In the dental space, wearing conventional braces can be quite a daunting task as they are both pricey and uncomfortable for people to wear. Some people feel self-conscious about wearing them, and the fact that braces require at least six months of use does not help. Nevertheless, with today’s rapid advancements in technology, an enterprising solution can be found if effort and determination are put into it. Zenyum, a Singapore-based cosmetic dental startup, has done exactly that and came up with an ingenious solution in the form of 3D printed invisible braces, which also come with the added benefit of being 70% cheaper than conventional braces and other regular treatments in the market.
Zenyum’s invisible braces are made from medical-grade, latex-free and bisphenol A-free plastic. According to the startup, dental patients can start seeing visible results within 2 to 3 months of use, and treatment times usually take just 3 to 9 months as opposed to conventional braces which may take up to 3 years. Unlike other treatments that attempt to solve a wide range of dental issues, the dental company focuses solely on treating the upper and lower front set of teeth. By specializing in their scope of treatment, the startup is able to provide a more efficacious, affordable dental solution for their patients that are seeking treatment. All of their treatment methods are also vetted and approved by their licensed doctors.
Additionally, Zenyum also has its own proprietary mobile app that provides 24/7 dedicated support for its users, as well as enabling dentists to remotely monitor and track the progress of their patients. The treatment monitoring via mobile app is a special feature that sets Zenyum apart from other traditional dental treatment methods in the market. Additionally, in regards to ongoing customer care, the dental care startup has a team of dentists and a dedicated Zenyum representative that is able to provide round the clock support via their mobile app.
According to Julian Artopé, founder and chief executive officer at Zenyum, the startup has researched and identified a significant segment of the Southeast Asian population with teeth conditions, which are treatable by their proprietary 3D printed invisible braces. As a result, they expect the demand for cosmetic dental treatments to gradually increase over time, which presents an opportunity for them to expand their reach.
Julian also noted that dental treatment from a logistics perspective is still a challenge for most in Southeast Asia due to traffic congestion and the lack of quality dental clinics and facilities, especially in the rural areas. He cites an example whereby a dental patient in Thailand or Jakarta will need to take almost half a day just to commute to the dentist. Therefore, the dental care startup would like to address the issue of accessibility and make teeth alignment treatments more affordable and reachable to people across the region.
Zenyum managed to raise US$13.6 million in a RTP Global-led Series A funding round in November 2019, which also saw the participation of SEEDS Capital, TNB Aura, Sequoia India, as well as other investors. The cosmetic dental startup, which was founded in 2018, had said that they will use the funds to further their expansion into new markets such as Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as to diversify its range of products to include teeth whitening solutions and retainers, which will fall under a new category called ‘Smile Cosmetics’. As more and more people in Southeast Asia begin to seek out new and innovative approaches to teeth alignment treatment, Zenyum will be there to lead the way in the cosmetic dental space.