Innovations in Dentistry: Navigational Surgery, Robotics, and Nanotechnology


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** Note to Readers: With more than a few ‘dental people connections’ in the family, please indulge us this ‘nano-departure’ from our normal Posts on Renewable Energy (Green Hydrogen, Nano-Enhanced Battery Materials & Storage), Nano-Bio Medicine (Nano-Enhanced Cancer Research & Treatment) and Water Treatment (Nano-Enhanced Membranes and Nanoparticles). We hope you can “sink your teeth” into these amazing advances in Technology making our lives a little better. – Team GNT

A Dental Story

Reggie falls and loses two of his teeth. He soon finds it difficult to chew correctly and realizes he might visit the dentist for implants. Coincidentally, his grandmother had to get implants years ago. He remembers how they had to take multiple visits to the dentist and how long it took to fix her smile. Ultimately, Reggie gets discouraged and postpones his visit to the dentist.

This story typically depicts one of the drawbacks of traditional dental procedures, which has been corrected by technological advancements in dentistry over the years. Most dental experts today, like the dentist Steven Shapiro, DMD attests to the benefits of advanced technology such as nanotechnology and robotics in dental surgeries and procedures.

It has also been established that, because of these innovations, there is higher accuracy in surgeries, reducing the risk of complications which is a big win for the dental industry today. This is not to mention the increased convenience for the patient. So, Reggie might not have to wait that long to get his dental implants anymore.

Here are some of the technology innovations that have rocked the world of dentistry over the years.

Navigational dentistry

Navigation surgery in dental procedures is associated with better accuracy, improved reliability, and convenience. These techniques are often linked with imaging systems like cone-beam computed tomography. This ensures better safety as compared with conventional dental procedures. There’s also a generally reduced failure rate, especially for dental implants, since less invasive methods are used. Therefore, there’s an increased success rate of such surgeries and fewer major complications.

Robotics-assisted dental surgeries

Advanced artificial intelligence in robotics is now used in navigational surgery for many dental procedures such as implant treatment periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, and so much more. Increased precision and better dental care are made available using robotics over traditional freehand techniques. Dental clinicians can also use artificial intelligence to create new methods of diagnosing and treatment.

Complications of traditional implant surgery vs use of robotics

Several things could go wrong during implant surgery. These include:

  • Injuries are caused by incision or perforation of the lingual plate, inferior border, inferior alveolar canal, and so on;
  • Tissue necrosis or death;
  • Implant Dehiscence defect; and
  • Damage to a nerve.

The above kinds of injury can cause complications and severe infections. Other factors can lead to complications such as lack of adequate dental expertise, patient-related or underlying conditions, and implant location.

A surgical guide should help the dentist navigate during traditional dental surgeries, but there could be specific errors, such as fitting and angulation. With robotics, the clinician can change direction during the implant procedure, unlike surgical guides, which don’t allow any adjustments. Other benefits of using robotics in surgical implant treatment are:

  • Imaging during the preoperative phase to enable the dentist properly views the anatomical features.
  • It hands over control to the dentist after its job is done.
  • It makes use of sensory feedback for correct angulation and positioning.
  • It provides navigational guidance to the dental clinician.
  • It is more convenient for the patient.

Use of microrobots

Microrobots can be used in endodontic therapy. In this procedure, the microrobot is placed on the tooth. It carries out the root canal procedure, including cleaning and drilling, to reduce errors and improve the reliability of the process.

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is simply the branch of engineering and technology concerned with building and designing nanobots. These nanobots are tiny machines that can interact with specific cells in the body. This interaction can lead to changes in treatment delivery and overall therapeutic effect.

Nano dentistry is the application of nanotechnology in the field of dentistry. Due to its small size(nanometers), it is used at the cellular or molecular level to manage all complicated cases and reduce the failure rate of dental procedures. Nanotech is used in restorative surgeries, periodontics, bone replacement, and drug delivery.

More beneficial than conventional methods

In summary, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology are more beneficial than conventional methods but are slowly used in dentistry compared to other areas of medicine. Dentists must play a massive role in adopting these techniques and increasing their knowledge about these technological advancements.

Since the goal of patient care is optimum treatment, tech advancements have been proven to provide a better quality of treatment and are worth giving a shot. Conventional dental procedures are time-consuming and are also largely inconvenient.

Still, technology can take all these disadvantages away by saving time, improving precision and accuracy, improving reliability, reduce complications and failure rates for dental procedures.

Please leave us your comments and any suggestions. Thanks! Administrator at GNT

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