For decades, science fiction movies and television shows have theorized about what the world would be like if robots – artificially intelligent machines that mimic humans – ran the world. Though thus far these scenarios seem to be far beyond the realm of possibility, robots are doing more than ever before. In fact, they’re even assisting with oral health. Here are some examples!
A recent World Oral Health Day celebration in India used chatbot robots to communicate with Indian patients who identified as having sensitive teeth. The chatbots were sponsored by Google and toothpaste brand Sensodyne. They interacted with chat users, recommending products and procedures based on their conversation. At the end of each conversation the robots offered their chat participant dental referrals and a discount on oral health services to address the issues discussed.
A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine and School of Engineering and Applied Science developed two different types of microscopic robots designed to provide the same kind of cleaning you get at the dentist’s office. One set of robots is said to clean the outward-facing and occlusal surfaces of the teeth, and the other is designed to go into the tight spaces between teeth.
Robot Root Canals
Micro-endodontic robots can perform root canals on teeth. These robots can be more precise and access areas that human endodontists may struggle to access.
Surgical robots are already being deployed in oral surgery. Currently, they can be used to drill holes, make cuts during osteotomies, plan orthognathic surgery, select osteosynthesis plates and mill bone surfaces.
SIMROID robots are robots that are used for dental training purposes. SIMROIDS are used in dental schools in Japan in place of human training subjects. They are so smart they are equipped with sensors that “feel” pain and can notify the student when they are being too rough or causing discomfort!
Send in the Crowns
Royalty aren’t the only ones who need crowns – dental crowns are common among many patients! Unfortunately they can sometimes take weeks to manufacture. That’s where 3D printing steps in. New technology has begun to allow dentists to 3D print dental crowns right at their office in just a few hours!
Bottom line: Don’t fear robots or artificial intelligence designed to make oral health easier and more comfortable. They’re here to help!
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call 858-866-9692.