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Author Topic: Story - Nanite Technology  (Read 5310 times)

Offline Sparky

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Story - Nanite Technology
« on: 05. June 2020, 17:12:51 PM »
Hi everyone, I'm Sparky, I've been writing stories over in the "hidden" stories area (hey, if you're an adult, and have 30 posts then you can ask to join that part of the forums - see https://www.bracesforum.net/general/~*~-bracesstorys-~*~/). Anyway, I though I'd write a story that I would post more publicly, in here.

This story could be set now.... or maybe it's 10 years in the future. Who knows..... who really cares? When we look back 10 years, MOST things are pretty much the same as they were in 2010. We still don't have flying cars. We still use buses and trains. Supermarkets look pretty much the same. Ok, coffee shops have become more popular, for some strange reason.

The biggest change in the last ten years has been in technology. Smart TVs. Faster Internet. More powerful mobile phones and PCs. People using video to talk, rather than the phone.

This story is based upon bleeding edge technology, but technology we have seen in films a lot: nano technology, and nanites. Microscopic machines (well, I guess they could be custom programmed bio-technology) that can be injected into a body, and that can do very clever things. We're talking here about non-invasive surgery. But no reason this couldn't be applied to other fields, like dentistry..... or even .......


I'm not planning on making this a long story: I'll set up the basis of the story, and then a problem scenario that may occur (hey, it's not a story if things just go 100% right!), but I will leave it up to OTHERS to continue the story, if they want to.

So, on to the story - as with many of my stories, it's written in the first-person, which I know many of you seem to like.

================

Chapter 1

Hi, my name is Jacob, I'm 23, and I live in London... well, the northern suburbs of London.

I studied marketing at college, and have been with my company now for 2 years. I recently got a small promotion, which means I am earning a bit more money now, so can think of things I want that isn't just rent and food!

Now, I've been told that this story is to be about my teeth, so I'll try not to wander too much away from that topic.

So.... my teeth. Yes, I have teeth. My dentist tells me they are in good condition, so clearly I'm brushing correctly. As a teen they were pretty straight - I'm not saying that they were perfect, but good enough that no-one even considered suggesting I needed braces.

However, I have noticed that, over the last 5 years, both my top and bottom teeth have become slightly crooked, and a little out of place. The most annoying is one of my top front teeth seem to have rotated - I think it's because my top wisdom teeth came in about 4 years ago, and they must be pushing my teeth forwards.

So far, I've been ignoring the problem, but now that I have a small amount of available cash, I'm thinking about getting them fixed. I'm going to have to go for the cheapest option available, paid over a long period.... which will mean having visible metal braces on my teeth. Yes, I've already been looking things up online.

I found this "Orthodontics Worldwide" forum over on Discord... it's a strange, yet pleasant, mix of people that HAVE braces, and people that WANT braces (but don't really need them). And no, they are NOT just a bunch of weirdos. Who really cares anyway, because they've been able to tell me some useful information about braces.

Last night, when chatting, one of the "enthusiasts" gave me a link to a web page, which I think could be quite useful to me. It seems that there's a team at the "London University of Dentistry" who are looking for people under 30 (and preferably under 25) with mild orthodontic problems, to take part in a trial of some new orthodontic methods. Whilst it seems there will be some costs involved, it won't be a huge amount.

So I immediately filled in the application form, and took / uploaded a picture of my teeth, and hit the "submit" button.

I guess that it's just a matter of waiting now to see what happens....











Offline antonpm

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #1 on: 06. June 2020, 11:38:11 AM »
Good job Sparky, as always.

Offline bracesfanza

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #2 on: 06. June 2020, 13:37:36 PM »
Very interesting start

Offline heilo

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #3 on: 06. June 2020, 13:45:27 PM »
Nice start! I am looking forward whats coming next!

Offline Headgear-compliance

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #4 on: 07. June 2020, 00:52:00 AM »
I like how much the short first chapter/section already set the stage and provided so much context. I look forward to the next installment! :)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #5 on: 07. June 2020, 12:44:30 PM »
We rejoin Jacob a week or so later....

