In September 2017 a dental clinic in China performed the first successful autonomous implant surgery. The “robot” installed two dental implants into a human woman’s mouth. You can read more about it and see a video here. Staff were still present during the surgery but they were not actively involved.
Wow. How would you feel if a robot was working on your mouth? Would it comfort you to know that hundreds and hundreds of hours of work and many years went in to the creation of this robot? Would it comfort you to know that a qualified dentist is in the room during the whole robotic procedure?
What Does This Mean?
Of all countries, China seems to have a need of a robot who can help with and/or perform dental procedures. They have a huge shortage of dentists, who are qualified, who can place dental implants. According to the article there are about 400 million people in China who need new teeth but there aren’t nearly that many dentists who could meet this need.
How Does it Work?
The video explains that the procedure starts with a CT Scan of the patient. The implant surgeon then plans out the surgery and takes in to account where nerves and other obstacles are. The robot can restrain its movement to match the plan that the surgeon layed out. Once the plan is in place the robot can assist the surgeon in real time. The plan can also be changed at any time the surgeon sees a need. This approach can lead to less pain for the patient and less recovery time.
Will Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale Have It?
How confident would you be to have this robot working on you? What about your child? What kinds of things would you need to see or have in place before having a robot work inside your mouth? The procedure that was performed consisted of implants and were fitted inside the woman’s mouth within a margin of error of 0.2-0.3mm. Is that good enough proof and accuracy?
All the details of the surgery performed in China are still not fully clear. However this is something that very possibly could become a reality. What benefits would this robot bring? What are the downsides? Surely a robot can’t be tired or lose focus and they certainly can’t have bad days the way humans can. But it also depends upon the programming of the surgeon. Will you be seeing robot assisted dental implants in Westchester? This could be our future and we look forward to seeing it unfold and learning more about it.