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Title:
SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF AUTOMATED IN-SITU PREPARATION FOR MOUNTING OF PREFABRICATED CUSTOM DENTAL PROSTHESIS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/007935
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method of automated formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, configured to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, is described. The system includes a digital imaging facility with an image acquiring device and a three-dimensional data digitizer, a modeling facility with an exterior surface design module and an interior surface design module, a fabrication facility operatively with a computer-aided manufacturing module, as well as an application facility including an ablation tool and in-situ preparation module; application facility preferably includes an intra-oral feedbacking appliance with a distance measurement probe for automated feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub.

Inventors:
BARAK, Uri (1 Iris St, 00 Caesarea, 3088900, IL)
TARAZI, Eyal (10 Hazait St, Caesarea, 30889, IL)
Application Number:
IB2017/054016
Publication Date:
January 11, 2018
Filing Date:
July 03, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BARAK, Uri (1 Iris St, 00 Caesarea, 3088900, IL)
International Classes:
A61C13/00; A61B34/10; A61C5/70
Foreign References:
US20130216972A12013-08-22
US20110070554A12011-03-24
US20140322664A12014-10-30
US20040157188A12004-08-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VAPNIARSKY, Andrey (Platinum Tower - 8th floor, 21 Ha'Arbaa St, 21 Tel Aviv, 6473921, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
1 . A system for automated feedback-eonfroiled formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, configured to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, said system comprises:

(a) a digital imaging facility, configured to generate a digitized three-dimensional imprint model of at least one subject tooth of a patient, for future mounting of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis thereon, said digital imaging facility comprising:

(I) an image acquiring device configured to obtain a plurality of images of said subject tooth;

(II) a three-dimensional data digitizer, operatively connected to said image acquiring device, said three-dimensional data digitizer is configured to receive raw data of said plurality of images of said subject tooth and process said raw data to generate said digitized three-dimensionai imprint of said subject tooth;

(b) a modeling facility operatively connected to said digital imaging facility, configured to receive said digitized three-dimensional imprint model of said subject tooth, said modeling facility comprising:

(I) an exterior surface design module, configured for modelling an exterior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and generating a digital three-dimensional model of said exterior surface;

(II) an interior surface design module, configured for modelling and generating a respective digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub;

(c) a fabrication facility operatively connected to said modeling facility and receiving said digital three-dimensionai exterior and interior surface models of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis, said fabrication facility comprises at least a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) module, configured to process a workpiece according to said digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models and to manufacture said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis;

(d) an application facility operatively connected to said modeling facility and receiving at least one of said digital three-dimensional models from said modeling facility, said application facility comprising:

(I) an ablation tool configured to controilabiy remove dental tissue from said subject tooth, so as to form said preparation stub;

(II) an automated in-situ preparation module configured to position said ablation tool according to a digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and said exterior surface of said preparation stub;

(!!!) an intra-oral feedbacking appliance comprising at least one distance measurement probe, configured to obtain at least one distance measurement of an ablation site on said subject tooth;

wherein said exterior surface of said preparation stub is configured to conform to said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis;

wherein at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: a parameter related to said positioning of said ablation tool, a parameter related to actuation of said ablation too! and a parameter related intensity of operation of said ablation tool, is determined according to said at least one distance measurement of said ablation site on said subject tooth obtained by said probe.

2. The system as in claim 1 , wherein said intra-oral feedbacking appliance is configured to iteratively attain a plurality of distance measurements of an ablation site on said subject tooth, and wherein said at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: a parameter related to said positioning of said ablation tool, a parameter related to actuation of said ablation tool and a parameter related intensity of operation of said ablation tool, is repeatedly re-determined according to said a plurality of distance measurements,

3. The system, as in claim 1 , further comprises a primary in-situ scanner.

4. The system, as in claim 1 , further comprises a primary in-situ scanner and a computational device for superposing a primary in-situ scan with a digital three- dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and said exterior surface of said preparation stub.

