Dental Robotics

Robotics is a disruptive technology that will change diagnostics and treatment protocols in dental medicine. Robots can perform repeated workflows for an indefinite length of time while enhancing the overall quality and quantity of patient care. Early robots required a human operator, but robotic systems have advanced significantly over the past decade, and the latest medical robots can perform patient intervention or remote monitoring autonomously. However, little research data on the therapeutic reliability and precision of autonomous robots are available. The present paper reviews the promise and practice of robots in dentistry by evaluating published work on commercial robot systems in dental implantology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthetic and restorative dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, oral radiology as well as dental education. In conclusion, this review critically addresses the current limitations of dental robotics and anticipates the potential future impact on oral healthcare and the dental profession.

Robots are not used as extensively in dentistry as in medicine. Dentistry employs a few manual robotic systems that are managed manually via the control interface of the computer. Manual robots can provide safer and more accurate drilling than traditional dentistry. Progress is being made towards autonomous robots in implant dentistry, but the few promising robotic systems are not yet available to dentists. High acquisition cost and innate intricacy of the robotic hardware and methods must be overcome before robots will become commonplace in dental practice.

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