TOWNE LAKE — A Woodstock dental surgeon is the first in the state using a new robotic surgical system that he says helps him more accurately implant teeth.
Dr. Bruce Fink at New Foundation Dental Implant Centers is the first in Georgia using the first Food and Drug Administration-cleared robotic surgical system in the U.S., called the “Yomi.”
“I think the robot has allowed me to become more precise — (the implant) goes right where I need it to,” Fink said. “I’ve been doing dental implant surgery for 20 years and in that time, I’ve only used two surgical guides — I don’t think they work that well. But I like the preciseness of this — it allows me to achieve the highest level of perfection I can get because it won’t allow you to deviate from where the implant needs to go, which is super critical.”
The Yomi Robotic Dental System by Neocis assists Fink at his practice by working like a GPS mapping system for him prior to and during the implant surgery. The Yomi enables the doctor to map out and customize a treatment plan for each of his patients. It also monitors any movements by the patient during the procedure. When the patient moves their head, the robot adjusts itself to ensure that the pre-measured angles, depth and cutting position remain while Fink performs the treatment with the robotic arm.
“I’m the first doctor in the state of Georgia to use it and I’ve had it since April — I’ve placed close to 200 implants with it since then,” Fink said Nov. 10. “We have just the one right now, which I got through a friend who does dental implants in Texas.”
During the planning stage, the software provides a visual of a virtual implant at the desired location of the patient on the scan provided and creates a plan that is then used by the guidance system to provide both visual and audible feedback for the dentist during preparation for implant procedure. With this system, dentists are able to accurately highlight the location of and avoid interfering with important anatomical structures, like the alveolar nerve.
The system has a robotic arm that, once the treatment plan is mapped out, provides physical guidance to the surgeon. The doctor controls the arm, which has a surgical instrument attached, while the arm helps to guide Dr. Fink’s hand, ensuring he doesn’t deviate from the plan.
As the procedure is taking place, Fink and his assistants can look at live monitors of the procedure, showing the movement of the drill and arm trajectory. The monitors also show how far to drill.
With this technology, implant procedures are now done in one sitting instead of weeks, Fink said, and patients are also able to resume their normal daily activities without any downtime or discomfort.
“If I have a young dentist in one of our other offices that wants to do implant surgery, I will steer them to have the robot be their aid in surgery because of their inexperience, but also because of how it’s allowed me to be better,” he said. “My wife asked me the other day, ‘What did the robot do today — did it make you better?’ I told her ‘No, it made me perfect.’ I’m not saying that to be boastful. I’m saying that this robot helps any doctor be about as perfect as possible.”
The Yomi Robotic Dental System was FDA cleared as the first and only robot-assisted dental surgical system for single tooth implant in 2017 and received FDA clearance for full arch implant treatment in 2020. It is still the only FDA-cleared robot-assisted dental surgical system.
New Foundation Dental Implant Centers is located at 1816 Eagle Drive, Suite 200A near Woodstock.