5. The system, as in claim 1 , further comprises a primary in-situ scanner and and wherein said at least one parameter is determined with reference to a primary in-situ scan.

6. The system, as in claim 1 , wherein said at least one parameter is selected from the group consisting of: positional coordinates for said ablation tool, vectors of movements of said ablation tool, velocities of movements of said ablation tool, acceleration and/or deceleration of said ablation tool, response time, movement time, timing of actuation of said ablation tool, orientation of said ablation tool at actuation, position of said ablation too! at actuation, intensity of operation of said ablation tool, gross power allocated to said ablation too!, maxima! rounds per minute (RPM), quota of iumens for operation of said ablation tool, duration of operational pulses, duration of intervals in-between said operational pulses, amplitude, wavelength and polarization.

7. The system, as in claim 1 , further comprises a means configured to mitigate a spontaneous relative movement of said subject tooth relative to said ablation too! selected from the group consisting of: a mechanical fixation mechanism and dedicated motion capture device.

8. A method of automated formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, configured to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, said method comprises the steps of:

(a) obtaining a plurality of images of at least one subject tooth of a patient, for future mounting of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis thereon;

(b) processing raw data of said plurality of images of said subject tooth and generating a digitized three-dimensional imprint model of said subject tooth;

(c) transmitting said digitized three-dimensional imprint model of said subject tooth to a modeling facility;

(d) modelling an exterior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and generating a digital three-dimensional model of said exterior surface;

(e) modelling and generating a respective digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub configured to conform to said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis;

(f) processing a workpiece according to said digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models to manufacture said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis;

(g) transmitting a digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub, as an input to a controller of an automated in-situ preparation module;

(h) devising an operational plan for said automated in-situ preparation module and commanding said automated in-situ preparation module to controliably remove a portion of dental tissue from said subject tooth;

wherein said exterior surface of said preparation stub is configured to conform to said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis.

(i) performing at least one feedbacking in-situ measurement of an ablation site on said subject tooth;

(j) comparing results of said at least one feedbacking in~situ measurement of said ablation site on said subject tooth to a digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub;

(k) determining whether differences determined at said step of comparing exceed a predetermined threshold;

(I) devising an updated operational plan for said automated in-situ preparation module and commanding said automated in-situ preparation module to controliabiy remove yet another portion of said dental tissue from said subject tooth, when said differences determined at said step of comparing are found to exceed said predetermined threshold at said step of determining,

9. The method, as in claim 8, further comprises iteratively performing a plurality of distance measurements of said ablation site on said subject tooth and repeatedly performing said steps comparing, determining and devising said updated operational plan.

10. The method, as in claim 8, wherein said predetermined threshold does not exceed 100 microns.

1 1 . The method, as in claim 8, further comprises performing primary in-situ scanning of said subject tooth.

12. The method, as in ciaim 8, further comprises performing primary in-situ scanning of said subject tooth and further superposing a primary in-situ scan with a digital three- dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of; said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and said exterior surface of said preparation stub.

13. The method, as in claim 8, further comprises performing primary in-situ scanning of said subject tooth; wherein said step of transmitting further comprising transmitting to said controller a primary in-situ scan; wherein said step of devising further comprising devising said operational plan according to said primary in-situ scan; wherein said step of comparing further comprising comparing results of said at least one feedbacking in- situ measurement to said primary in-situ scan, and wherein said step of devising said updated operational plan comprising devising said updated operational plan with reference to said primary in-situ scan.

14. The method, as in claim 8, wherein said devising comprises calculating at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of; positional coordinates for said ablation tool, vectors of movements of said ablation tool, velocities of movements of said ablation tool, acceleration and/or deceleration of said ablation tool, response time, movement time, timing of actuation of said ablation tool, orientation of said ablation tool at actuation, position of said ablation too! at actuation, intensity of operation of said ablation tool, gross power allocated to said ablation tool, maxima! rounds per minute (RP!Vl), quota of lumens for operation of said ablation tool, duration of operational pulses, duration of intervals in-between said operational pulses, amplitude, wavelength and polarization.

