Austin Ritter, CEO of Ascentcare Dental Products, holds the Radical Reflector, an illuminated mouth mirror his company manufactures.
At Dentaltown, we’re lucky to meet people who do great things in the name of dentistry, and our recurring You Should Know feature introduces them to our readers. For this installment, we spoke to Austin Ritter, CEO of Ascentcare Dental Products. Ascentcare focuses on the development of all sorts of dental technologies, many of which host a unique fiber optic lighting feature. Ritter, who has invented the company’s wide array of products, shares why Ascentcare is a name you should know.
How did you decide to get into the dental market?
Shortly after graduating from college, I became friends with two dentists, who provided me substantial insight into dentistry. Over 18 years, I listened carefully to the problems they encountered and presented solutions to help solve them. The tipping point to transition from an idea to a substantial company requiring my full attention happened in 2016, when I was awarded a patent for a nonobstructive mouth prop system with interchangeable attachments. Success from that system allowed me to bring other products to market, including several that use fiber optics for intraoral lighting.
Generally when people think of fiber optics, they think of communication technology, but you’re utilizing the fibers’ ability to transmit light. How is this different from other light sources doctors are using now?
The most critical difference is that our instruments place the light source inside the mouth. Light originating from outside of the mouth presents problems such as mirror angle, body position and obstructions that interfere with visual access. Our illuminated fiber optic instruments direct light where it’s wanted, regardless of the dentist’s position.
You’ve got a handful of products that use fiber optics to deliver light inside the mouth, including a saliva ejector tube holder, a bite block and a mouth mirror. What’s next?
Based on doctor feedback, we’re prototyping additional fiber optic attachments for our mouth prop system. We also have some new light engine technology in the R&D stages.
What would you consider to be the “best-kept secret” of the company?
Our capabilities run deep. We’re highly involved in all aspects of research and development, computer-assisted design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, optical engineering, material engineering and manufacturing. When a dentist calls us, they are speaking personally with those who have been intimately involved in many aspects of the product line from the beginning.