First ever Dental Implant Operation Completed by a Robot with No Human Intervention

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In a major leap forward for robotics, a specially designed robot has carried out a dental implant operation for the first time without direct human intervention in China, fitting implants and two new teeth, created using 3D printing techniques.

Whilst dental staff was present during the one hour procedure, they did not play an active role.

The procedure took place in Xian, Shaanxi province whilst the robot in question was developed by Beihang University in Beijing in conjunction with the Stomatological Hospital at Fourth Military Medical University.

The robot, according to Dr Zhao Yimin, followed a set of pre-programmed processes to fit the implants, however was able to adjust the process as the woman moved, to avoid injury and ensure an accurate procedure. The resulting implants were fitted within a margin of error of between 0.2 and 0.3mm, the required standard for a Dental Implants operation

The robot is a potential solution to a major shortage of high quality dentists in China. The South China Morning Post noted a survey that reports that over 400 million patients (29% of the population) need new teeth, but a mix of a limited number of dentists and the poor quality of the dental surgery patients can face have caused issues of supply of dentistry in China.

Given the complexities of working in a space as small as the mouth, the use of robots to assist dentists during dentistry could help avoid issues, although currently research is still being done as to the safety of operations completed by robots.

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