Yo-yos, matchbox cars, dolls and tin robots - they’re all classic toys, but one of them could soon be changing the way we practice dentistry. Today’s robots do way more than the robot toys of yesteryear - today we use robots for everything from cleaning floors to diffusing bombs - but a new wave of robots could soon help care for your oral health.
Socially Assistive Robots
A program at the University of Southern California is exploring the option of robots helping patients with special needs care for their oral hygiene at home. Ideal for persons who have experienced stroke, traumatic brain injury, autism and dementia, these assistive robots can be used to encourage patients to care for their teeth independently. The use of robots would be in lieu of using a home-health aide or therapist to motivate the patient to care for themselves, something that researchers at USC have noticed many patients with these conditions are not always inspired to do without encouragement.
Earlier this year, a Florida-based company called Neocis was granted FDA approval for a robot called Yomi, which is designed to perform dental surgery on human patients. Yomi uses results from the patient’s CT scan to map out a surgical procedure and then conducts the surgery with the assistance of a doctor. Yomi also monitors the patient and controls the direction of the equipment used in the surgery. It even allows for adjustments to the original surgery plan if complications or challenges arise during the procedure.
Though the Simroid robot won’t be operating on you or convincing you to floss, it could still benefit you indirectly someday. The Simroid was invented in Japan to simulate a living, human dental patient. Designed for use in dental schools, the Simroid has teeth with sensors that "feel" pain when students touch their virtual nerves, to simulate an authentic dental procedure instead of performing procedures on human subjects.
The CEREC robotic crown system uses robots to custom-make dental crowns right in the office using robotic technology. Gone are the days of waiting two weeks for a crown to be delivered, all the while wearing an uncomfortable temporary crown that may or may not pop off while you’re waiting. CEREC crowns even eliminate the need for that awkward, gooey material used to take an impression of the teeth, and CEREC crowns can be ready to wear within about two hours, so your entire procedure is done in one visit. No return appointments, no extra time off from work.
Dr. Lederman is already using the CEREC robotic crown system in his office. If you are interested in learning more about CEREC and what it can do for you, please give Dr. Lederman’s office a call today at 516-882-1764.