Chapter 2

I got an email today from the guys who are doing that research at the LUD, they say that I seem to be exactly the sort of person they are looking for - under 25, with what appears to be relatively mild orthodontic problems.

They appreciate that people like me have to work during the day, so have asked if I can go an visit them after work on Thursday, starting at 6:30pm. This won't be a 1-on-1 visit, but there will be a small group of us, all possible patients, and they will explain to us what their project is all about.

And, being aware that we won't have had time to eat, they will be starting the evening with an informal buffet for us. I guess it also gives them and us a chance to meet each other before they explain what they are doing... or trying to do.

I must say that I'm interested to find out what they are doing. I've searched online, but can't find anything about this specific project... I'm aware that as well as teaching basic dentistry and orthodontics, they do a lot of research work, often partnering with industry, but no real details. Maybe this is one of those rather "hush-hush" research projects that their "customer" doesn't want getting out, for money reasons.

My mind has been wandering, thinking about what it is that they could be doing. I'm assuming it's some improvement to existing braces.... less visible brackets maybe? Invisible arch wires? More effective invisible braces? Some sort of "automatic braces" (I've read stories about automatic braces, but so often what we reject as impossible becomes possible a few years later. Heck, the Motorola "flip phone" was inspired by the Star Trek communicator!)


Needless to say I've already sent them a reply, saying that I'll be able to attend on Thursday

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #6 on: 14. June 2020, 18:05:56 PM »
Thursday evening....

Chapter 3

As I leave work, I'm both excited and nervous. Excited that I could be involved in some new form of braces. And nervous because of the braces... I mean, whatever braces I get, it's gonna be a bit embarrassing and awkward at first.

I double check the instructions I was sent - London University of Dentistry is in an are of London I've never really been to. The instruction include a map from the 2 local tube stations to where the meeting is.

Instead of catching the 257b bus to go home, I instead catch the 16a for 3 stops to the tube station, then catch the tube into, then out of, the middle of London. It's just before 6:15 when I get out of the tube, and there's a 5 minutes walk to the university. It quickly becomes clear that it's not being held in one of their main building, but a smaller, adjacent building.

On the door there is a small sign "LUD, building 6", and a small sign on a portable metal post next to the door "Orthodontics Research Meeting, please come in".

As I go inside, I see another sign, with a big arrow, pointing me to the left, where I find a small room with a small group of people talking. Seeing me, one of them goes to a table.

"Hello, welcome, please come over here so I can log you in...." he says

"Hi, I'm Jacob.... Jacob Hurley"

"Oh, hello Jacob, I'm Mike Dennis, I'm the one that sent you the email. You're the firt to arrive"

"Oh, hi there, Mike - nice to meet you!"

"So, what do I need to do?"

"Well, first of all, can I give you this name tag - please can you wear it visibly at all times." I took the name tag, and clipped it to my shirt, in a visible place.

"Now, the next bit is a bit more... how shall I say this... delicate. We need to to sign an NDA - that's a 'non-disclosure agreement'. The project we are working on is in conjunction with a large company, and the research is very commercially sensitive, and we don't want any details getting out until we have some results. I appreciate that you might feel a bit nervous about signing this, so we have arranged for an independent solicitor to be here tonight - I hasten to add he's not from the company we normally use, so that he really is independent from us - and you are very welcome to discuss this with him."

"Ok...."

"So, things will be informal until 7:30... so plenty of time to have some food, which is in the room next door. We will be starting a presentation at 7:30, and we will insist that if you want to attend that presentation, then you must have signed the NDA. If there's any problems for you, and maybe you want to see your own solicitor for advice, then that's fine, but you'll need to come back to the second presentation that we're doing next week."

"Ok, that sounds reasonable...."

Mike passed me the NDA paperwork, and one of the others came over to me.

"Hi... er... Jacob" she said, looking at my name tag "Nice to meet you, I'm Sara, I work with Mike.... why don't you come on through and have some food", and she lead me through to the room with the food.

