best experience for the patient and also the outcome. So it's a good, mid range.

[00:32:33] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Great, great. Thank you so much. Was there anything else? Any other facts you wanted to share or save them for the socials for everyone?

[00:32:40] Melanie Walch: I saved them for the socials. I'm just saying the word NASA.

[00:32:44] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Okay. Yeah. And where do people find you?

[00:32:48] Melanie Walch: They can find us on www.simbadent.com and book an appointment basically. And again, if you tick the mark that you want to get message certification a day before you have your appointment, you get that, so you can leave us your phone number, and then you get a notification 24 hours before, just as a reminder that you have booked an appointment with us, and then you can come to the office and get an intraoral scan.

[00:33:15] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Well, if any of our listeners end up trying and taking up the service, I really look forward to hearing about the feedback and yeah, tell Simba Dent you came through Africa Design as well.

[00:33:28] Melanie Walch: For sure. For sure.

[00:33:31] Adrian Jankowiak (Host): Thank you, Melanie. It's been a real pleasure.

[00:33:34] Melanie Walch: Thank you so much.

In this episode, we meet Melanie Walch—founder of Simba Smile Limited. She is a dental technologist with experience in several CAD CAM laboratories in Nairobi, where she extensively developed her capacity and expertise in CAD CAM systems. She shares her thoughts on the digitization of the medical sector, specifically dentistry.

She argues that complete digitization of the medical field should take center stage as our health is the most important aspect of our lives. She shares vital knowledge on how oral health impacts our overall well-being. From physical to mental well-being, tune in to find out your oral health is more important than you may think.

This is the 24th episode under the ‘Shifting Narratives’ program supported by the British Council SSA Arts

Imaged credit: Simba Smile Limited , 3D tooth at Nairobi Design 2023 shots by Nii Notery

Episode Credits

Produced by Nairobi Design

HostAdrian Jankowiak

Producer, Shorts & Artwork: David King'ori

Music: Ngalah Oreyo (@ngalah_oreyo) and Mercy Barno (@merc.b_)