Meet the robot used for dental drilling that can’t miss its mark

“The Yomi” is an FDA-cleared device that is used for dental implant procedures.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — Do you enjoy going to the dentist? Some people find going to the dentist to be scary because of the thought of the dental drill. What if the drill misses?

A dentist at Amelia Perfect Smile in Fernandina Beach gave First Coast News an up-close look at the first dental robot in Northeast Florida that guarantees that the drill won’t miss.

For some people, seeing a dental drill go into someone’s mouth is the beginning of a nightmare, but for Dr. John Bradley Hall, it’s cutting edge.

“The very first time I saw it I knew it was technology that had matured and was ready to be used,” said Dr. Hall.

“The Yomi” is a dental robot trained to drill precisely into a person’s jaw for dental implant procedures, and the Yomi knows where to drill.

“The implant drill, the robotic drill that I’m holding in my hand,” said Dr. Hall, “if the patient moves their head, the hand piece moves with it.”

The Yomi is the only FDA-cleared robotic dental surgical system in the United States, click here to read about its FDA approvals.

Yomi knows exactly where to go because of data from a CT Scan that’s loaded into the robot and read from a plate fixed in the patient’s mouth, which effectively gives the robot a roadmap of the patient’s jaw. But it’s not on autopilot.

“Once we get to a certain point in the mouth the implant drill can only go up and down, in and out, it can not move to the left or right, that’s what makes it so precise,” said Dr. Hall.

But what do patients think when they’re in the dental chair and the robotic arm starts moving toward their mouth?

“You get nervous because you’ve got this big arm coming towards your face,” said Jennifer Scroggin, who has had implant surgery with Yomi, “it was a little scary but I was good and confident with the doctor.”

Dr. Hall said aside from being more precise than freehand drilling, Yomi has also cut the time he needs to do dental implants in half.

“Once you’re in the surgery you’re not having to do other techniques to expose the bone like we once used to,” said Dr. Hall, which is welcome news to patients.

“I didn’t have to have an incision, so I knew I wouldn’t be having a lot of pain or discomfort,” said Scroggin.

You can read more about Yomi on the company’s website.

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