"So, how many people do you expect tonight?" I asked her

"In total, there will be just under 20 of us.... There's six of us on the team, plus there will be 5 or 6 coming from the company that's sponsoring the research, and a total of 7 possible patients, like yourself." As we chatted, I looked at the food - clearly being sponsored by a large company had its perks, as the food was not just a bunch of cheap sandwiches. For example, I could see small squares of bread with salmon or prawns on. Vol-au-vents. All that sort of stuff."

As I took a plate, and started to put a few items onto it, a smartly dressed gent, I guessed in his early 30s, came into the room.

"Ah" said Sara, "this is the solicitor gentleman Mike mentioned... Mr.... er... Jones" she said, referring to his name tag.

"Good evening, Jacob, I'm Ryan Jones, and I'm a solicitor. As you've probably been told, my company or I do not normally do work for the LUD. So far we've provided independent advice at 2 previous events like this... and there's another one next week, but that's it. I've had a chance to read the NDA, so I suggest that you sit down and take a few minutes to read it, it's neither especially long nor complicated - basically it says you mustn't tell anyone the details of the treatment that they are working on here. There's a quiet room next door you can use to read and sign it, and I'm very happy to discuss the NDA with you, if you want to. Now, let me grab some of this food - as ever, a splendid spread, it's amazing what industrial sponsorship can do!"

We exchanged a few more pleasantries, then I did as he suggested, and went and sat down for a few minutes in the next room, and read the NDA. It was written in pretty simple and plain language, and it said pretty much as Ryan had said: I must not give any details of the project that I might be told or learn to anyone outside of the project team. If anyone else related to the research needed to speak with me, then a member of the team would let me know what I could talk about.

Ryan walked in to the room. "need any help?" he asked in a friendly manner.

"No, I think I'm ok, I guess I'd better sign it"

"Just be aware that it means that you're not allowed to tell anyone about things, including family, close friends, even girl- or boyfriends. You'll be able to talk in vaguely general terms, but no details. The only 2 exception to that is that you are 100% allowed to talk to a legal representative, like a solicitor, or to a doctor - both of whom are bound by client priviledge."

"That sounds reasonable, I guess.... what happens if there's problems, do you know?"

"Well, they will have their own health and legal teams available - I'm sure they'll explain that in their presentation - that you'll be able to contact"

"But won't they just be working for the University?" I asked

"Well, yes and no... you work for a company I assume? It's like if there's a company issue you're involved with, you would speak with the company's solicitors, but there would never be anything stopping you getting your own advice."

"Ah, ok...."

"Unfortunately I can't really say much more than that, as I have no idea what the actual treatment will include, but I would say that it's a pretty fair NDA".

So, I signed the NDA, took it back to Mike, and then went back into the "social" room, where there were now several more people.

"Oh, hello again" said Sara, who was with 3 other people. "This is my colleague, Rushil, and these are Susan and Prisha, they are like you, potential patients"

"Hi, I'm Jacob" I said introducing myself. Susan had her lips closed, but Prisha's lips were apart, and I could see that she had some very slightly twisted and protruding front teeth.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #7 on: 23. June 2020, 20:45:09 PM »
7:25 pm....


Chapter 4

Someone was knocking loudly on the table, to gain our attention (and to tell us all to stop talking!)

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for completing the NDA forms so promptly. We will be starting the presentation in 5 minutes, in the room across the corridor: the presentation will last for about an hour, and then you'll have an opportunity to speak to members of the team, and ask questions. The toilets are down the corridor - they're well signposted - if you need them. And feel free to bring a drink through with you"

For the last - almost an hour - I had been able to eat some very nice food, and chat with many members of the team, as well as all of the other potential patients.

We seemed to come from various backgrounds, but with one common thing: we all had minor orthodontic issues, and were looking for a relatively inexpensive way to get treated. We were all interested to hear what this treatment would involve, especially as none of the team members we had spoken with had give any indication what they were researching. Any questions had been gently deflected with responses along the lines "sorry, I can't talk about that yet, but you should find the presentation will answer most of your questions....."

