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The future of dentistry? Robot Assists Procedures at Virginia Beach Clinic – The Virginian-Pilot

Virginia Beach real estate agent Melissa Ly said she was excited to go to the dentist in June. Although she had had a dental implant, it was the first time she had performed the procedure in which the doctor was assisted by a robot.

“I love technology,” she said.

The semi-autonomous robot, called YOMI from Miami-based Neocis Inc., is the first device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to perform such procedures and remains the only such device approved for use. It works similarly to a GPS system, according to Dr. Geoffrey Schreiber of the East Virginia Office of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Virginia Beach, and Neocis.

The Virginia Beach dental clinic has been using the YOMI machine since 2019, and Schreiber said it’s been a valuable tool that patients love.

It’s a good thing, because it seems to be part of the future of dentistry.

In the future, automation could also address a significant unmet need in dentistry – prosthetics and restoration, according to a medical journal from May 2021 paper.

New technology for prosthetics and dental restoration could help make dentures for about 113 million Americans who have at least one missing tooth and about 19 million Americans who have no teeth, according to the article. .

According to a report released Thursday by Global Market Insights, a market research and advisory agency. The agency expects this growth as populations age in Europe and America and more people are born with dental disorders.

“Research on robots in prosthetic dentistry would be a breakthrough, as well as a technical and theoretical innovation,” the journal said. “Its successful operation would not only accomplish the quantification of partial or complete denture, but would also contribute to the progress of prosthetic dentistry.”

Today, the YOMI machine takes information from scanning a patient’s mouth before the procedure and provides a visual model to dental providers.

“Before that, we were doing implants with 3D-printed guides, which are precise, but you can’t change the plan, like you can in a YOMI, in the middle of an operation,” Schreiber said.

It also helps dentists avoid any risk of approaching the nerve during an implant procedure, and it minimizes pain for the patient after the procedure, according to Schreiber.

“In the past, we used to make big incisions to see the bone where you were placing the implant,” he said. “Now we can essentially do it flapless – which means we don’t have to lift a big flap of gum tissue and we can place the implants.”

The machine also keeps track of a patient’s movements to ensure the arm will adjust to always be in the right place, Schreiber demonstrated.

The arm, however, does not move on its own despite his constant feedback and assistance to the doctor.

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“We’re still in control,” Schreiber said. “It’s like a guiding hand.”

All this means that sometimes in the same day, dentists can remove a tooth, place an implant and fix a crown compared to the traditional method which requires weeks or even months of waiting after the removal of the tooth to ensure the socket is healed.

Although YOMI’s robots were the first to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration a few years ago, the basis of the technology dates back to the mid-1980s, according to Robotics in Dental Implantology, a medical paper 2019 written by Chinese dental professionals.

The engineering was developed by NASA for use on astronauts in space and soldiers on the battlefield, according to the newspaper. After a robot for minimally invasive abdominal surgery was approved by the FDA in 2000, tech companies developed machines to help perform various procedures over the years, according to the article.

In 2017, a fully automated dental implant device was created in China, and another similar machine was created in the same year by the Fourth Military Medical University Hospital and Peking University to ensure soldiers could obtain dental care despite the shortage of qualified personnel. medical staff, according to the 2021 document.

Although YOMI’s machines can cost between $160,000 and $200,000, the price of the procedure at Eastern Virginia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has not changed as the practice is able to expedite dental visits using technology. and perform more procedures for more patients.

“The main benefit is for the patient,” Schrieber said.