Updated: Feb 24
China’s chronic shortage of dentists may be answered by an unexpected source. A robot has carried out a dental operation without help from humans for the first time, carrying out implant surgery on a patient in China. Although medical staff were present during the one-hour surgery in Xian, Shaanxi province, they did not play an active role. Two new teeth, created by 3D printing, were successfully implanted into a woman’s mouth, the South China Morning Post reported. The robot was developed by Beihang University in Beijing and the Fourth Military Medical University’s Stomatological Hospital. Dr Zhao Yimin, who works at the hospital, told the newspaper the robot was designed to carry out dental procedures and avoid mistakes made by human error. According to the report, the robot followed a set of pre-programmed commands to install the dental implants but was also able to adjust for the woman’s movement. Experts said that the implants were fitted within a margin of error of 0.2-0.3 mm, matching the human standards required for this type of procedure.