I went and used the toilet, then grabbed a new bottle of water, and went into the presentation.

The presentation was a mix of videos, slides, and talking. It started by explaining a lot of background about traditional orthodontics, about modern methods being investigated and that sort of thing. Then, there was a short video about the company sponsoring the research - a bio-tech company that I'd never heard of, but seemed to be a part of a pretty big conglomerate.

Finally, there was a fascinating video, followed by a slide presentation, about the recent advances in nano-technology, and its potential uses in humans. In this specific case, they were researching the use of nanotech in orthodontics - straightening teeth.

It seems these little bio-nanite things - partly micro electronics, partly machine, partly artificial biological things - could be programmed to inter-work with the body to carry out and accelerate certain things within the body. Apparently there was already research happening in other fields, doing things like clearing blood clots.

Their research here, which was in the very ealy days, was related to the use of the technology to move teeth. A lot of work had been done with animals, with great success, so now they wanted to try the technology on humans.

Yes, us!

They planned to try several ideas. Some might include using the nanites to assist with existing methods - so speeding up the effects of having metal or invisible braces. Other ideas included methods that didn't actually involve braces at all.

"So, maybe now you can understand why it's so important that you don't tell ANYONE what our research is about. If we are successful, then the technology we develop could be worth billions in the future"

Having had the technology explained to us, Mike (who I met earlier) took over, and explained many of the practicalities of the research. Regular visits to them, at a time convenient to us, so probably evenings. We would need to keep notes about anything and everything that happened to us. Video calls in between visits. He also explained what we could tell people: "You can tell people that you are part of a research project. That it involves orthodontic treatment. But no details of any sort, please"

"So, thank you all for being so patient, and listening to our presentations. There's now a chance to talk more informally, and ask us questions... plus with any luck, the sandwiches should have been replaced by a simple help-yourself bar: so help yourselves, and don't feel you need to rush off - we'd all like to learn more about you all."

I wasn't sure whether to be excited or scared.... nanotechnology was a thing that you read in books or saw in sci-fi films, I'd never realised quite how advanced this nano-technology actually was. And *I* would be getting some of this nano-technology in my body!

Would that mean I was taking the first steps to be a cyborg?

Offline Taxy

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #8 on: 24. June 2020, 15:26:34 PM »
Can't wait to see where this story goes. Its got a lot of different routes it could take. I'd imagine it'd be something like appliances that reconstruct themselves at random to fit the patient, so every day he wakes up with a different appliance in his mouth! Or maybe some complex self tightening braces!
Looking forward to more!

Offline Braceme

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #9 on: 24. June 2020, 16:30:31 PM »
Great setup! I love the stories where big things seem to have little impact on someone’s life (e.g. trying to go about life as normal with a huge lisp) and the little things matter greatly (nanotech causing big pain? Major restrictions on what the patient can do? I can’t wait to find out!)

Offline elio23145

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #10 on: 19. July 2020, 19:12:40 PM »
great one! is there new chapter soon??

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #11 on: 22. July 2020, 23:33:22 PM »
Chapter 5

Back home, later that evening, I had a good think about what was on offer, and decided that I WOULD be interested if they offered me treatment.

The next day, Friday, I got an email from Mike Dennis (he's one of the guys I met yesterday evening), asking me to call them at a convenient time, to organise visiting them with a view to treatment. So during lunch, I found a quiet corner, and called him. He explained that the initial visit would be go through things with me again, then examine me in detail, take multiple X-Rays, take a load of close-up pictures, and scan my teeth.

"Scan my teeth?" I asked

"Yes, we no longer take moulds with alginate, we have a thing called a 'wand' that has a tiny camera inside, and it taked pictures, and the computer converts in into a 3-D image of your teeth"

"Oh, cool...."

