Chicken-Fried News: Dr. Roboto 

click to enlarge INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

A new high-tech way to go to the dentist is here, and it will either terrify you or encourage you to finally visit your dentist. Oral Surgery Specialists of Oklahoma has one of the country’s first “robotic dentists” for dental implant surgery.

“[Yomi Robotic Dental System] delivers critical insight on patient anatomy to aid with personalized surgical planning,” according to Neocis, the robotics health-care startup behind the robot.

Doctors first take a 3D model of the patient’s teeth and upload it to the software. Then they use a “virtual surgical treatment planning program” to place the dental implant in the exact location, according to KFOR. Officials say it makes procedures more “precise, efficient and minimally invasive.”

The latter benefit, while probably surgically true, seems a bit ironic given the fact that the “robot” is a big robotic arm digging around your mouth. But either way, Oklahoma’s first patient Elizabeth Bolen told KFOR she was actually excited to go to the dentist.

“Just looking at the benefits of a robotic machine was amazing,” she said. “I didn’t even second-guess it.”

Unlike Bolen, some people would, understandably, be scared to let a robot assist with a dental implant. Some would probably even wave their fists in the air and complain about job-stealing robots. But neither should worry too much because a surgeon is always in control of the robot.

That is until the robots develop complex emotions and start pulling out everybody’s teeth in an attempt to take over the human race. But that probably won’t happen for a few years in, so we should be good for a bit.

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