15. The method, as in claim 8, further comprises a step selected from the group consisting of: mechanically affixing a fastener of said robotic appliance relative to said subject tooth, aligning said ablation tool relative to said subject tooth and continuously monitoring movements of said ablation tool relative to said subject tooth.

16. A system for automated formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, said system comprises:

(a) a digital imaging facility, configured to generate a digitized three-dimensional imprint model of at least one subject tooth of a patient, for future mounting of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis thereon, said digital imaging facility comprising:

(I) an image acquiring device configured to obtain a plurality of images of said subject tooth;

(!l) a three-dimensional data digitizer, operativeiy connected to said image acquiring device, said three-dimensional data digitizer is configured to receive raw data of said plurality of images of said subject tooth and process said raw data to generate said digitized three-dimensional imprint of said subject tooth;

(b) a modeling facility operativeiy connected to said digital imaging facility, configured to receive said digitized three-dimensional imprint model of said subject tooth, said modeling facility comprising:

(I) an exterior surface design module, configured for modelling an exterior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and generating a digital three-dimensional model of said exterior surface;

(II) an interior surface design module, configured for modelling and generating a respective digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub;

(c) a fabrication facility operativeiy connected to said modeling facility and receiving said digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis, said fabrication facility comprises at least a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) module, configured to process a workpiece according to said digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models and to manufacture said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis; (d) an application facility operativeiy connected to said modeling facility and receiving at least one of said digital three-dimensional models from said modeling facility, said application facility comprising:

(!) an ablation too! configured to controi!ab!y remove dental tissue from said subject tooth, so as to form said preparation stub;

(II) an automated in-situ preparation module configured positioning of said ablation tool according to a digital three-dimensional of model at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and said exterior surface of said preparation stub;

wherein said exterior surface of said preparation stub is configured to conform to said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis.

17. The system, as in claim 16, further comprises an intra-oral feedbacking appliance comprising at least one distance measurement probe, configured to obtain at least one distance measurement of an ablation site on said subject tooth.

18. The system, as in claim 16, further comprises an intra-oral feedbacking appliance comprising at least one distance measurement probe, configured to iteratively attain a plurality of distance measurements of an ablation site on said subject tooth and wherein at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: a parameter related to said positioning of said ablation tool, a parameter related to actuation of said ablation tool and a parameter related intensity of operation of said ablation tool, is repeatedly redetermined according to said a plurality of distance measurements.

19. The system as in claim 16, wherein said intra-oral feedbacking appliance is configured to iteratively attain a plurality of distance measurements of an ablation site on said subject tooth, and wherein at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: a parameter related to said positioning of said ablation tool, a parameter related to actuation of said ablation too! and a parameter related intensity of operation of said ablation tool, is repeatedly re-determined according to said a plurality of distance measurements.

20. The system, as in claim 16, further comprises further comprises a primary in-situ scanner,

21 . The system, as in claim 16, further comprises a primary in-situ scanner and a computational device for superposing a primary in-situ scan with a digital three- dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and said exterior surface of said preparation stub.

22. The system, as in claim 16, further comprises a primary in-situ scanner, wherein at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: a parameter related to said positioning of said ablation tool, a parameter related to actuation of said ablation too! and a parameter related intensity of operation of said ablation tool, is determined with reference to a primary in~situ scan.

23. The system, as in claim 18, wherein at least one parameter related to said ablation tool, selected from the group consisting of: positional coordinates for said ablation tool, vectors of movements of said ablation tool, velocities of movements of said ablation tool, acceleration and/or deceleration of said ablation tool, response time, movement time, timing of actuation of said ablation tool, orientation of said ablation tool at actuation, position of said ablation tool at actuation, intensity of operation of said ablation tool, gross power allocated to said ablation too!, maximal rounds per minute (RPM), quota of lumens for operation of said ablation tool, duration of operational pulses, duration of intervals in-between said operational pulses, amplitude, wavelength and polarization, is determined with reference to at least one of said digital three- dimensional models.

