Aarohi Dental — applying robotics to implants

Clinicians at Aarohi Dental are using robot-assisted implant placement to achieve minimally invasive treatment when possible and to provide peace of mind in the operatory.

Tell us about yourself and your practice

My name is Dr. Sathish Palayam, and my wife, Dr. Minal Narayan, and I practice dentistry together in New Bedford, Massachusetts. At Aarohi Dental, we deliver a wide range of services with a focus on robot-assisted implant placement as well as LANAP and LAPIP procedures. I’ve been practicing as a general dentist for more than 2 decades and have always been passionate about using cutting-edge technologies to deliver the best possible patient care. We have such an amazing team at Aarohi Dental, and we take great pride in providing a tech-forward approach to dentistry within a compassionate, patient-focused environment.

Sathish G. Palayam, DDS, and his team at Aarohi Dental in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Describe your onboarding process with Yomi®

First, I should mention the demo experience, which was incredibly valuable and convenient. I reached out to Neocis (manufacturer of the Yomi platform) to schedule a demo at which point I learned about the Yomi Mobile Showroom. After working with us to find a time that fit our schedule, a Neocis sales representative brought a Yomi robot right to our office in one of the Neocis demo buses. This gave my team and me a chance to learn more about robot-guided implant placement and get our hands on the system. I was so glad my staff had the opportunity to see the robot in action and experience firsthand how user-friendly the platform is.

The learning curve associated with Yomi has been very manageable, and the support we’ve received from the Neocis team has been top-notch. Incorporating a new clinical technology into your practice can be a disruptive, overwhelming experience, but that wasn’t the case as we got up and running with our Yomi system. Once we purchased our robot, our team received two full days of in-depth, hands-on training, and a comprehensive 90-day plan to build competency. The onboarding process was seamless — any dental practice can do it. It felt as though the Neocis team was with us every step of the way, helping us build the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful robotic implant practice. The whole experience felt consultative and tailored to our unique needs.

The Yomi Robotic System within an operatory at Aarohi Dental

How has your practice changed since adopting the Yomi robotic system? What were you using before, and what prompted you to switch?

My practice has changed significantly since adopting robotics. The team is excited about how efficient Yomi has made our planning process, and we have a strong sense of confidence going into every surgery. It’s also great to see just how interested in the system patients are. Many patients are generally aware that robotic devices are now commonplace across a wide range of medical procedures. Some have read about or seen news segments on this new surgical methodology within implant dentistry specifically. Patients are initially intrigued by the idea of a robot-assisted procedure, and after hearing us talk about it in more depth, they get even more excited to have their implant(s) placed with the help of Yomi.

By embracing and regularly using our robotic system and other high-tech clinical technologies, we’re able to alleviate some patient fears, execute minimally invasive treatment when possible, and deliver on our promise of providing truly life-changing dental care.

Before Yomi, I was using static guides in many of my implant cases. I found this method too cumbersome and time-consuming. I wanted to be able to move from consultation to placement more seamlessly and wanted to eliminate treatment delays due to ill-fitting guides. I saw many of my colleagues around the country incorporating robotics into their practices, so I decided to dive in. With Yomi, I no longer have to wait on a third-party lab to manufacture and ship me guides or fuss with 3D printing, which allows me to perform same-day surgery in many cases. We also don’t need to plan as far ahead. The Yomi platform has truly been a game changer for my practice.

A tooth-borne splint holds the fiducial array for registering the robot
to the patient’s anatomy via the CT scan

What do you like most about being a robotic clinician? How does it make you feel?

Dentistry is one of my biggest passions in life, and I treat every patient who walks into our office like family. Just as I would want my family to receive the best possible treatment, I strive to deliver the highest quality of care for each one of my patients. I take the comfort and well-being of my patients very seriously. By embracing and regularly using our robotic system and other high-tech clinical technologies, we are able to alleviate some patient fears, execute minimally invasive treatment when possible, and deliver on our promise of providing truly life-changing dental care. I feel good knowing my patients are receiving treatment facilitated by the best technology available.

YomiPlan software provides the clinician with visual guidance during implant
insertion and drilling procedures

When you think about the robotic workflow compared to that of a static-guided approach, what advantages have you encountered?

In general, robot-assisted implant placement provides much more flexibility than surgical guides. With robotic guidance, I’m not limited to certain implant systems or drill lengths. When a case calls for a change in what has been planned for, static guides simply can’t accommodate those changes while maintaining their intended level of accuracy. Having the intraoperative freedom to modify my treatment plan, change drill lengths, or switch to an implant with a different specs on the fly are some of the biggest benefits of robot-assisted surgery compared to surgical guides. The days of having to reschedule procedures due to an ill-fitting guide or missing parts are over.

Dr. Palayam during an implant procedure using the software as a visual guide while the robot guides the drill into position.

In addition to intraoperative flexibility, robotic guidance allows for excellent visualization and irrigation of the osteotomy site throughout a procedure. Unlike surgical guides, which can significantly obscure parts of the mouth, a robot-assisted approach allows me to freely irrigate the surgical site and maintain a clear field of view. The haptic, visual, and audio feedback Yomi provides throughout a procedure helps prevent me from deviating from the angulation and position I’ve pre-planned. This real-time assistance gives me tremendous peace of mind in the operatory.

Dr. Palayam and his team tend to a patient as they prepare the patient for robot-assisted implant treatment

How have robotics affected your treatment times?

Our treatment times have significantly improved since we went live with Yomi. In fact, we’ve been able to reduce our average surgery time by almost half. Typically, I can go from CT scan to placement in about 25 minutes. This helps our team establish and stick to a more predictable schedule and deliver a timely in-office experience for patients. As mentioned previously, we also no longer need to reschedule appointments due to a guide that doesn’t correctly fit a patient or guide kits with missing parts.

How has the business side of your practice before-and-after Yomi changed?

We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of patients inquiring about the robot and scheduling consultations. Before installing Yomi, each year I was placing roughly 200 implants and performing about four to five full-arch cases. Now I’m using the robot for all my implant cases, which has given me the confidence to plan and execute more surgically and prosthetically challenging cases. With Yomi, we’re performing three to four full-arch cases a month, and we’re on pace to hit 400 implants this year alone. In short, Yomi has made a huge difference in our ability to scale our implant services and help more patients. We’re looking to continue growing our business further. I don’t think we’re even close to our ceiling yet.

What kind of reaction have you received in your community since adopting robotics?

Yomi not only is a game changer in the operatory, but also is a very powerful marketing tool. Once we started to hit our stride as a robotic implant practice, the Neocis team worked with us to launch a successful PR campaign that ultimately resulted in an exclusive segment with a local news station and a front-page story in our community newspaper. We saw an immediate lift in interest after that coverage. Since then the Aarohi Dental team has been recognized by Neocis as a Yomi Gold Center of Excellence, and I have been named a Yomi Diamond Doctor of Excellence, which has helped stir up interest among prospective patients. More and more patients are calling and stopping by to learn about robotic implant treatment and how it impacts clinical outcomes. People are clearly gravitating to this new technology, and we’re happy to explain why we use it for every implant case.

What would you say to your peers who are still placing implants freehand or with static guides?

Dentistry has always been a distant cousin to medicine and has lagged behind when it comes to technological advances. Yomi has given dental professionals an opportunity to set their practices apart by seamlessly pivoting to robot-assisted implant placement. When it comes to clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, and practice expansion, the results speak for themselves.

Dr.Joe Griffin writes about his experience with robot-assisted implant placement in “Same-day guided surgery with robotics.” Read it here: https://implantpracticeus.com/same-day-guided-surgery-with-robotics/

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