"Then, we need to understand what actually needs to be done... what 'treatment' you'll need, although we're hoping that you won't actually need any form of traditional braces treatment. And I should add that, untill you actually START the treatment, you can back out at any time, if you have any concerns. So, when would be convenient for you to come and visit us? I believe you work, so I'm assuming you'd prefer an evening?"

"Yes, I do the normal 9:00 to 5:30, then just under an hour to get to you...."

"Ok, well it's Friday today, would you be able to make Monday at around 6:30? Don't worry if you're a bit early or late, we'll be here!"

"Monday, 6:30, yeah, I can do that"

"Oh, by the way, do remember to keep a note of your travel costs, we can refund that, including for last night. If you use an Oyster or a card, you can get an online total of your travel.". We chatted for a few minutes more, about fairly irrelevant things"

"Well, I look forward to seeing you again on Monday" said Mike.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #12 on: 31. August 2020, 23:44:31 PM »
It's been a while since the last story update.... sorry, but I've had to do some of that "work" stuff!!! Anyway, I've just been doing a load of writing today, so lets go and see what Jacob is up to today....

------------------

Chapter 6

Needless to say, the weekend seemed to drag. Monday was better, because I was busy at work. But I made sure that I was ready to leave work at 5:30... in fact, if I were to be 100% truthful, I left a few minutes early!

Mike had sent me an email with details of where I was to go: rather than where I went last week, I was asked to go to a larger adjacent building - still part of the London University of Dentistry.

Like last week, I caught the bus and then the tube, with a short walk at the end. The weather was pleasant, and I had plenty of time, so I walked slowly, taking the time to have a look at this part of London with which I was not at all familiar. It was 6:25 when I finally arrived at the building. There was a gent on the reception.

"Good evening, can I help you?"

"Yes, I'm here to meet Mike Dennis"

"Ah, ok, you are?"

"Oh, sorry, I'm Jacob Hurley"

"Ah, yes, Mr Hurley, Mr Dennis told me to expect you about now, let me call him....". The gent on reception spoke to Mike for a moment. "Do take a seat, he'll be here in a couple of minutes"

As I sat and waited, I looked around at the building. I guessed it was probably about 30 or 40 years old, and reminded me of the buildings where I was at college... slightly nicer than the buildings we had at school, but not as nice as where I worked. How do I describe it - ah, yes, different levels of 'ruggedness'!

"Hello again, Jacob, nice to meet you again. Let's get you a visitor's badge, then we can go and chat, and do lots of stuff!" said Mike when he arrived a couple of minutes later.

"Would you like a drink?" asked Mike as we walked along a corridor?"

"Yes, please, do you have some coffee?"

"Indeed we do, come on in to the kitchen". The kitchen was actually quite nice - probably better than the kitchen in my office.

"So, we'll go down and meet the team: we'll all be involved in various aspects of your treatment, so useful that you know everyone" explained Mike as he made us both coffees. "You probably met them last week, but there were lots of people there, so you probably don't remember them all"

Coffees made, we walked down the corridor a little, and into an open office area, with several desks. I looked around, and recognised a couple of the faces.

"You can leave your bag and coat by my desk here, they will be quite safe.... now, do you remember Sara and Rushil?"

"Hi Sara... yes, we had a quick chat last week, didn't we. Hello Rushil, yes, we met too". I shook their hands.

"Over here is Chris.... hey, is David still here?" he asked Chris

"I think so..."

"Did you meet David last week? 'Professor David Emerson' is his full title, he's in charge here"

"I don't remember, I'll probably remember when I see him."

We walked out of the office, and along to the adjacent, smaller, office. The door was ajar, and Mike knocked.

"Come on in, the door's open...". As we walked in, I recognised him: last time he was in a smart suit, today he was rather more caual.

"David, this is Jacob, he's the first of our patients on the new trials"

"Hello Jacob, and welcome! Thanks for getting involved in this trial: if things go well, this could be absolutely ground-breaking treatment, revolutionising various aspects of not just orthodontics, but also general dentistry. I need to be leaving in a moment, but please, take one of my cards - feel free to call if there's anything you need to know. Of course, Mike and the others should also be able to help you, but there's never any harm in having too many phone numbers, just in case!"

