A robot in China performed dental surgery on a living person

Going to the dentist is a scary experience for many, but obviously not for the brave person who volunteered to undergo oral surgery performed by a robot. The procedure took place in China, where the robotic dentist successfully implanted a pair of teeth into patient's mouth. No human took an active role in the surgery, according to a local report.

The oral surgery happened in Xian, Shaanxi, and took an hour. China is facing a shortage of qualified dentists in its mainland, and this robotic surgeon is seen as a possible solution to the problem. The machinery was developed by Beihang University and Fourth Military Medical University.

The procedure involved creating two false implantable teeth using 3D printing. Those teeth were then implanted into the patient's mouth with a margin of error of only 0.2-0.3mm, which is said to be standard with human surgeons. The robot also presents some benefits over human surgeons.

One benefit is being able to better maneuver in the small space in the patient's mouth; as well, humans have lower visibility and this can make the procedure difficult. While the robot did the actual surgery, humans first had to set the procedure up.

This involved putting positioning hardware on the patient, then setting up the robot so that it would be correctly positioned. The robot, after testing to make sure everything was correct, was able to drill the cavities for the implants.

SOURCE: South China Morning Post