24. The system, as in claim 16, further comprises a means configured to mitigate a spontaneous relative movement of said subject tooth relative to said ablation tool selected from the group consisting of: a mechanical fixation mechanism and dedicated motion capture device.

25. A method of automated formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, configured to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, said method comprises the steps of:

(a) obtaining a plurality of images of at least one subject tooth of a patient, for future mounting of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis thereon;

(b) processing raw data of said plurality of images of said subject tooth and generating a digitized three-dimensional imprint model of said subject tooth;

(c) transmitting said digitized three-dimensional imprint model of said subject tooth to a modeling facility;

(d) modelling an exterior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and generating a digital three-dimensional model of said exterior surface;

(e) modelling and generating a respective digital three-dimensionai model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub configured to conform to said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis;

(f) processing a workpiece according to said digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models to manufacture said prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis; (g) transmitting a digitai three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub, as an input to a controller of an automated in-situ preparation module;

(h) devising an operational plan for said automated in-situ preparation module based on said digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface;

(i) commanding said automated in-situ preparation module to controliably remove a portion of dental tissue from said subject tooth.

26. The method as in claim 25, further comprises at least one step selected from the group consisting of:

(a) performing at least one feedbacking in-situ measurement of an ablation site on said subject tooth;

(b) comparing results of said at least one feedbacking in~situ measurement of said ablation site on said subject tooth to a digitai three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of said preparation stub;

(c) determining whether differences determined at said step of comparing exceed a predetermined threshold;

(d) devising an updated operational plan for said automated in-situ preparation module and commanding said automated in-situ preparation module to controliably remove yet another portion of said dental tissue from said subject tooth, if said differences determined at said step of comparing are found to exceed said predetermined threshold at said step of determining,

27. The method, as in claim 25, further comprises iteratively performing a plurality of distance measurements of said ablation site on said subject tooth and repeatedly performing said steps comparing, determining and devising said updated operational plan.

28. The method, as in claim 25, wherein said predetermined threshold does not exceed 100 microns.

29. The method, as in claim 25, further comprises performing primary in-situ scanning of said subject tooth.

30. The method, as in claim 25, further comprises performing primary in-situ scanning of said subject tooth and further superposing a primary in-situ scan with a digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: said interior surface of said prefabricated fixed prosthesis and said exterior surface of said preparation stub.

31 . The method, as in claim 25, further comprises performing primary in-situ scanning of said subject tooth; wherein said step of transmitting further comprising transmitting to said controller a primary in-situ scan; wherein said step of devising further comprising devising said operational plan according to said primary in-situ scan; wherein said step of comparing further comprising comparing results of said at least one feedbacking in-situ measurement to said primary in-situ scan, and wherein said step of devising said updated operationai plan comprising devising said updated operational plan with reference to said primary in-situ scan.

32. The method, as in claim 25, wherein said devising comprises calculating at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: positional coordinates for said ablation tool, vectors of movements of said ablation tool, velocities of movements of said ablation tool, acceleration and/or deceleration of said ablation tool, response time, movement time, timing of actuation of said ablation tool, orientation of said ablation tool at actuation, position of said ablation tool at actuation, intensity of operation of said ablation tool, gross power allocated to said ablation tool, maximal rounds per minute (RP!Vl), quota of lumens for operation of said ablation tool, duration of operationai pulses, duration of intervals in-between said operationai pulses, amplitude, wavelength and polarization.

33. The method, as in claim 25, further comprises a step selected from the group consisting of: mechanically affixing a fastener of said robotic appliance relative to said subject tooth, aligning said ablation tool relative to said subject tooth and continuously monitoring movements of said ablation tool relative to said subject tooth.

