Atlantis Plus 2024

This year’s 3rd annual meetup is on Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 from 4-7pm at Legal Sea Foods- Harborside. Does your work improve oral health? Please join us!

  1. The dental industry is unique in many ways, and so is the talent.

2. Boston is a star on the map of the dental industry.

3. Seafood tower.

Greater Boston is a home to startup culture. Cascade Communications, Digital Equipment Corporation, DraftKings, HubSpot, Tripadvisor, and Wayfair all got their starts here. This event is named for dental startup Atlantis Components. After acquisition the Atlantis business has grown to serve markets in North America, Europe, and Japan.

The business created by Atlantis Components, Inc (1997-2007) is owned by Dentsply Sirona (NASDAQ:XRAY).

Please reserve a ticket for the event here.

Sponsors welcome! Contact for rates.


Customers are…

Mill Town Agriculture is renovating and repurposing the Riverside Paper Co. building in Holyoke, MA for cannabis cultivation. An exciting project and Metatooth is grateful to be involved.

One fascinating aspect is the remnants left behind by previous tenants. Lots of old equipment, plenty of useful scrap, workplace posters and signs. This poster caught our attention immediately. A little heavy-handed but definitely not wrong.

Customer-centered or outward-looking reflection is a vital part of any business, regardless of industry. Identifying your customer and their needs are essential in understanding what to offer and how to sell. What is their need? It is not always what they say. Many customers can’t articulate their need as they don’t know how your product or service provides value. In regulated markets, a customer need document — also known as user need — is the beginning of the product development process. Contact us to learn about Metatooth’s consulting services.


Lynn Grown

Low-THC Cannabis grown in the City of Firsts.

Metatooth LLC is licensed to produce and process industrial hemp by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Contact for license details or product certificates. Premium flower and solvent-less extracts will be for sale through the state’s Marijuana Retailers.

New London Gold (CBG)

Sign-up at to receive updates on availability and product samples.


Yankee Dental 2022

The Congress and Exhibition returned in-person this year after going virtual for 2021. There were a few empty booths on Friday ahead of the nor’easter and the Congress was closed on Saturday because of the weather. The target customer for this exhibition is the clinician and other members of a dental practice.

New Products

These were new to Metatooth, if not the world.

First up is the Virtua Vivo intraoral scanner from Straumann. It gets the form factor right. Are the days of the dedicated cart over? Also on display were handsets from 3Shape and Medit.

Bioclear demonstrated it’s restorative method, which has been around since 2007. This observer is more familiar with prosthetic dentistry, but patient care is a spectrum. The clinician selects a form or matrix from a kit of stock components (sound familiar?) and then uses injection molding techniques to apply and set the restorative material. The procedure takes about one hour. If an optical scan was taken beforehand, a custom matrix could provide value to the clinician and patient.

Practice Management Software

A survey of software vendors that interface with practice management software consider the following as the market leaders.

Dental Laboratory Services

Ten or so dental labs had a presence at the exhibition. Many of the “traditional” labs had samples on display, for example, study models, crowns, splints. A smaller number focused their displays on technology — equipment and services. Newcomer Dandy was enticing practitioners with a free intraoral scanner. This business had up-to-date marketing and was drawing the largest interest from the floor.

In-house Production

This author has heard estimates that 10% of dental practices employ a lab technician. If so, then in-house or chair-side production is a small but important market segment. Formlabs seemed to be drawing more interest than it’s competitors in 3D printing equipment.

Artificial Intelligence

Articial Intelligence (AI) increases it’s presence in this industry. The most common application is radiographic analysis, offered by Pearl and Overjet. Claims analysis for insurance companies appears to be another use case.

Looking for products delivered using AI technology? Then 3D Predict has clear aligners for you.

Some other eye catchers…

Wesper presented an FDA-cleared device for at-home sleep testing. It feels like we are just starting to see what mobile computers and wearable devices can deliver in the dental space.