We chatted briefly for a few more moments, then Mike took me back through to the bigger office.

"So, how much do you remember from last week?"

"Quite a bit, actually...."

"Oh, good! So today we need to take a full medical history and confirm your doctor's and dentist's detail. Then there will be x-rays, and loads of detailed pictures, then one of us will examine you, and scan your teeth."

"So you said we won't actually start treatment today?"

"No, whilst wee'll have a general chat with you today, we'll all need to sit down and work out what the treatment will entail. Then Chris and Rushil will need to configure your first set of nanites"

"Yeah, the nanites, how big are they really, it was hard to tell from that presentation"

"Oh, absolutely tiny.. hold on a moment...." said Mike, as he disappeared off for a moment. He returned with a small jar, and a strong magnifying glass, both of which he gave to me. The jar appeared to have a very thin layer of 'sediment' in the bottom.

"Take a look through the magnifying glass!". As I looked through the magnifying glass, what had originally appeared to be tiny grains of something like very fine sand suddenly had a mechanical sort of shape... in fact there seemed to be three or four different shapes.

"They are made using the same sort of techniques that are used to make integrated circuits, then some very intricate robots put them together. Then we us a sort of 'radio' connection to 'program' them.

"Program them? To do what?"

"Well, if we get it right, they will be able to remove tiny bits of your gum on one side of the tooth, and help new bits of gum to grow on the other... which will cause your teeth to move. And stuff like that."

The concept was quite amazing.

"What happens if you get it wrong?"

"So far we've been 100% successful. Our partner team has has lots of trials on various animals...."

"Oh, what you been doing with animals?"

"They were working with several vets, initially doing things like using the nanites to gently remove bad teeth, then moved onto moving teeth."

"And on humans?"

"You're gonna be one of the first to have active treatment"

"Right.....". This was a lot to take onboard. "What do you mean by active treatment?"

"We've already done a safety trial: the nanites were programmed to do trivial things, and the important thing is that we saw no adverse effects in humans. Then we worked with a couple of dentists where we used the nanites to remove some patients teeth... rather than having to pull out the teeth, the nanites kinda 'eat away' the roots, so a lot less painful. One patient had very crooked roots on a couple of wisdom teeth, which would have needed full-on surgery to remove, but the nanites made the whole thing painless and trivial. You and the others on this trial will taking the next step: using nanites for other forms of dental treatment."

"So, if they are 'machines' where do they get their power from?"

"From your blood. They seem to be lasting for a week or two before they stop working, and then they pass out your blood.... in the 'normal way', if you know what I mean!"

The technology seemed to be quite amazing, although it was a bit worrying knowing that I was going to be a bit of a 'lab rat'.

"If you're interested, I can give you copies of the previous research papers to read, you might find them to be helpful in understanding what we're doing here"

We drank our coffees and chatted a bit more, with Mike continuing to be quite open in answering my questions. It felt good that no one seemed to be wanting to hide anything from me.

Sara came over to us. She had put on a smart clean white coat. "You ready for the X-rays and pictures?" she asked.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #13 on: 01. September 2020, 17:46:11 PM »
Chapter 7


"Time to start the boring work bit, I'm afraid..... if you go off with Sara, she's going to do the X-rays and take loads of pictures, then she'll bring you back to me, so I can do the medical history and so on... Oh, yes, Sara will also need to take a blood sample. See you shortly!"

Sara took me into a small room, where there was what she called a 'Panoramic X-ray Machine'. I stood up with my chin in a support, and bit onto a piece of plastic - she explained that was to make sure my face stayed in position. She gave me a button I could press.

"Press on that if you have any problems, or to 'yes' to me... ok?" I held up the button, and pressed it once - I could here a gentle beep in thge background. Sara then left the room, and went into the room adjacent. I could see her through an intercom.