34. The system, as in claim 7, wherein said mechanical fixation mechanism comprises:

(a) molar teeth accommodating portions configured to affix said mechanism to molar teeth;

(b) fixation shafts rigidly connectable to said molar teeth accommodating portions, said fixation shafts being rigidly connectable to said in-situ preparation module;

(c) wedge elements disposed underneath said molar teeth accommodating portions and embodying an essentially triangular shape, configured to prevent from closing jaws while said fixation mechanism is installed;

(d) a tongue shielding element, extending in-between said molar teeth accommodating portions, configured to divert a tongue away an operational area of said ablating tool of said in-situ preparation module.

35. The method, as in claim 15, wherein said step of mechanically affixing said fastener of said robotic appliance relative to said subject tooth comprises mechanically affixing said robotic appliance by a means of fixation mechanism comprising:

(a) molar teeth accommodating portions configured to affix said mechanism to moiar teeth;

(b) fixation shafts rigidly connectable to said molar teeth accommodating portions, said fixation shafts being rigidly connectable to said in-situ preparation module;

(c) wedge elements disposed underneath said molar teeth accommodating portions and embodying an essentially triangular shape, configured to prevent from closing jaws while said fixation mechanism is installed;

(d) a tongue shielding element, extending in-between said moiar teeth accommodating portions, configured to divert a tongue away an operational area of said ablating tool of said in-situ preparation module.

36. The system, as in claim 24, wherein said mechanical fixation mechanism comprises:

(a) moiar teeth accommodating portions configured to affix said mechanism to moiar teeth;

(b) fixation shafts rigidly connectable to said moiar teeth accommodating portions, said fixation shafts being rigidly connectable to said in-situ preparation module;

(c) wedge elements disposed underneath said molar teeth accommodating portions and embodying an essentially triangular shape, configured to prevent from closing jaws while said fixation mechanism is installed;

(d) a tongue shielding element, extending in-between said molar teeth accommodating portions, configured to divert a tongue away an operational area of said ablating tool of said in-situ preparation module.

37. The method, as in claim 33, wherein said step of mechanically affixing said fastener of said robotic appliance relative to said subject tooth comprises mechanically affixing said robotic appliance by a means of fixation mechanism comprising:

(a) moiar teeth accommodating portions configured to affix said mechanism to molar teeth;

(b) fixation shafts rigidly connectable to said molar teeth accommodating portions, said fixation shafts being rigidly connectable to said in-situ preparation module;

(c) wedge elements disposed underneath said moiar teeth accommodating portions and embodying an essentially triangular shape, configured to prevent from closing jaws while said fixation mechanism is installed;

(d) a tongue shielding element, extending in-between said molar teeth accommodating portions, configured to divert a tongue away an operational area of said ablating tool of said in-situ preparation module.

Description:
SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF AUTO ATED IN-SITU PREPARATION FOR MOUNTING OF PREFABRICATED CUSTOM DENTAL PROSTHESIS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] In general, the present invention pertains to the art of dentistry, !n particular, the invention relates to systems and methods as well as computer readable storage media of automated in-situ preparation for mounting of prefabricated custom fixed dental prosthesis.

[0002] State of the art routine of clinical treatments for ultimate mounting of fixed dental prosthesis, colloquially also known as dental crown/veneer, typicaily involves at least two treatment sessions with a dentist. In certain instances, during a pre-treatment session, an impression or digital scanning of the tooth exterior surface is obtained, for fabrication of a mock-up of the exterior surface of the dental prosthesis.

[0003] Then during the first treatment session the tooth is subjected to cutting so that a substantial portion of the enamel is removed to form the preparation stub, onto which the dental prosthesis is thereafter to be mounted. Subsequently, impression of exterior surface of the preparation stub is obtained for fabrication of the interior surface of the dental prosthesis.

[0004] Finally, still during the first treatment session, the patient is fitted with a temporary dental prosthesis that is fabricated at the clinic, as per the dental prosthesis mock-up using rapid polymeric hardening based techniques.

[0005] The exterior surface of the tooth impression as well as the exterior surface impression of the preparation stub, both obtained during the first treatment session, are then sent to a dental technician/lab for fabrication of custom exterior surface and interior surface of the dental prosthesis, respectively.

