Intubation Guard


Dental injuries during intubations and trans-oral procedures, e.g. endoscopic surgeries, are the primary medico-legal issue for anaesthesiologists and hospitals. With 23 million intubations/year in the USA resulting in 500,000 dental injuries, the legal cost for hospitals and anaesthesiologists is on average $100,000/case. The result: a $50 billion liability. 

Any dental injury (crack, fracture, avulsion) often results in a dead tooth ten years down the road and, in turn, a dental implant is required. The American Dental Association (ADA) has calculated a life-time cost for a dental injury of $15,000-$20,000.

Currently, dental guards are available in every anaesthesia cart in the country, but are made of a relatively soft polymer (EVA) that does not resist any significant pressure. Furthermore, MDA’s and CRNA’s are reluctant to use these guards because of poor compliance and movement during intubations or surgical manipulations.



Introducing Intuguard™…An individually fitted guard that is ultra thin, but ultra strong at the same time. Made of a non-compressible thermoplastic polymer, Intuguard can be fit in minutes, either by the patient at home before surgery, or in pre-op by the staff. Intuguard is a simple, proven solution designed and engineered to protect their teeth in every intubation and surgical situation.

Intuguard™ is a patented solution that was developed at Akervall Technologies Inc., Saline MI, under a grant from the National Science Foundation by Dr. Jan Akervall M.D., Ph.D. (top 1% ENT physician in the USA) and Professor Johannes Schwank, Ph.D. (world-renowned chemical engineer at the University of Michigan).



Intuguard™ is the result of ATI’s industry-leading success in the prevention of dental injuries in sports (SISU™ Aero Nextgen) and Dr. Akervall’s legacy in trans-oral surgeries over the last two decades. The base criteria for a superior product were:

  1. Use of a thin, tough polymer that does not cave in or break.
  2. Simple, fast, individual custom fitting.
  3. Elimination of force transfer to teeth from instruments by force absorption (slits and perforations) and force dissipation (non-compressible polymer matrix).

Under the NSF SBIR Phase II grant, 25 Intuguard prototypes were carefully tested (the top 4 candidates are presented in the graph). Engineered to significantly decrease force with the use of dissipating slits and perforations (proven efficient in SISU™ sports guards), and designed with a palate extension to stabilise the guard during lateral force impact from instruments, Intuguard is revolutionising oral intubation protection.