"Ok, if you can get yourself in the position I showed you, then one buzz when you're ready....". I got myself back into position, bit on the plastic, took a deep breath, then pressed the button.

"Hold as still as possible, this takes just under 20 seconds....". I pressed the button again. A moment later, the big lump of the machine that was to the left of my face started moving around in front of my face, then stopped when it got to the right.

"You can relax for the moment.... Just give me a moment to check the X-ray looks ok". I let out my breath, and stood back a little from the machine.

"It all looks good......" said Sarah over the intercom. A moment later she was back in the room. "I'll show it to you later, if you want a look! Next we need some specific X-rays, and photos, so if you would like to follow me, we'll go to one of the treatment rooms".

The room I was taken too looked very similar to a dentists: it had a treatment chair with the dentist's  and assistant's stools next to it. the big light above, the small 'sink' and all that sort of stuff.

"We still do a lot of research into more traditional treatments, so these rooms are used to fit more normal braces. Anyway, if you can make yourself comfortable in the chair, I'll get the small x-ray unit ready.

Once I was comfortable in the chair, Sara showed me a small sort of 'bracket' with a wire coming from it.

"Have you ever had x-rays done at your dentist?" she asked. I nodded. "Ok, well this is similar, but rather than using film, this is a digital version that's sensitive to x-rays, a sort of more portable version of the machine next door! So, if you can open your mouth, I'll put it inside".

The unit felt very similar to the film clip my dentist uses, except it had the wire coming out. Sara then pointed the x-ray box as the side of my mouth, then went to the other side of the room.

"That's come out nicely" she said as she moved the unit inside my mouth. She took several images, and I noticed that she specifically took some of the back of my mouth, where my wisdom teeth are.

"Ok, that's all the x-rays done, so now it's pictures with a camera." She started off with some normal pictures of my face, from front and side. Then I was, for the first time, introduced to lip-spreaders, things which I would become very familiar with over the next few weeks.

She took pictures from all angles, including with a mirror, so that she could clearly see my upper and lower
teeth.

"Hey, you're doing well!" she said. "Let me take out the lip-spreaders for the moment.... feel free to rinse out your mouth you're probably quite dry by now!"

I took a few moments to rinse my mouth out.

"Ok, last part, I'm going to scan your teeth and mouth with this lovely bit of technology!". Sara showed me what is best describes as a wand, with a wire coming out of it. "So, there's a small camera at the end here..." she said showing it to me. "I'll put this 'cap' on your head, so that the computer knows where the wand is, and it then takes loads of picture that it puts together to build up a 3D image of your mouth". There's a couple of screens, you can look at the one just up there, and watch what it does.... my screen is over here!

I sat back in the chair again, and Sara put the cap onto my head. Sitting on one of the stools, she got me to open my mouth so she could put the lip-spreader in again. "Ok, here we go. Just let me know any way you like if you need me to stop at all".

I looked at the computer screen as Sara started to scan my teeth. As I watched, I could see an image of my teeth growing as Sara moved the wand around. I saw her touch her screen, and a few areas on the image were highlighted: as she scanned a bit more the highlighted areas disappeared.

"That's your top jaw all done, the image looks great" she said. She quickly touched the screen and I could see the image moving, showing me the 3D. "Ok for the bottom now?". I nodded.

Just like before, I watched as Sara scanned my lower teeth.

"They all look great. Final thing, I need to take a blood sample, you ok with that sort of thing?"

"No idea, I've never had a blood same taken before!" I replied

"All you need to do is to roll up your sleeve, then after cleaning your skin, I'll put a tiny.... actually, it's not REALLY tiny, it's slightly bigger than tiny... needle into your arm...". So I rolled up my arm, then Sara wiped my arm with an antiseptic wipe, then stabbed me with the syringe, which didn't really hurt. Then wiped my skin down again, and put a elastoplast over it.

"Well, that's everything done, thank you for being so patient with me. Let's go get you another drink, and with luck there should be a bit of food to eat." Sara took me to the kitchen again, where she got me a drink. In the fridge there were some sandwiches and some other snacky food, which I appreciated, as I'd not eaten since lunchtime.