[0006] During the second treatment session, dentist first removes any previously mounted temporary dental prosthesis and then the custom dental prosthesis fabricated by the technician is finally mounted onto the preparation stub, typically by using specific cements and/or adhesives.

[0007] US7328077 teaches a method and system for automated mass manufacturing of custom tooth die models for use in the fabrication of dental prosthesis. Methods and systems for treating teeth according to US7328077 include capturing a digital denial model taken within an oral cavity; modifying the digital model in planning a dental treatment or in designing a tooth die model for a denial prosthesis; creating physical models from the original or modified digital models: and using the physical models as a pattern for fabrication and fit check of a dental prosthesis.

[0008] US8954181 teaches systems and methods for designing and manufacturing custom dental preparation guides. The dental computer-aided design (CAD) and/or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system in US8954181 forms a custom dental preparation guide for guiding a dental tool that alters and shapes a tooth structure to which a custom prosthetic dental item is to be attached. The system of US8954181 acquires an optical measurement and an x-ray of at least one dental structure and correlates the acquired optical measurement and the x-ray to form a model of the at least one dental structure. The system of US8954181 generates a model of a reduced tooth structure based on the model of the at least one dental structure and provides at least one dental preparation guide based on the model of the reduced tooth structure.

[0009] US5345490 teaches a method and apparatus for converting computed tomography (CT) data into finite element models. The system of US5345490 generates both 2-D and 3-D models using the automatic mesh generators, QUADTREE and OCTREE, which are founded on recursive spatial decomposition. Multiple slices of CT data in US5345490 are obtained by scanning the object to be modeled. The slices are stacked and processed according to US5345490 to form a discrete solid model. The discrete solid model in US5345490 is an alternate geometry defined discretely rather than with continuous analytic curves and surfaces but still provides a foundation for automatic mesh generation. Since the QUADTREE and OCTREE automatic mesh generators map naturally to the discrete solid model, the integration of CT technology and automatic mesh generation according to US5345490 can be achieved.

[0010] US20150 82299 teaches an intraoral device for automated preparation of the teeth with a view to performing partial or peripheral dental restoration, which includes: a splint suitable for being positioned in the mouth of a patient, said splint including a means for maintaining the position thereof inside said mouth; at least one mobile cutting tool combined with said splint; and an electronic management unit which makes it possible to control said cutting tool, characterised in that: said cutting tool is configured so as to cut at least the labial surface of the tooth to be prepared, said tool being mounted on a mobile carriage moving along a rail attached to the splint, opposite the labial surface of the tooth to be prepared, said rail having a curvature that matches the dentition of the patient; said splint includes at least one 3D digitisation tool arranged such as to digitise at least the labial surface of said tooth to be prepared, said digitisation tool being connected to the management unit so that the digitised data can be transferred to said management unit; and said management unit is configured so as to control the movement of said cutting tool in accordance with the digitised data.

[0011] US7346417 teaches method and system which can be used in the fields of medicine and dentistry, as well as for the most varied types of material working in different areas of application and model working, provides that an exact removal of material or a highly precise, reproducible material working can be realized by acquiring, storing and processing data pertaining to position and/or orientation of an effector and their changes relative to the position of at least one reference body. The effector in US7346417 is controlled and/or regulated with regard to its power and/or parameterization based on a predetermined working volume, material volume removed and remaining material volume. A first marking support with markings is arranged in US7346417 on a handpiece with the effector, where the handpiece is connected to a control unit, and a second marking support with markings is attached to the material object or tissue object.

[0012] US4579530 teaches method of fabricating a porcelain veneer casing for use in the restoration of damaged teeth in which a porcelain layer is built up on a model of the teeth. The model is removed by erosion caused by the blast of air under pressure containing glass balls. US4579530 also includes the method of restoration of damaged teeth using the aforesaid porcelain veneer casing and the porcelain veneer casing as an article of manufacture.

