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Using RFID Tags to Make Teeth 184

Roland Piquepaille writes "If you live in France, and soon elsewhere in Europe and in the U.S., and if you need a dental prosthesis, chances are good that RFID tags are involved in the manufacturing process, according to this article from the RFID Journal. The tag is embedded by the dental lab in the cast which will be used to make the prosthesis. Then it is used to record the whole history of the crown, a process requested by a European sanitary regulation. Before delivering the bridge to your dentist, all the data is copied to a smart card that will be given to you. The company is also studying the idea to put directly the tag inside the prosthesis. Maybe one day, when your dentist installs your new bridge, you'll also be the owner of a deactivated RFID tag inside it. This summary contains more details and a picture of the RFID tag used to record the life of your next crown."
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Using RFID Tags to Make Teeth

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  • Wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Skye16 ( 685048 )
    They really are trying to get inside our teeth!

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Monday October 25, 2004 @09:59AM (#10620206)
    How long will my fillings tingle after I pull my head out of the microwave?
  • by vena ( 318873 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:00AM (#10620208)
    i was attacked by a coked up whore and a fscking crazy dentist!
    • by larrew22 ( 246430 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:27AM (#10620431)
      i guess the moderater has never seen the movie 12 monkeys... in the movie the feds moniter the time travelling prisoners by means of a tracking device in their tooth... Bruce Willis decides he's had enough and has an old fashioned home tooth pulling... the parent post is quoting what the freaked out pimp says to the cops after having to watch Bruce Willis do the deed.
  • wasn't this going on in 1984? or wait.. that's the book... my apologies.. not to be a conspiracy theorist, but isn't this just a little suspisious to anyone else?
    • by salvorHardin ( 737162 ) <adwulf@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:08AM (#10620273) Journal
      Well, Mr Smith, it appears that your incisors spent rather a lot of time somewhere in the vicinity of my daughter's IUD RFID tag. Would you like to explain this to me or would you rather choose a window?
    • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:14AM (#10620321) Journal
      No, not to me.

      And if you ever need a prosthetic, make sure they track it the old way, with a little piece of paper with your name on it taped onto the cast.

      Then when you show up for your fitting, and they try to jam the wrong prosthetic into your face, maybe you'll see that a more accurate method of tracking may actually be a good thing.
    • I'm actually a little surprised this isn't in YRO.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      wasn't this going on in 1984? or wait.. that's the book...

      The book you are thinking of is the Bible. Mark of the beast and all that stuff.

    • Re:Old News........ (Score:3, Informative)

      by ninejaguar ( 517729 )
      I am suspicious, and the next logical step would be to introduce a RFID-like device in the tooth. But, would this be practical? Not everyone gets caps and crowns, and there are simply better ways of keeping track of citizenry than implanting a bug at the dentist.

      However, this type of development is important to watch. Ignore those who disagree, as they are sceptical of sceptics and contribute to society in a different manner which isn't pertinent to subjects like this.

      If you haven't read 1984 [], or hav

  • by will_die ( 586523 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:01AM (#10620216) Homepage
    The 1 Euro coin shown in the real size image is just slightly larger then an American nickel.
    • ...and no, that is not a penis on the top right (just above the "U" and "R" of "EURO").

      it just looks like that because they left Norway out.

      just don't mention it to a finn or sweede...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Now they really will start broadcasting radio signals on my fillings! AHHH!!!!
    • > Vote Kerry: He will allow medical experimentation on prisoners. All for your better health.

      Any references?
      • Use of medical experimentaion on prisoners, children, and the unknown has greatly advanced science and medicine over the past centuries, even up into past 70 year. It was only with the ideaology that this was wrong was it stopped and limits were placed and enforced on human research.
        The loss of prisoners to experiment on has lowered the medical solutions that are available or has force large amounts of money and time to be waste on a cure that works on animals but not humans.

