Two 3D printed dental implants have been autonomously placed in the mouth of a volunteer patient by the world's first autonomous surgical robot.
According to experts, who witnessed the surgery, the implants were installed within a margin of error of 0.2-0.3 mm - which is in line with the precision standards required for such surgeries.
The implant surgery took place on September 16 in Xian, Shaanxi, and while human medical staff were present during the procedure, they did not participate during the operation - they had completed their work prior to the surgery.
Out of a population of some 400 million needing dental implants, only one million get it done every year in the country.
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Dr Zhao Yimin, who works at the hospital, told the newspaper the robot was created to carry out dental procedures and avoid mistakes made by human error.
Going to the dentist is a scary experience for many, but obviously not for the courageous person who volunteered to undergo oral surgery performed by a robot. The staff then programmed the robot to move into the correct position to carry out the procedure and determined the movements, angle, and depth necessary to fit the new teeth inside a cavity in the patient's mouth.
During the surgery, the robot performed flawlessly. The project took four years to implement and according to Dr. Zhao Yimin, the mainland's leading oral rehabilitation specialist, the robot illustrates the dentistry expertise and benefits of technology.
According to Engadget, the team tested the robot out before the actual surgery and collected data to make any necessary adjustments to the robot before the courageous volunteer was given a local anesthetic and the surgery began. With a new generation of robot dentists and dental 3D printing solutions, the country's mass toothache could soon be soothed. The Open Biomedical Initiative reported in 2015 that China's Guangzhou Nansha Additive Manufacturing Technology Research Institute had invented a method of efficiently SLA printing implants and bridges. 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. Just a few months ago, the US Food and Drug Administration approved of a robot assistant for dentists. Yomi's software is used to plan a procedure based on a patient's CT scan.