A robot has performed the first successful autonomous dental implant surgery in China, potentially changing the way dental surgery is conducted in the country from now on.
One woman bravely took her chances and willingly agreed to have a robot operate on her, which allowed health experts to see how a robot could perform efficiently. The woman got two of her teeth replaced with dental implants, Tech Times reports.
Before the procedure, the staff prepped the patient with position orientation equipment and programmed the robot to move into its correct position. This included the angle and depth the surgery required to fit two 3-D printed artificial teeth into the woman’s mouth. The team behind the operation also tested the robot’s movements and made adjustments before giving the woman an anesthetic and proceeding.
During the surgery, the robot performed flawlessly. It adjusted itself to the patient’s movements, and was able to complete the procedure without intervention from the medical staff who were monitoring. The robot completed the task with a 0.2 to 0.3 millimeter margin of error, which is within the standard for this kind of operation.
Dr. Zhao Yimin, leading oral rehabilitation specialist and professor at the Fourth Military Medical University’s affiliate, Stomatological Hospital, said,
The operation ran very smoothly.
The robot was developed by experts at the Beihang University in Beijing and the Fourth Military Medical University in Xian. Zhao said that the robot was created using a combination of technology and human dentists’ expertise.
A huge advantage robotic dental surgery has is its accuracy. Using a robot lessens the chances of human error, and the robot is able to move impeccably in the small space within the mouth – something that human dentists might have difficulties with.
An epidemiological survey showed that there are 400 million people in need of new teeth in China alone, with only 1 million implant surgeries carried out each year. The country has been having a shortage of qualified dentists, and the poor quality of operations leads to oral problems. Experts hope that by using this technology, this problem may be addressed.