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  • Tony

Modern Advances in Dentistry: MMIs

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

  1. Robots

  2. Regrowing teeth

  3. Lasers


  • There are some really good articles about robots and AI in dentistry- search this up on Google Scholar

  • Surgical robots have been available for many years but took longer to reach dentistry

  • In 2019, a robot in China implanted two new 3D printed teeth in a patient without any human intervention

  • Yomi, the first and only FDA-cleared robot assisted dental surgery system has performed over 1000 implants with the aid of dentists (or rather aiding the dentist).

The robot arm can physically resist motion outside the bounds of a preplanned procedure

Acts like a lane assist in a care

Problems with this include unforeseen problems and the need to adapt on the fly

  • Robots are also used for more accurate diagnosis- such as predicting cases of MRONJ.

  • The idea is not for robots to replace dentists, but to complement their experience in reaching a new level of accuracy and better patient care

  • Robots can focus for longer, ignore the lack of an ergonomic work environment as well as mental and physical overload.

  • There are many applications for robots in dental education

  • However, there are still imitations in technology and robots are not economically viable to become mainstream.

  • Another problem is that patient compliance and acceptance with robots being involved in a procedure decreases as the procedure becomes more invasive.

Regrowing teeth

  • The dental pulp contains stem cells which can be stimulated to regrow dentin and act as a filling.

Tooth banks can be created from baby teeth that fall out naturally

This is a better to harvest stem cells compared to from bone marrow or blood.

  • In an ideal world, teeth could be stimulated to regenerate.

KCL has managed to do this with mice

Ethical issues with doing this in people

Also has managed to stimulate stem cells using an Alzheimer's drug in 2017

  • Currently we can 3D print teeth

  • In 2019, scientists in China created a gel that allowed enamel to repair itself within 48 hours

But the enamel was 400x thinner than regular enamel



  • Reshape gums and remove bacteria during root canal

  • Removing decay

  • Cauterising wounds

  • Tooth whitening (peroxide bleaching solution)

  • Biopsies

  • Alternative to drills which can be anxiety inducing

  • Can induce less pain

  • May have shorter recovery times for patients

  • Local anaesthetic is usually not required


  • Can't be used for fillings already in place

  • Not always an alternative for traditional drills

  • Anaesthetic may still be required

  • Expensive

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