Medical Robotics

Will Robots Replace your Dentist?

Posted 22 Apr 2005 at 00:23 UTC by steve Share This

A New Scientist article says the first robotic dental drilling procedures are about to be tested on human patients in the US and Europe. The article says this "could represent the first step towards more automated dental procedures". The system combines CT imagery with hardware that clamps onto the patient's jaw and guides the dentist's drill. It's called ILS and was designed by Tactile Technologies of Israel specifically to automate the task of installing dental implants. The automated procedure is said to be faster and less painful for the patients. Using the robot drill, implant procedures could be done by any general practitioner instead of requiring an expert. For the curious, the actual FDA approval (PFD format) is available online.

I dunno about you..., posted 22 Apr 2005 at 05:10 UTC by tim.holt » (Journeyer)

...but I want someone else to go first :^)

Robo surgery, posted 22 Apr 2005 at 19:06 UTC by motters » (Master)

Sounds rather grusome, but ultimately I think a lot of surgery will be carried out in a similar way - perhaps even with the practitioner operating the robot remotely via the internet. Eventually some forms of surgery could be fully automated I think.

Bed side manner?, posted 28 Apr 2005 at 13:42 UTC by roschler » (Master)

Will it try and make bad jokes with a creepy text-to-speech voice, to put you at ease? :)

Toothless grin., posted 3 May 2005 at 15:20 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

I'm having a root canal thingy drilled this week :(

Of course, the real difference is that a robot dentist won't actually have teeth. The thing that has always upset me about dentists is the way that they try to make you feel guilty if you haven't looked after your teeth properly. As if it isn't punishment enough that they're drilling holes in your head! Hopefully Robo-dentists will eschew this emotional blackmail.

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