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Robot Performs First Ever Dental Surgery in China

The landmark surgery promises to change the future of the dentistry industry.

The first automated dental surgery recently took place in China. A robotic arm successfully implanted two 3D printed teeth into a woman’s mouth.

This latest innovative technology in healthcare can revolutionize the dentistry industry, especially in China where the mass shortage of dentists often leads to overworked dentists and errors in surgery. The automated system was developed by the Fourth Military Medical University’s Stomatological hospital, located in Xian, as well as the robotic institute of Beihang University situated in Beijing.

According to the South China Morning Post, two medical staff members were present during the procedure to monitor the automated arm. However, the staff did not assist but merely ensured that the surgery was carried out correctly. The surgery took place in Xian, Shaanxi, and lasted an hour.

Before the procedure, several pieces of equipment was positioned to be especially aligned and fitted to the patient’s dimensions. After this, the automated system scanned the patient’s jaw and skull with a CT scanner. After the scan, researchers could upload the information needed into the system to carry out a successful operation.

Some of the information required by the system includes certain angles, movements, and the depth of the implant. This is required to place the implants in the exact location. The teeth were correctly fitted within a margin of error of 0.2 – 0.3mm. However, this margin of error is standard even for human dentists. However, everyone involved in the procedure, including the patient herself, was thrilled with the results.

There is a video available of the procedure where one can also see the drills and equipment used.

This automated surgery is likely to change the dentistry industry in China.

Over 400 million people in China require dental implants on a yearly basis. Due to the extreme scarcity of available dentists, only one million of the estimated 400 million implants are performed each year. As desperation grows, many people turn to unqualified dentists, which often leads to serious health problems.

The country has slowly been turning to robots to help lighten the workload. Before this surgery, robots have started to assist dentists in root canals and other orthodontic procedures. Robots have also become important in training student dentists.

https://youtu.be/jQCHXSQz8dk

The idea for the first robotic dental system itself was created by Neocis, a company based in Florida. This system has been approved by the FDA and, like the Chinese version, uses a CT scanner to help plan the operation.

The robot, named Yomi, tracks the patient’s movements throughout the surgery, while simultaneously controlling the direction of the drill. The clinician is focused on the tissue itself. Yomi’s purpose is to ensure that the human dentist performs the surgery error free and with precision in terms of the location, depth, and orientation of the surgery.

The system is also able to allow for contingencies and can change its plan. It anticipates the fact that things may go wrong and adjusts its surgery plan accordingly.

The first model was sold to the South Florida Centre for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry in March.

According to Dr. Ganeles, a doctor at the center, adopting the latest technology is crucial to providing the very best patient care. He continued that Yomi, and other models likely to be developed in the future, is a game changer for their practice, but also for the dentistry industry in general.

Ali Raza
Ali Raza
Ali Raza is a freelance journalist with extensive experience in marketing and management. He holds a master degree and actively writes about crybersecurity, cryptocurrencies, and technology in general. Raza is the co-founder of SpyAdvice.com, too, a site dedicated to educating people on online privacy and spying.

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