Robot technology in dentistry, part one of a systematic review: literature characteristics

Tom C.T. van Riet*, Kevin T.H. Chin Jen Sem, Jean Pierre T.F. Ho, René Spijker, Jens Kober, Jan de Lange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To provide dental practitioners and researchers with a comprehensive and transparent evidence-based overview of the characteristics of literature regarding initiatives of robot technology in dentistry. Data: All articles in which robot technology in dentistry is described, except for non-scientific articles and articles containing secondary data (reviews). Amongst others, the following data were extracted: type of study, level of technological readiness, authors’ professional background and the subject of interaction with the robot. Sources: Bibliographic databases PubMed, Embase, and Scopus were surveyed. A reference search was conducted. The search timeline was between January 1985 and October 2020. Study selection: A total of 911 articles were screened on title and abstract of which 161 deemed eligible for inclusion. Another 71 articles were excluded mainly because of unavailability of full texts or the sole use of secondary data (reviews). Four articles were included after hand searching the reference lists. In total, 94 articles were included for analysis. Conclusions: Since 2013 an average of six articles per year concern robot initiatives in dentistry, mostly originating from East Asia (57%). The vast majority of research was categorized as either basic theoretical or basic applied research (80%). Technology readiness levels did not reach higher than three (proof of concept) in 55% of all articles. In 84%, the first author of the included articles had a technical background and in 36%, none of the authors had a dental or medical background. The overall quality of literature, especially in terms of clinical validation, should be considered as low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1226
Number of pages10
JournalDental Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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