Robot helps allay dental anxiety.

One miniature attendee at the American Dental Association annual meeting hosted last week in Washington, D.C. can be found in similar form helping young patients at Olin Dental Group, a dental office in Rahway, New Jersey.

MEDI, “an innovative robotic pain management tool that was developed to reduce the pain perception of children undergoing medical procedures” is taking up residence in dentistry, according to a story in dental-tribune.com.

MEDI inventor, Dr. Tanya Beran, a professor of community health science at the University of Calgary, got the idea for MEDi after working in hospitals where kids scream at the thought of getting a needle.

Dental Tribune Online had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Richard Olin, the first dentist to use MEDi outside of the hospital, about his experiences with MEDi. Olin’s team has been utilizing MEDi for about five months now and reports overall positive experiences.

“MEDi is constantly in the active mode allowing children to interact with him immediately and continually upon entering the dental operatory. MEDi distracts the children, reducing their initial anxiety and fear. They listen to the MEDi’s instructions, which allows the rest of the dental team to move forward faster and more seamlessly with their work with a more compliant patient,” Olin said.

Dr. Olin told dental-tribune.com that despite the relatively high asset costs of about $15,000, he would recommend investing in this technology to other pediatric dentists. 

RxRobots is currently planning to assess patient outcomes in dentistry and is looking for dentists who would like to partner with it.

View an interview with Dr. Olin, MEDI inventor, Dr. Tanya Beran, at the ADA Annual Meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sjHnAQVgQ8

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