SprintRay Inc., an industry leader in digital dentistry and 3D printing solutions, has partnered up with eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, for a very special project meant to expand access of care: “Bolt Labs, powered by SprintRay.” These will be dental labs fitted with SprintRay’s advanced equipment, which allows for dental printing to be done on site.
The hope is to expand the access of high-quality digital dental care to the under-served, starting with Bolt’s home country, Jamaica . This is a five-year partnership between the Bolt Foundation and SprintRay Foundation, who will both be collaborating with the Jamaican Dental Association to instill real progress in Jamaica.
To get a better feel for the mission at hand, I sat down for a short interview with Usain Bolt and the SprintRay CEO and Co-Founder Amir Mansouri, Ph.D. We had about ten minutes, so I started by getting right into it. I asked Usain Bolt what this partnership with SprintRay was about for him and what he hoped to accomplish.
“It’s all about getting to the rural areas [of Jamaica],” Usain responded. “Getting to the people who need this and need it quickly. I’m from the rural area of Jamaica and it takes us time to get to the dentist. Sometimes, there’s such long lines because there’s such few dentists in the rural area. We plan to have a mobile dental unit to get around to these people with the SprintRay equipment, which prints mouth guards, dentures, or crowns, and can be done on the spot, instead of having to come back in three days to get a re-fit. This is why it’s so important. This technology is just advanced.”
From there, that was a natural segue to asking Amir Mansouri, SprintRay’s CEO and Co-founder, how the company’s advanced technology helped this mission along.
“Ever since we focused 100% on dentistry in 2016,” said Amir Mansouri, “We were inspired by how much our technology helps dentistry to become more accessible, more affordable, drive the costs down, and drive the adoption of digital dentistry. We’ve been energized by the impact we’ve been having in this field.”
“So, we’ve always wanted to do something beyond,” continued Mansouri, “and the opportunity came to partner up with the Bolt Foundation to do something good, to promote dental care across the globe, and we took action upon it. We’re very excited about it. The manufacturing of chairside, 3D-printed crowns, bridges, dentures, nightguards – this is what we’ll be focusing on in Jamaica.”
That alone opens so many doors that have been slammed shut to an underserved population like the rural areas of Jamaica.
There are startingly few dentists in the country, as Amir would go on to explain.
“When you look at Jamaica having one dentist for every hundred thousand people,” said Mansouri. “We picked Jamaica, Usain’s home country, as a pilot to our activities. That’s the mission.”
That is a fantastic mission. I’ve written about expanding access of care before and it’s truly needed across the globe. There are plenty of populations that do not get the type of high-quality care they need to stay healthy. SprintRay and Usain Bolt coming together to put this into action is a wonderful thing. That is why, for my next question, I asked both parties how that happened and how they felt about it all, as it was coming together.
“Sometimes it’s destined to be,” responded Amir Mansouri. “Our brand is about precision and speed, and we’re SprintRay. We call ourselves sprinters internally. And this is the fastest sprinter in the world, Usain Bolt. So, when the opportunity came to us, we spoke to Usain’s team. It really resonated with our side. Not just the brand aspect of it but the deeper cooperation that we will be doing with Usain in dentistry and providing more accessible dentistry for the underprivileged. That really resonated with both teams and we felt that it was meant to be.”
“I was excited,” said Usain Bolt, chiming in. “I understand the need for dentistry in Jamaica. Immediately, we contacted a dentist from an association in Jamaica. We said, ‘this is what we want to do and we want to make it seamless. SprintRay is here now and we want to connect with you guys to make it easy and facilitate with them, because I understand the need for this technology in Jamaica. Especially in the rural areas, to get around to the people and the kids who are less fortunate. To really get them dental care.’ For me, it was a no brainer.”
“This also helps to build my legacy with the company,” continued Usain Bolt. “I hope to grow with the company, to build with the company. I’m excited for this initiative, and I know it’s going to do good things.”
For my final question, I asked a simple one: What is the official mission statement of this initiative?
“The mission is to provide access to digital dentistry,” respond Amir Mansouri, “which we believe is better, faster, more precise, and with a lower cost globally. We’re piloting this initiative as an inaugural venue in Jamaica. Currently, our plan is to create two dental offices, one dental lab, and one mobile office in Jamaica to promote dentistry, but this could change slightly, as we are collaborating with the Jamaican Dental Association to assess the needs of the population and will adjust accordingly.”
“There’s nothing to add to that,” said Usain Bolt. “That’s just a fact. As I said, I’m just excited about this. This is big for my country. This is something new, and it’s going to make it bigger and better. I’m looking forward to this initiative going forward. The people are going to be just so happy to get the opportunity to have access to digital dentistry. I want to help them because I understand the need.”
On behalf of Dentistry Today, I want to say thank you to Usain Bolt and SprintRay for finding the time to do this interview. Personally, I found it very fascinating to see the kind of humanitarian work they plan to do for the country of Jamaica. As this program kicks into gear and they get the initiative rolling, we hope to see nothing but good news to publish.
Expanding access of care in any way is a noble mission, which is needed more than ever in today’s day and age. Wishing “Bolt Labs: powered by SprintRay” nothing but success in helping the under-served population of Jamaica with their pilot program.
For more information, visit www.sprintray.com.