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Florida startup aims to make robot to perform dental implants

In the world of medical robotics, Intuitive Surgical still rules supreme, but others are either challenging its hegemony or looking at expanding robotic applications overall.

In the latter group falls Neocis, a Miami startup that wants to bring its Yomi robotic system to bear upon the field of dental implant procedures.

In May, the company won the medical devices track of the MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect competition in Chicago, that was judged by Renee Ryan, vice president, venture investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Erik Halvorsen, director, TMC Innovation Institute and the TMCx accelerator, and Michael Wasserman, managing director, H.I.G. BioHealth Partners. The Yomi robot won clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in March.

In a recent interview, the startup’s co-founder & CEO Alon Mozes said that Neocis’ robot-guided system is an improvement over the plastic guides that surgeons tend to use during minimally-invasive dental implant surgery.

“Oftentimes the surgeon will be drilling and they’ll see that the bone density it not what they had anticipated. And they wish they could adjust the implant position and angle by a millimetre or two,” Mozes explained. “If they made a plastic surgical guide, they’re stuck.”

At this point, the surgeon has two choices — stick with the guide or just go free hand, which has its own risks. Choosing the Yomi robot instead offers flexibility.

“With their system, you can just go into the software and bump the plan over by a millimetre or two and now you have a completely new plan that the robot will guide you through,” he said.

Dental Robot Navigation

Mozes contended that while most people have to go to a specialist to get the surgery done, general practice dentists are also hoping to get in the game.

“I think the dental implant market is certainly evolving so that what was once a primarily the domain of specialists is now becoming more and more the domain of general practice dentist,” he said. “There’s a strong need from the population for implants and it’s going to have to be handled by other dentists participating and performing the procedure.”