        So we have john kerry sayin
  • by IversenX ( 713302 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:01AM (#10620222) Homepage
    .. but there's NO way I'm letting my dentist near my routers!
  • by emptybody ( 12341 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:02AM (#10620223) Homepage Journal
    The Aliens have been implanting tiny tracking devices in teeth for years. These so called "RFID" tags are just humans using Alien(tm) technology.
  • 12 Monkeys (Score:5, Funny)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:02AM (#10620228)

    If you've seen the movie, then you know this is a bad idea.

  • by dmp123 ( 547038 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:02AM (#10620229)
    you'll also be the owner of an activated RFID tag in your skull.

    You'll need a tinfoil jawplate now to go with that helmet.

  • I think my teeth have the right to surf the internet...I demand that the dentists adopt Wi-Fi instead of RFID.
  • ...with all the teeth in Europe that need replacing.
  • Personally (Score:2, Interesting)

    I would rather go toothless than have my teeth broadcast my whereabouts to snoopers, offical or otherwise.
  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:03AM (#10620239) Journal
    RFID is for tracking things. Prosthetics (of any type) need to be tracked closely, since they're essentially unique to their intended recipient. If you happen to be someone waiting for one, you want it as quickly as possible. Anything that makes the process more efficient is a good thing for the patients.

    I know this is some slashdot "the gummit is comin to git us" FUD, as well as Roland Piqopiles contractualy daily blogvertisement, but get the hell over it.

    If you're so afraid, start brushing your teeth and flossing.
    • Re:So what? (Score:2, Funny)

      by tomee ( 792877 )
      Actually, this is RFUD, which reaches more people than ordinary FUD ever could.
    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:35AM (#10620515) Journal
      Prosthetics are already tracked with a number. If you get a knee replacement there is a specific serial number on the replacement part.

      Even breast implants have tracking numbers.

      While using a RFID tag would make things easier it is by no means a requirement that this needs to be done.
    • "but get the hell over it."

      No. "Get over it" is the derisive battle cry of bullying thugs everywhere, anytime. No, we won't get over it.

      • Good for you. Bullies thrive on getting you to do self-censorship so they don't have to work so hard.

        By the way, the parent's overrated post seems to leave out the main feature of RFID, remote readability. Reading IDs used to require direct physical access to the prosthetic in question. Now it can be done remotely and in secret.

        It's not reasonable to walk up to a woman with breast implants and ask her to rip the implants out of her breasts so you can examine the ID code. But with a signal that can be
    • I recently had a crown built and installed, and my dentist had a new milling machine in his office that built the tooth while I waited, which lets you get everything done in one visit. Unlike the previous process, where the dentist makes a cast, sends it off to a milling-machine lab, puts a temporary crown on your tooth, and a week or two later the crown is done and you go back and get it installed, the dentist scans your tooth into a computer, which tells the milling machine what to make. No need for RF
  • by MrRTFM ( 740877 ) * on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:03AM (#10620242) Journal
    I sure hope they include data like:
    - my toothpaste preference
    - whether or not I brush 'correctly'
    - the tardiness of my payments to the dentist

    This is like a dream come true - having data imbedded into my FUCKING HEAD which drones can access at their will ... NO THANKS!
  • by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:05AM (#10620250) Homepage
    Before delivering the prosthesis to the dentist, the lab retrieves the data contained in the die's RFID chip and copies to a smart card also fitted with a PicoPass chip. The dentist can then pass on to the patient. "The advantage of such a card is that if a patient requires another prosthesis for other teeth at another stage in his life, he can present it to the practitioner, who will retrieve all the data related to all the prostheses of the patient," says Cachia.
    Is it an RFID chip or a "smart chip"? Why would you "copy the data" from an RFID chip to a smart card? Isn't an RFID chip simply a form of serial number? If they're really just copying the data associated with that number, does that mean that RFID Journal writers aren't really familiar with what's going on?
  • It's time to buy stock of tinfoil producers, I guess.
  • by CybSirius ( 13966 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:06AM (#10620260)
    How long before they identify a victim by the RFID tag embedded in his or her tooth with, of course, some whiz-bang 3D interface.
  • Sigh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:08AM (#10620268)
    Maybe one day, when your dentist installs your new bridge, you'll also be the owner of a deactivated RFID tag inside it.

