Drilling into the future of robot-assisted dentistry

With not even a fraction of a millimeter to spare, Jonathan Ross centered in on his surgical site and was able to successfully complete a dental implant with the help of new robotic technology.

Developed by Miami-based robotics healthcare startup Neocis, the Yomi Robotic Dental System markets itself as the first and only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared robotic device for dental implant surgery.

While surgical robotics have been available in the healthcare setting for many years, they have taken longer to reach the dental space.

Ross, of Ross Periodontics and Dental Implants (which has locations in Mayfield Heights and Willoughby), said he imagined robotics would come to dentistry “eventually” but didn’t realize there was a commercially available device until earlier this year.

“I was intrigued by it but didn’t just jump on in,” he said. “I mean, as you can imagine, this technology is expensive to implement in the office. But the more I thought of it, I kind of saw that Yomi was meeting me at kind of the intersection of what my goals are for dentistry, for implant dentistry and the changing technology.”

In May, Ross became the first and only provider in Ohio to adopt the technology.

Yomi enables a surgeon to plan a dental implant procedure based on imaging of the patient. Using anatomical references, the surgeon can map out a procedure, planning around the nerve or other teeth or the sinus. Once the plan is set, the robot arm assists the surgeon during the procedure. It doesn’t act autonomously, but instead will physically resist motion outside the bounds of the planned procedure. A screen shows the surgeon where they are at all times.

“It’s very much like a lane-assist for a car; it’s going to keep you exactly where you want to be,” said Alon Mozes, CEO and co-founder of Neocis.

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