Since developing a surgical robot, engineers across the globe have been pushing the limits of machines in medicine. This Chinese dental robot can perform implant surgery without any human assistance.
The implants were fitted to within a margin of error of 0.2-0.3mm, reaching the required standard for this kind of operation.
The robot addresses the shortage of dental technicians as well as frequent surgical errors. China imports roughly 1 million implants annually, which hardly satisfies the 400 million patients needing new teeth. The Fourth Military Medical University’s hospital takes care of 3D printing dentures.
[Dental staff] programmed the robot to move into the correct position to carry out the operation, and determined the movements, angle and depth needed to fit the new teeth inside a cavity in the patient’s mouth.
The robot adjusts to patients’ movement, which is definitely a plus. It also makes the experience a lot less intimidating, knowing your gums won’t be in for a prickly surprise. It seems surgeons are in for some serious competition.
The world of dentistry is now more futuristic than ever. Alternative treatments include some unexpected new contenders such as green tea extract and squid ink. Like all whitening and strengthening products, however, results take time — unless you’re working with this Swiss startup. Kapanu has created a dental augmented reality device that allows patients to “try on” their future smiles.
It works by matching a 3D scan of the person’s mouth cavity… to scans of known sets of good teeth… Once the software locks onto the user’s mouth and teeth, it overlays the improved teeth — and that’s where the fun starts.
Because the program is interactive, users can edit the spacing between teeth, as well as their shape. While the system may seem like a teeth-only version of The Sims, the fact that replacement teeth are molded down to every detail is mind-blowing.
Once the patient has customized their teeth and given them a preview in the AR “virtual mirror,” the final model is sent off for manufacture wherever it is replacement teeth are made.
Shown at the International Dental Show in Cologne, the dental augmented reality program immediately hit some marks for investors. As an independent operator, Kapanu has yet to lay down its terms for commercial use. In the meantime, I’ll remember to stay off the sweets.
There is a rare population of good samaritans willing to provide services for free. Among them are Pizza Hut, which delivered free pizzas to Hurricane Harvey victims, and Merkez restaurant, which offers free meals to the poor. Recently added to the list is Dr. Kenny Wilstead, who fixed a battered woman’s front tooth free of charge.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to wait for your tax returns. That’s next year. Let’s fix this right now,’” Dr. Wilstead recalled.
For nearly two years, Kyleigha Scott had been living with a broken front tooth. She had been assaulted by an ex-boyfriend, who continued to stalk her even after their relationship ended. A wisdom tooth infection prompted Scott to seek help from Wilstead, who insisted on going the whole nine yards.
“That 10 minutes that he took to give me what I thought I lost a long time ago back is the most indescribable, beautiful, joyful emotion,” Scott said. “I wish that I could come up with a new word for how I felt.”
The lucky lady will also receive a $20,000 smile reconstruction from Wilstead at no cost. If Scott isn’t grinning from ear to ear, you can bet I’m doing it for her!
When it comes to dental hygiene, being forgetful is not uncommon. Anyway, tooth sensitivity is now easily remedied with green tea extract. If you’re especially lazy, you can invest in an automatic toothbrush, which gets the job done in just 10 seconds. If your pearly whites aren’t faring too well, squid ink treatment is now apparently a thing.
Patients would start by rinsing their mouths with… food-grade squid ink, water and cornstarch. Capillary action would cause that liquid to be drawn up into any gum pockets they might have, and stay there even after the rinse has been spat out.
A light source such as a laser pulse or an LED would then be applied to the gums. This would cause light-absorbing melanin nanoparticles in the squid ink to heat up and expand, generating an acoustic signal.
The squid ink treatment would replace traditional gum disease detection procedures. This means au revoir to that horrifying stick-and-poke tool dentists shove in between your teeth. Formally, it’s known as a periodontal probe, which sounds just as scary as it actually is.
Researchers have successfully tested the technology on pig patients. Clinical trials are predicted to be soon — or at least until a newer, less salty mixture is in the works.
If there is one part of the body that we too often neglect, it’s our pearly whites. Forget to brush them? It’s not the end of the world. After all, they can now be 3D printed. But if you’d prefer to keep them, at least invest in an automatic toothbrush. Because treatment for aches and rotting can sometimes break the bank, doctors from Wuhan University are working on alternatives. Now, green tea extract can treat tooth sensitivity.
The compound is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC), and it is the most active polyphenol in green tea. Previous studies have shown that this compound can effectively battle S. mutans.
The scientists encapsulated this mix into so-called mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN).
To break it down, MSNs can effectively resist cavity-inducing acids and are superior in strength. They are the Justice League of dentin.
The material “significantly [inhibited] the formation and growth of S. mutans biofilm on the dentin surface,”
The application technique is called confocal laser scanning microscopy, which is just about as easy to say as that ridiculous town in Wales. All tongue twisters aside, we can show more enthusiasm for the green tea industry. Although I do remain on the fence about tea lattes from Starbucks.
Though a relatively young concept, 3D printing has become the biggest trend of the decade–from building furniture to human body parts, it seems the possibility of a 3D-printed anything could eventually be on the market. This is because 3D printing is exponentially cheaper than using traditional machinery.
While I wouldn’t mind 3D printing an entirely brand-new wardrobe (in fact, I’d probably love it), I’ve always been somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to artificial organs. Most recently, 3D printing has been incorporated in creating blood vessels for alternative root canal treatments.
The findings are expected to have impact on root canal treatments which currently involves removing the tooth’s infected pulp and replacing it with a substance known as gutta-percha. This thermoplastic material is similar to rubber and is used to fill the inside of the tooth but cannot restore function since it removes the blood vessels.
The new approach uses pre-vascularized pulp-like tissue to promote dental pulp regeneration and allow for a better long-term treatment.
In layman’s terms, it is now possible to engineer blood vessels into extracted teeth.
Fabrication of artificial blood vessels can be a highly effective strategy for fully regenerating the function of teeth.
The dental industry holds much promise for 3D printing, although not typically on a biomedical sphere, as some see the technology as the future of crown production.
The Dubai Dental Authority plans to begin 3D printing teeth by the end of the year.
Remember kids–brush three times a day!