    You just couldn't restrain yourself from adding that onto the article summary, eh? I'm not trying to troll but that is absolute FUD and fear-mongering.

    I mean, what is it with you guys? I use RFID all the time in a system I've developed to track employees. Nothing about this can be construed as bad but yet you still spin it somehow or another.

    We use them in our employee badges and have scanner points at all major doorways of the building. It helps us track when employees are in areas that are containing overly sensitive material and when employees just go goof off which a great many do.

    RFID only makes life better and I don't see how any of you can say otherwise.

    Now RFID in teeth? That is absolutely FUD. You know it will never happen but you just want to provoke some sort of knee-jerk reaction from the masses. These sort of comments don't belong to be with the article summary on the frontpage.
    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by computersareevil ( 244846 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:13AM (#10620311)
      This poster is claiming that articles about electronic tracking are FUD, and that RFID is wonderful, yet they post anonymously. Isn't there some irony in that?
      • Re:Sigh... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:18AM (#10620352) Journal
        No, it's just that posting anything but slashbot-approved horseshit will cost him mod points.

        Some people care about such things, I don't, waste your mod points on me.

        Hot News: "RFID used to more efficiently and accurately track things in a complicated manufacturing process in which efficient and accurate tracking is absolutely essential". OMG!11!!!!1! Sound the alarms guys!

        I'm also sick of Orwell references made by slashbots who've obviously never read any of his work, but that's another story.
        • This is clearly different from tracking bags of chips. This is an RFID tag which could become part of your body, which you cannot microwave for obvious reasons (not the least of which is the potential for damage to the tooth by escaping gases when the chip is burned up, but the most of which is of course the stupidity of putting one's head in a microwave) and which could conceivably used not just to track your tooth, which is reasonable, but to track you, which is not. There exists today COTS equipment to

      • Re:Sigh... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) *
        Dont blame the technology, blame the people perverting the technology.
        • Dont blame the technology, blame the people perverting the technology.

          Hear, hear! I agree completely. (I support personal gun ownership, afterall.)

          What I was pointing out was the irony of somebody anonymously posting support for technologies that will be perverted to prohibit anonymity.

    • Re:Sigh... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 )
      RFID only makes life better and I don't see how any of you can say otherwise.

      Of limited imagination, are we? You can't envision a scenario whereby it could be used maliciously? That it is not always for the greater good?

      I'm glad some of us can.

      It helps us track when employees [...] just go goof off which a great many do.

      Maybe you should hire different employees. Or maybe they should hire a different boss.

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )
      Forgetting the practicality of the 'ID in a tooth' for just a moment, your example doesn't hold water.

      Tracking employees with their consent while on *company property* is NOT the same as tracking individual citizens as they enter stores or just walk down the street minding their own business...

      It is not the technology that is the problem or its proper use.. its the fact it opens so many doors for improper use that is the issue.

      You don't technology will be used improperly? Get your head out of the sand an
    • So it was your idea! Everytime I go to the restroom, I have to worry about how much time I'm taking.
  • by flabbergasted ( 518911 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:10AM (#10620291)
    Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:11AM (#10620295) Journal
    Privacy concerns aside, I already run into interference issues between the three RFID cards I carry. They can be resolved with some rearrangement but that's going to be a lot harder to do when the door swipe at work keeps getting blocked by my fillings, hairpiece, penile implant or whatever else is next up for this technology.

    Although, at least I'll have an excuse for being late to work.

    • You know, I would like to know that would RFID tagging ever going to end? With each passing second, these chips are getting smaller and cheaper. I won't be surprised if they start marking each and every item sold over the counter with these chips. Privacy?? Hum..... sorry, I don't know what that means.
    • What interference? They have very limited range.
  • 12 Monkeys? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:11AM (#10620296)
    Gah! Next thing you know Bruce Willis is going to show up claming that he's from the future and and evil group called the Army of the 12 Monkeys led by Brad Pitt is going to destroy all of humanity. Wait, maybe he's right. Quick! Everyone knock your teeth out! That's where the tracking devices them future peoples use to find you!
  • Inventory (Score:1, Funny)

    by hipbase ( 610975 )
    I would if I will throw off inventory at Wal-Mart?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    These RFID tags are to help continue the tradition of identifying incomplete/decomposed bodies from dental records. They coincide with the new government issue head seeking bullets.
  • Yea, I think I'd take care of this asap.