"Put some more on a plate if you like, and we can go back and see Mike, he's probably been looking at your images already"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story - Nanite Technology
« Reply #14 on: 06. September 2020, 19:49:16 PM »
Chapter 8


"Nice images" said Mike as I sat with him and Sara in a small office. On the wall was a good sized screen which Mike had connected his laptop to.

"Sara is really good at doing the 3D scanning - she seems to get on with the scanner much better than I do, so we have all the images we need... we use them both to work out your treatment and to set the baseline for what we will be doing. We'll be repeating the X-rays and 3D scans, along with a few pictures each visit, so we can track your treatment, plus it documents what we are doing. But before we talk about all that, I need to take a medical history.

Over the next 10 minutes, Mike asked me about my health, whether I had any of a list of conditions. Who my doctor and dentist were. Whether my parents of brothers and sisters had any specific conditions. When did my wisdom teeth come in. Did I notice any effects of them. Plus loads more.

"Thank you, Jacob, I know that was a bit of a grilling, but we need to make sure we know as much about you as we can. So, before we look at your dental issues, what are you hoping to get as a result of the treatment?"

"I guess straight teeth... so the ones that have twisted straight again, and all back in line, like they used to be" I replied.

"That sounds very reasonable. So lets take a look at your teeth...."

Mike started by putting up the image of the panoramic x-ray. "The first thing to say is that you have excellent roots on your teeth, and all nice and straight too"

Next, he showed a couple of the photographs that Sara had taken. "Please remember, anything we say now will be just preliminary, the team will need to discuss your case in detail before we start your treatment, but already I can see much of what the problem is, and what we'll need to do. As you already said, your wisdom teeth started coming in about 5 years ago, and yes, I think you are right, if you look here..." he said, pointing at the screen. "you can see that they are slightly angled forwards... so it looks like they applied pressure to your teeth, pushing them forwards, causing your front teeth to move around a bit, and become a bit out of alignment."

The picture then changed to the 3D scan.

"I bet you've never seen your teeth quite like THIS before, have you? Again, you can clearly see the wisdom teeth angled forwards, and the effect that has had on your other teeth. I suspect that the first step of treatment will be to remove your wisdom teeth, which will remove the forward pressure, and give us space to slowly move your other teeth back into a more normal position. That making sense so far?"

"Yes, absolutely... I was guessing my wisdom teeth would need to come out"

"Now, if you were having normal treatment, then you'd be sedated, and you'd have them just pulled out - in your case that would be relative straight-forward, as your roots are nice and straight. But if you remember from earlier, one area we've already tested is using the nanites to help teeth come out, so that's probably what we'll do with you"

"Ok - so how long does that take?" I asked

"It seems to vary a bit, but usually a week to two weeks."

"Oh, that's not too bad then"

"Then we get onto the bit that's what we're researching.... we'll program up the nanites to do specific tasks.... like start by gently moving your molars backwards. One area we'll be watching carefully is that the teeth stay straight as they are moved"

"Stay straight?"

"Yes, as in 'don't get pushed over' if you see what I mean"

"Oh, right... yes..."

"We have to get the movement at the top and bottom of the roots kinda 'synchronised'. We think that the linear movement should be fairly straight-forward, the rotating is a bit more of a challenge, but previous results on animals has been very promising. But the nice thing about this is that it's all done inside the body. No braces needed, not even the 'not really invisible' invisible ones!"

We talked a bit more, and the more we talked the happier I felt that the team seems to know what they were doing.

"So, I'll be in contact in a few days. Is Monday at this time a good time for you?"

"Yes, I think so"

"In that case, let's provisionally book you into return next Monday, and probably every Monday for a while. The good news is that most of your visits will be a LOT shorter than today - thank you so much for your patience today, it's made our jobs a lot easier."

As I left, I realise that it was just after 9pm - I'd been there for over two and a half hours.