Dental Implant Package Wins Design Award

By Heather Thompson

 

A titanium tray holds sterile pod-encased dental implants.

When a product is valuable, the packaging conveys much of that worth. Such is the case with the Ospol dental implant system by Ospol AB (Malmö, Sweden), which incorporates an organized package system for dental implants. “What is in the package is, of course, critical, especially for a medical device product, but most product development in the industry seems to have stopped there,” says Ospol’s CEO Hans Berglund. It is not enough, he says, to consider only whether a product performs well, clinically speaking.

The package system won a Medical Design Excellence Award in the category of Finished Packaging. The competition is an awards program for the medical technology community organized by Canon Communications LLC. Whether the package won a gold or silver award will not be announced until the presentation ceremony at the Medical Design & Manufacturing East exposition in New York City on June 12–14.

What makes the system awardworthy is its attention to helping surgeons keep track of these small devices, because each part has its own location. According to the company, Ospol packaging is used to hold dental implants and tools at dental clinics to provide safe and easy management in a sterile environment. The system consists of a titanium tray that holds all the parts and tools. Within this tray are the parts (screw-shaped titanium dental implants), which are also encased in individual sterile pods with pull-off lids. Within that pod is a secondary inner case made from titanium to protect the implant from plastics.

The product is designed to fit with all parts and to support all phases of the implant system to which it belongs. The designers took care to select materials and processes that support sterility and that do not interfere with ease of use. For example, the lids for the inner cases are made from Tyvek so that they will not tear. In addition, the lids are blister welded to reduce waste. The designers opted not to use any color other than white for all parts of the packaging, to prevent colors from transferring harmful substances to the implant. The inner titanium package can be removed from the plastic for recycling, and the entire package can be E-beam sterilized. Berglund explains that handling of the product was one of the areas that showed clear inefficiencies with existing brands. The Ospol, he says, combines functional values with design values.

Awards juror Walter Greenleaf, PhD, president of Greenleaf Medical, was particularly im pressed with the way everything fit together. “The system is so organized that you can’t mess it up,” he says. “I like that the pods are easy to open, and they can even be picked up by an instrument.”

Juror Herbert Voigt points out that the organization is a significant benefit for oral surgeons, but it also relates to patient benefits. “A patient feels more comfortable seeing a dentist in control of all implant devices,” he says. In addition, Voigt, who is president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, points out that each pod is bar coded to ensure patient safety.

“It’s an elegant solution. The designers have thought out the product access and incorporated good ergonomics,” says juror Pascal Malassigné, a professor of industrial design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

 

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