    "I have no idea how my history keeps getting erased evry time you see me"
  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:21AM (#10620379)
    but once they start making fake teeth that can run Linux, you're all going to fight for the right to dream about having them in your mouth.

  • of 12 Monkeys? []

    Now we really will have to pull out our teeth so they can't find us. *sigh*

  • by Enigma_Man ( 756516 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:29AM (#10620455) Homepage
    The RFID tags are embedded in the _cast_ made of the teeth, in the manufacturing process, not in the actual fake teeth/toothwork itself! RTFA RTFS RTFAnything! Jeez.

    I don't think I've seen one post that understood this. The RFID is only used during the manufacturing process. The information about that RFID tag is given in a memory card to the customer at the end of the dental work. It probably contains information like when it was made, the tooth/teeth it pretains to, type of material used, etc, etc. Goddamnitreadthearticle.

    • Yeah I read some of the article but it's just not as funny if they aren't implanted in your teeth.
    • by YouHaveSnail ( 202852 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @12:29PM (#10621701)
      The RFID tags are embedded in the _cast_ made of the teeth, in the manufacturing process, not in the actual fake teeth/toothwork itself! RTFA RTFS RTFAnything! Jeez.

      Read the fine summary yourself. This part, in particular:

      The company is also studying the idea to put directly the tag inside the prosthesis.

      I don't know about you, but I see just the mere suggestion of implanting what amount to tracking devices in dental implants as terribly damaging to our society. People have been worried for decades about dental implants being used to track them. Sometimes they think the implants might be installed by the government, other times by aliens. These thoughts are generally paranoid delusions due perhaps to mental illness or conspiracy theories and poor education. But someday soon it might actually be a legitimate concern.

      Is there some reason that they can't just slap a bar coded sticker on the mold?
      • Let me try to explain this (now that noone will ever read this thread)

        1) A dentist takes an impression. sends it to the lab
        2) Lab takes the drs impression and fills it with "stone"-- either super hard plaster or some other such product-- to make a model
        3) Lab makes an impression off of first model, and creates another stone model off of that (to visually compare the resulting models, it allows them to see if there were any obvious problems with the original impression ****** THIS STEP IS WHERE THE RFID TA
  • > Maybe one day, [...], you'll also be the owner of
    > a deactivated RFID tag inside it.

    Maybe deactivated, maybe not. As a consumer, I don't like the idea.
  • It seems that this kind of news keeps appearing everywhere. I'm tired of this kind of publicity. Really, aren't these stories made up to create a hype around this technology? Everyone seems to be focused on pushing this to the market nowadays. It's like everyone wants to put an ID sticker in your passport, ID card, teeth, under the skin, clothes,... Enough already!

    I think we can do interesting things with RFID, but don't make use it, if I don't want to. Let's not give away too much tools to Big Brother!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Personally I find this a little hard to believe (and no, I haven't read the article - it's already /.'ed).

    My father works for a company that makes the casting materials used for making crowns & other dental stuff. As a result, I've had to listen to him explain the casting process in great detail many times.

    The process used is a lost-wax casting process - a wax model is made, then a ceramic mold is made from the wax model and the metal is poured into this mold. The problem with putting a RFID tag in
  • Anyone know of a school using RFID for student identification?
  • When they finally come for you and break down your door, and they are sweeping your house with their scanning devices and there you are hiding trembling in the cupboard, your false teeth will suddenly pipe up: "HEY! HE'S IN HERE! IN THE GODDAM CUPBOARD!"
  • by martin ( 1336 ) <maxsec@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:48AM (#10620658) Journal
    honest we deactivated it and aren't using them for tracking people.....honest.

