This past Saturday a Chinese dental clinic announced that in a one-hour procedure, a robot, carried out the first successful autonomous implant surgery by installing two implants into woman's mouth. China is facing a shortage of qualified dentists in its mainland, and this robotic surgeon is seen as a possible solution to the problem.
The bot, developed by researchers from Beihang University in Beijing and the Fourth Military Medical University's Stomatological Hospital, was oriented with the head and mouth of the patient and fed with a series of commands - movement, angles, and depth required for accurate placement - before the surgery. And this particular techno tooth fitter is already up to speed, reportedly implanting the 3D printed teeth with a margin of error of just 0.2-0.3 mm-no worse than the average human surgeon. No human took an active role in the surgery, according to a local report. Approximately, one million implants are carried out in China every year and poor quality of the surgery can cause further issues, discomfort, and problems.
According to The South China Morning Post, the September 16 procedure marked the first fully autonomous dental implant surgery ever performed. Sometimes when people can't get dental surgery, they'll visit individuals who are not qualified to perform dental work, causing themselves more harm.
Data from the test was used to make adjustments before the operation was carried out.
What do you think about the idea of a robot dentist - would you ever volunteer for a surgery like this?
While the exact details of the operation in China are still awaited, this news still begs question if robotic-assisted implant surgery will soon become a reality? Zhao said that the robot was created using a combination of technology and human dentists' expertise.
China reportedly has around 400 million patients awaiting new teeth. The AI was not only capable of implanting the teeth, it was also able to respond to the patient's natural movements and adjust its position accordingly.
This guidance system, consisting of a 3D printed frame and several markers, helped the robot understand where each part of the patient's mouth was, and was put together with the help of a CT scan of the patient's mouth.