Software provider Referral Ease reminded this author of a time when the conventional wisdom was that web-based software was considered “too modern” for that era’s dentists.

At a recent cleaning, the author’s hygienist described the difficulty of periodontal charting with enhanced infection protocols. Florida Probe has the solution.

Thank you, Nancy

This banner for Rosen Summit Dental caught our attention. A good reminder that at the end of the day dental practices are businesses where the bottom-line remains priority one. This small business owner knows that revenue enables everything else to happen.

What did you see at Yankee Dental this year? Tell us about it in the comments!


Grow Herbert

Herbert is an automation platform for horticulture.

Herbert provides environmental control for the amateur horticulturalist. Indoor gardening is just one possible application. The platform connects off-the-shelf devices with zone management and profiling tools.

Herbert supports monitoring, remote access, and control of your indoor grow with mobile-first interfaces and multiple control strategies. Back-end services may be hosted in the cloud or on-premises.

Sign-up at to receive information on upcoming releases including hardware kits.


WordPress on Linode

After using Heroku for a WordPress installation (here and here), Metatooth’s next WordPress installation is running on Linode. Metatooth had been using AWS and Heroku for cloud hosting, the economic conditions of the pandemic made for a budgetary decision. In addition, experiencing the impact of an AWS failure on a business dependent on compute availability, and a desire to not further enrich Jeff Bezos, led to this change.

It always pays to start at the beginning! The desired outcome was  Setting Up Multiple WordPress Sites with LXD Containers. The very helpful “Before You Begin” section on each Guide led all the way back to Getting Started with Linode. For this author, the key understanding came when reading A Beginner’s Guide to LXD. After a couple false starts, voila!

tgl@electra:~$ lxc list -c ns4t
|  NAME  |  STATE  |         IPV4         |   TYPE    |
| db     | RUNNING | (eth0) | CONTAINER |
| nginx1 | RUNNING | (eth0)  | CONTAINER |
| nginx2 | RUNNING | (eth0) | CONTAINER |
| proxy  | RUNNING | (eth0)  | CONTAINER |

The nginx1 container provides and nginx2 provides  One stumbling point was that the listen directive for each proxied nginx container must specify both “ssl” and “proxy_protocol”. For example:

ubuntu@proxy:~$ cat /etc/nginx/sites-available/ 
server {
	listen 80 proxy_protocol;
        listen [::]:80 proxy_protocol;


        return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

server {
        listen 443 ssl proxy_protocol;

        ssl_certificate /root/;
        ssl_certificate_key /root/;

        location / {
                include /etc/nginx/proxy_params;

                proxy_pass http://nginx1.lxd;

        real_ip_header proxy_protocol;

Lastly was the need to switch DNS providers in order to make use of in the proxy container. There was even a helpful Guide for using this script —Secure a Website or Domain with Let’s Encrypt and Switching was easy using Linode’s Domain Manager.

What are you doing with LXD Containers? Tell us about it in the comments!

3d-printing dentistry

Formlabs raises $150MM

Formlabs raises $150MM in a Series E round. This investment values the 10-year-old Somerville, MA company at $2 billion dollars. A double unicorn is an… ibex?


It was a viewing of Print the Legend in Nov 2018 that turned this author into a Formlabs and CEO Max Lobovsky fan. I had helped select the Form 2 as a high-volume manufacturing platform some years before, but it was the documentary — which paired Formlabs + Makerbot against 3D Systems + Stratasys — that expanded my understanding of Formlabs from the local option to a vendor dedicated to 3D printing as a revolutionary platform.

The form factor and price point may make the Formlab’s family of products seem like toys compared to machines costing 10 or 100 times as much. That’s the strategy! If ubiquitous 3D printing is your goal, then Formlabs is showing how to do it.

The form factor enables single piece-flow. This is a lean manufacturing concept that strives to reduce batch sizes in exchange for easier error handling and load balanced workflows. Incremental changes in capacity are easy and affordable to implement. Go small to go big!

