Product Review: Impact Gumshields

impact gumshields

I tried out the impact gumshields or the first time. These are 3D printed gumshields. The manufacturing process is pretty simple and probably takes as long as the normal molding process of regular gumshields where they are placed in boiling water and then molded in the mouth and left the cool in water so they contract and hold their new shape.

Impact does things very differently, so a small scanning machine is used to scan the exact shape of the teeth and gums as well as the palette. This takes roughly two minutes and mainly just involves keeping your mouth open while the technician does there job with the scanner. After that time you can see your scan of your mouth and then choose what colour or design you want for them.

In comparison to normal, all the work is really done by impact themselves, I was lucky enough to have a look at the set up inside their offices where I could see where my scan would be turned into my own purpose made gumshield. I was shown the various 3D printers that were specifically designed for making the gumshields where they used a specially designed shock-absorbing polymer. The link just shows a more in-depth explanation and example as to how the process occurs 

The gumshields are strong to touch and thankfully are one of the few gumshields I’ve had where I can talk like a normal human being while having them in. The benefits to a 3D printed gumshield other than the ability to customise them and talk more normally are that you have the scan forever so you can have them made up again to the same level and standard which is often hard to replicate with other makes. The better fitting means that they slip less making them safer for dental health.

Gumshields have in recent years, as concussion studies have increased, been shown to play a small role in their severity but this severity often occurs when they are loose and loads are sent back through the head similarly to the spaces in a helmet where forces do not dissipate immediately. This is thankfully something you shouldn’t have to worry about due to the nature of the gumshields themselves.

As such the only downside is the price for them, the price of the scan is taken into the initial price and so any future gumshields would be cheaper but they are still expensive, yet the quality and process would show that this is an understandable price tag.

Safety 5/5, Fit 5/5, Quality 5/5, Price 3/5, Timeframe 3/5.

Product Review: d3 Rigid Tape

Recently I was introduced to d3 tape products, now since college to the present day, I have used an unnatural amount of tape, from zinc oxide, EAB, kinesiology, and underwrap, as well as insulation tape but that was more for athletes to use themselves. The tape I first tried out was zinc oxide which I go through the most out of any type of tape, be it ankles, knees or shoulders zinc oxide is simply a staple when it comes to taping athletes.

Tape is definitely one of those things that as a therapist that I have an unseemingly amount of it at hand at all times. For me I always have certain criteria that I want tape to cover. It must be easy to tear. Next is that the tape will actually stick once it’s applied. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wrap nearly twice the amount of tape on someone simply because it won’t stick or because it isn’t taut enough and 10 minutes into the game it’s like a second sock slipping down their leg.

As much as I want tape to tear easy I also want it to be strong and rigid when applied, so when I first tore some tape off I was surprised as it felt very light and loose in comparison to other brands. But when applied to the skin or to underwrap it actually was quite strong, easy to tear and easy to use continuously. Once I gave it another look I noticed that it felt lighter and less rigid once torn as it was latex-free which also means it is a lot easier to dispose of. As tape goes a far more environmentally conscious choice which in this day and age is something that often comes up in the choices therapists make especially given the number of consumable products we often go through.

Another thing I appreciated was the fact that on their own website they have video descriptions of the products as well as quick video tutorials for ways to use the tapes and not overly labored videos promising the impossible but ways to best apply the tapes and at what angles and for what reason which often gets lost in translation in many taping tutorials which are all about speed and looking clean but not always why they should use that certain way of taping . As such my initial impressions of d3 and in particular the zinc oxide tape is really good, probably one of the best quality-wise I’ve used and the effort put in from their end for product description and use impresses again on a professional level. Those small details always make me inclined to lean towards one brand or another. Price-wise they are average and not more expensive than what I have seen before and they also appear to provide everything you could need to buy. I typically buy from wholesalers themselves so the price being much the same is always a plus but there is an option to buy wholesale from them also.

If I was to give the product a score for my initial use and experience I would give it 4.5/5. Strength, sticky but not so sticky that its difficult to peal, reasonably priced and latex-free with great quality service from their end. Another aspect is the wide range of colour and patterns available, obviously not affecting the quality but more something that both athletes, patients, and therapists can appretiate themselves or even for younger clients to put them more at ease. The only downside is the packaging. As I say that a latex-free tape is a nice option from an environmental point of view, there is an excessive amount of plastic packaging. As nice as it is coming in individual plastic containers, it is somewhat unnecessary but I have not bought wholesale and this may be only something that may occur when small numbers are bought which is a rare enough occurrence for these as well as the fact that the packaging is all rigid hard plastic and so can be recycled. As a whole one of the nicest tapes I’ve used and I intend to try out more of their products as soon as possible.

I am currently stocking a small amount of d3 tape in the clinic for use on patients and if anyone wishes to purchase single rolls please feel free to contact me here.

*all images are taken from d3 tape website/Instagram.