Overjet mints $27M to bring X-ray AI to more dental clinics

After cutting its teeth automating the dental insurance claims process, Overjet is now ready to expand its artificial intelligence software into actual dental clinics across the U.S.

Those plans will be backed by a freshly minted FDA clearance for Overjet’s Dental Assist platform and by a flood of venture capital funding gleaned in a recently closed round.

The financing brought in $27 million for the Boston-based startup, nearly quadrupling its lifetime haul following previous fundraisings totaling about $10 million. The series A was led by General Catalyst and Insight Partners, with additional backing from the E14 Fund, which provides funds to startups with ties to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Overjet’s plans for the windfall are twofold: The money will support Overjet’s goal of bringing its existing platform to dental clinics around the country, while also funding the development of new AI-based tools and systems aiming to improve the field of dentistry.

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The flagship feature of the Dental Assist program is the deep learning-based technology at its core that can perform real-time analyses of dental X-rays. The AI is trained to measure bone loss in these images, making it easier for dentists and hygienists to diagnose periodontal disease—which is estimated to affect almost half of all U.S. adults and, in untreated severe cases, can cause pain and tooth loss.

The program is designed to significantly cut down on the time between imaging and diagnosis since it works in real time and eliminates the need for dentists to manually study X-rays to measure bone levels.

In addition, since well before the FDA OK’d its clinical use, Dental Assist has been used by insurance providers to analyze X-rays submitted alongside claims, upping the accuracy of their approval process.

“Tens of millions of Americans already have their dental claims processing streamlined and accelerated by Overjet today,” said Shaju Puthussery, Overjet’s chief operating officer. “With the recent FDA clearance and new funding, more Americans will see Overjet’s dental AI technology assisting their dentists at the next check-up. We’re committed to helping clinicians deliver the best patient care.”

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The FDA’s 510(k) clearance of the Dental Assist platform in May made it one of the first AI systems to be green-lit for use in dentistry and came only about three years after Overjet was founded by scientists from MIT and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

The agency’s nod came after a clinical study proved the platform to be highly skilled at measuring bone density in oral X-rays. When compared to the estimates of several dentists and an oral radiologist, on average, the AI’s measurements aligned with the humans’ to within one-third of a millimeter.

Looking ahead, Overjet is hoping to receive further FDA clearances to expand the AI’s reach beyond gum disease, enabling the software to identify and assess cavities, tartar, impacted teeth and other dental issues.