That’s not to say that 3D printing — and in particular, the SLA kind of printing — has sustainability challenges regarding material recycling and energy consumption. How is 3D printing greener than other types of manufacturing? It would be good to know the answer to that question.

The platform is one thing but what makes it valuable is the types of products that can be made. So, to that end, we need more end-use materials! When can we start printing clear aligners? What about greener materials? Could we print a compost-able dental model?

Congratulations to Formlabs raises $150MM and good luck meeting the needs of the dental industry in the future. Read more about the dental industry on the Metatooth blog.



Metatooth <> Inc.ubate Coworking

Metatooth selected as a 2021 Entrpreneur in Residence at Inc.ubate Coworking Lynn

I am pleased and honored to be an Entrepreneur in Residence at Inc.ubate Coworking. Check out the others in the cohort including Dot Connector Consulting and The Sophisticated Chaton. This opportunity provides Metatooth with office space to plan, collaborate, and learn. Most importantly, it helps keep alive the drive to bring 3D printing “at scale” to Downtown Lynn. Thanks to EforAll Lynn and the Greater Lynn Chamber of Commerce for their past support. The encouragement I’ve received from these groups is so appreciated.

Check us out tonight at the Lynn Museum from 5-7pm!

Receiving support is the easy part. Metatooth still needs to deliver! More on that below.

Where are the mouthguards?

I am happy to report that has delivered sales in 2021! Unfortunately, the complaint rate is untenable. Development costs are low but the pace has been slow for a complete in-house process. Recent breakthroughs to report include the creation of models from impression scans. This is a fundamental building block for many custom products — not just dental.

Metatooth is eager to process more impressions. Order an impression kit to support this effort. You’ll have access to your digital impression for seven years and will have an opportunity to evaluate new products.

Thanks for your support and good health!

Click here to order a kit to support R&D



raspberry pi lirc install

This is the one that worked for me:


Dentsply Sirona acquires Byte for $1 billion

According to Morningstar’s GLOBE NEWSWIRE, Dentsply Sirona acquires Byte in an all-cash deal for $1.04 billion.dentsply sirona acquires byte

Quite remarkable that Byte is a “unicorn” in the direct-to-consumer dental space. It joins industry-leader and rival Smile Direct Club who raised over $1 billion with their IPO last year. Smile Direct Club took a beating in the press along the way. Byte avoided this by highlighting the dentist-directed aspect of their business. Also remarkable that a staid 135-year-old company like Dentsply Sirona would acquire a company whose domain name is The direct-to-consumer business model was once anathema to companies in this market. Dentists are asking pointed questions on LinkedIn and other platforms. The “dentsply” of Dentsply Sirona is a mash-up of Dentists’ Supply Company, which started out making dentures in New York City circa 1899. (Full disclosure, the author was an employee of Dentsply Sirona from 2014-2017.) A good reminder that successful businesses change to meet the market, especially when that market is growing at >20% per year!

Where to go from here

This observer would expect the combined offering to allow CEREC Primescan users easy access to the Byte product line. The existing dentist-directed service allows consumers to purchase direct, Byte gives Dentsply Sirona’s orthodontic customers access to proven tele-dentistry tools. Some orthodontic practices now start all patients — including teens — with clear aligner trays, switching to brackets only if the trays are not being worn correctly. This acquisition gives Dentsply Sirona a fighting chance against Align Tech‘s dominance in the clear aligner market. Not to overlook that Byte is a consumer-facing brand that can be leverage into other product lines.

The strength of Dentsply Sirona’s materials portfolio might also be a consideration. Current best practice for producing clear aligner trays at scale is by vacuum forming to a printed dental model. Might this acquisition encourage a printed end-use product? We will have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on Dentsply Sirona acquires Byte in particular or direct-to-consumer dental products in general? Please leave a comment!