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Yomi, oh my! A local dentist is the world’s first to use a robot assistant

State College has first robot in dentistry

Dr. Eddie Kotary of Advanced Dentistry in State College shares his excitement about the YOMI, the only FDA-approved robot to assist in dental surgery.
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Dr. Eddie Kotary of Advanced Dentistry in State College shares his excitement about the YOMI, the only FDA-approved robot to assist in dental surgery.

The future of dental implantation has arrived and Dr. Eddie Kotary of State College is a pioneer of this new technology. Kotary is the first general dentist in the world to have a robotic dental assistant in his office.

Yomi is an FDA-approved robotic assistant that serves as a guide during dental implantation.

Now, you may be thinking, “Would I really trust a robot operating in my mouth?” You don’t have to worry about that.

“A common misconception among patients is that the robot does the surgery,” Kotary said, “I still perform the surgery and the machine helps to guide my direction.”

Yomi is the creation of a Miami-based company called Neocis. This machine has innovated the world of dentistry, specifically with implantation. Yomi has made dental implantation less invasive, less costly and more precise. This machine is able to study a CT scan of a patient’s mouth and format itself to know exactly where an implant needs to be placed within 0.2 mm of accuracy.

While some of Kotary’s patients were hesitant about a robot working on their teeth, he assured them he’s in charge, and he’s now completed 10 dental implantation surgeries with the assistance of Yomi, and all have been successful.

Kotary described the machine as being “2 robots in one.” Yomi has a robotic arm and patient tracker.

So there are no worries about being restrained by any scary equipment. The machine allows the patient to have free range of motion with their head because Yomi is able to use the CT scan to track exactly where the arm needs to go based on the position of the patient’s mouth.

Kotary likes to compare the technology to a Tesla car. “The two technologies are very similar,” he said. “The car does not drive for you, it just lets you know when you’re not within the lines on the road and guides you back to where you need to be, which is essentially what Yomi does during surgery.”

Not only does the use of Yomi help to lessen the duration of recovery, it also lessens the overall cost of an implant by about $500.

Before the use of Yomi, Kotary would need to pull the gum tissue back in order to see a patient’s jaw bone so he could have a general idea of where the implant needed to be placed. This resulted in a long recovery period and the need for stitches.

Now, the annoying stitches and sharp scalpel are removed from the equation. Yomi knows exactly where the bone is, so Kotary no longer needs to pull back the gum tissue before surgery. This ensures faster healing for the patient and eliminates the previous guesswork.

All in all, the addition of Yomi has only added five minutes to the already short procedure of dental implantation; the total time frame is about an hour and five minutes.

While the machine is revolutionary in dental implantation, it does not come at a low cost. “Yomi costs about as much as a house,” said Kotary, “but to me it is worth it because it is incredibly accurate and it helps to make me a better doctor.”

The training to use the technology lasts about a week. Neosis sent a five-person team who stayed for a week and were responsible for training the entire staff.

“This team was incredibly great to work with and they ensured that if there were any issues they would be happy to overnight parts as well as a technician to fix the problem,” Kotary said.

He is thrilled about the opportunity to work with this cutting-edge technology. “I was so excited about this opportunity because it makes me a better doctor,” he said. “It helps me to perform a less invasive procedure in a more efficient manner.”