How robotics grew in dentistry in 2022

The dental industry saw several developments in technology, with robotics being added to dental practices and innovations taking place to improve patient care. 

Here is a snapshot of how robotics grew in the industry this year: 

1. In December, Pound Ridge (N.Y.) Cosmetic Dentistry became the first dental clinic on the East Coast to acquire an emotional support robot to reduce anxiety in pediatric patients. The robot, named Robin, supports children undergoing medical treatments by analyzing and responding to emotions in real time. It can reduce anxiety in patients by interacting with conversations, games and simple explanations of procedures.

2. Dental robotics company Neocis received FDA 510(k) clearance for the use of its dental implant robot for bone reduction. The clearance, Neocis' second this year and 14th to date, allows providers to perform robot-guided bone reduction of the mandible and maxilla.

3. In October, Neocis secured $40 million in funding to further its advancements in robotics.

4. Several dentists debuted the Yomi robot at their practices, often being the first to use the robot in their respective regions and states.

5. Cyberdontics, a dental robotics company, raised $15 million in October for the development of a root canal robot. Cyberdontics plans to launch its imaging process within the next year and introduce the robot within the next two years, depending on regulator approval.

6. A study, published in April in the Journal of Dental Research, showed how two microrobotic platforms can access difficult-to-reach areas of the root canal to treat biofilms, deliver drugs and retrieve diagnostic samples. 

7. In July, a team at Philadelphia-based Penn Dental at the University of Pennsylvania created a robot that changes its shape to perform different oral health tasks. The robot can take the shape needed to perform tasks such as brushing, flossing and rinsing, which can be useful to people who lack manual dexterity.

8. Pedia_Roid, a robot developed by Japanese startup Tmsuk, began being used by pediatric dentists in Japan to teach them how to respond to medical emergencies. The lifelike child robot mimics behavior that a dentist may encounter during a visit such as fidgeting, clenching teeth and vomiting.

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