    Great, so I'll have no choice in carrying an RFID around (de-activated or not).

    pass the soup :-)
  • would seem to be a better choice than RFID
    • Aside from that whole "bluetooth devices require an active power source" v/s "RFID tags are powered by the radio waves that scan for them" thing. I don't have a well-regulated 5v supply in my head with which to power a bluetooth device, but perhaps I'm in the minority here...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who is this person, and why must all of his submissions point to his weblog? He has submitted many articles to nanodot as well, for some reason.
  • Unlikely... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ajlitt ( 19055 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @11:03AM (#10620789)
    that the RFID could be included in the prosthesis. The first and second casts are made at relatively low temperatures. But the following step in making a porcelain bridge or crown (obviously these couldn't be embedded into metal and still work) involves a baking process for hardening the ceramic after grinding and for fixing the enamel layer. This is done at up to 1000 degrees C (again, depending on the materials), a temperature far above what most semiconductors can survive, even when inactive.

    Sadly, this is the first /. article that I can comment on using my experience designing porcelain furnaces.
    • Sadly, this is the first /. article that I can comment on using my experience designing porcelain furnaces.

      Perhaps, but it need not be the last. Indeed, I'd be interested in reading an article on designing and building a furnace or kiln, especially if it's something that I could do in my backyard if I somehow found a whole bunch of energy and time. There are a bunch of web sites that describe building small forges... a design for a high temperature kiln would be really interesting.
      • It's fairly easy. Make a cavity out of firebrick (IIRC, it's some sort of compacted gypsum, or whatever the inside walls of fire safes are made of). A cube with a removable front or top works ok, a cylinder or cylinder-like shape with flip-open top will radiate more uniformly. Find a wire with high melting point and a reasonable electrical resistance. You then need to find out the length of wire needed to wrap around the inside wall of the cavity that will radiate the desired amount of power at the vol
  • am I gonna de-activate this one if it's still active??? Sticking my head in the microwave won't work as you've got to close the door before the magnetron can power up...
    • Turn in your geek card, right now! If you don't know how to make your microwave work without closing the door (or haven't destroyed at least two microwaves attempting to do exactly that), you're outta the club.
  • by kirkjobsluder ( 520465 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @11:28AM (#10621001) Homepage
    Granted, the original post got some of the facts wrong, but the knee-jerk reactions here are bothering me.

    Having had more than my share of experiences within the health system lately, I'd gladly accept the risk of being bleeped by a yahoo on the street to reduce the very real risk of misdiagnosis in an emergency room. If I need to go into the emergency room, I want the team to know in less than a minute the make, model, and date of manufacture of any prosthetics I have implanted, cross-indexed with any reports of trouble with those specific prosthetics.

    Seriously folks, there are occasions when being able to instantly identify an object by waving a wand within 6 inchs is a good thing.
  • if it reduces the risk of getting the wrong set of dentures. I have some problems with RFID in passports (due to the possibility of thieves and terrorists abroad getting hold of a sensitive scanner and figuring out who's an American) but using RFID in the dental prosthetic production process makes perfect sense, as long as nothing dangerous leaks out of the prosthesis because of such.
  • I had two crowns fitted a few weeks ago in France, and I didn't get any RFID-card given to me... So I'm not sure how far ahead of reality this info is.

    (This post comes to you from an aging. French-resident /.er)
  • RFID tags are used all over the place. Any time you want good traceability of a process you need to put tracking numbers on or with the goods.
    Scanning is okay, but a bit trouble prone, RF tags are easy and less picky about the environment you're in.

    I'd bet that many of the items you already own used RFID tags, you just don't konw it.

  • The header of this fella's [] article is the same as groklaw []... is that a template or a blatant ripoff?
  • There's really not much call for that kind of dental work over this side of the pond..

    *british smile*
  • Yep, folks, that's it in a nutshell. Mostek purchased a few million ceramic boats for their new chip that will be used in some sort of RF transponder. They are packaged in the traditional white ceramic package for flatpacks licensed from Radiation Incorporated. They have been sent to a polishing tumbler and are very bright and shiney. If anyone knows of a potential use for these, they are available at a very low cost.
  • Great... now if terrorists want to find people with fake teeth to kill, they'll just need an RFID scanner.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.