[0013] WO2011159503 teaches a method of making a multi-chromatic dental appliance, where a first article can be formed of a first material based on a first digital surface representation having a desired outer shape of the dental appliance. A portion of the first article in WO2011159503 can then be removed to form an outer layer of the dental appliance comprising a cavity dimensioned to accommodate an inner layer. A second article in WO201 1159503 can be formed by filling the cavity of the first article with a second material. The second material in WO2011 159503 can have at least one different optical property than the first material.

[0014] WO2012010918 teaches automation of process and apparatus for computer-controlled preparation of teeth, during said process preparing the tooth-stump(s) holding the prothetic piece as pillar(s), takes place on basis of a digital plan of three dimensions, with a combined laser head of small size, matching the size of the oral cavity, moving along a trajectory fixed to a frame of face-bow controlled by a computer, preparing teeth-stum p(s) before placing into the mouth the prothetic piece produced by CAD/ CAM technique - bridge, crown, insert, etc. During the process of WO2012010916 the designing of the preparation of the dental stump(s) serving as pillar tooth/teeth for the fixing of the prothetic piece as Step 1 the dentist, the patient' s mandible into maximum opening position with the help of the telescopic frame of maxiilo-mandibular fixing, as step 2 on basis of the complete digital plan the computer directs the combined laser head in the car to the pillar tooth to be prepared, as step 3 the laser miller with mobility towards every direction of the space situated on the combined laser head directed to the proper spot, carries out the preparation of the pillar tooth on basis of the complete digital plan. The apparatus according to the invention is provided with control optics for surveying the preparation of tooth stump(s), which is made by a combined laser head containing a laser miller emitting hard laser beam. The supporting, fixing points of the telescopic frame of maxiilo-mandibular fixing on the patient's maxilia-mandibular area comprising part of the automatic tooth stump preparing apparatus.

[0015] EXOCAD ® software available from Exocad GmbH, at Julius-Reiber 37

Darmstadt 64293 Germany, provides a state-of-the-art framework with design capabilities of full contour modeling of functional dental prosthesis. EXOCAD ® software includes multiple high quality tooth libraries.

[0016] US20110008751 teaches a method and system useful for planning a dental restorative procedure of a patient and for producing at least one dental restoration or product related thereto to be used in said dental restorative procedure are disclosed, !nput data from different sources, e.g. 3D data from a CT scan of a patient with a dental impression tray including a previously prepared dental impression of the patient in the patient's mouth, is matched with data from a high resolution 3D scan of the same dental impression.

[0017] Takafumi Otani et al. in THE JOURNAL OF PROSTHETIC DENTISTRY, as of 2015 Aug teach a study on In vitro evaluation of accuracy and precision of automated robotic tooth preparation system for porcelain laminate veneers, assessed an automated robotic tooth preparation system for porcelain laminate veneers (PLVs) for accuracy and precision compared with conventional freehand tooth preparation. Twenty maxillary centra! incisor tooth models were divided into two groups. Ten were assigned to a veneer preparation with a robotic arm according to preoperative preparation design-specific guidelines (experimental group). Ten were assigned to conventional tooth preparation by a clinician (control group). Initially, all tooth models were scanned with a 3- dimensional (3D) laser scanner, and a tooth preparation for PLVs was designed on a 3D image. For the experimental group, an electric high-speed handpiece with a 0.9-mm-diameter round diamond rotary cutting instrument was mounted on the robotic arm. The teeth were prepared automatically according to the designed image. For the control group, several diamond rotary cutting instruments were used to prepare the tooth models according to preoperative preparation design guidelines. All prepared tooth models were scanned. The preoperative preparation design image and scanned postoperative preparation images were superimposed. The dimensional difference between those two images was measured on the facial aspect, finish line, and incisai edge. Differences between the experimental and the control groups from the 3D design image were computed. Accuracy and precision were compared for ail sites and separately for each tooth surface (facial, finish line, incisai).

[0018] US6737607 teaches an apparatus for cutting a workpiece, A laser beam according to US6737607 is directed at successive points along a workpiece surface to be cut and a sensor emits a sensing beam directed at the same successive points as the cutting beam. A beam combining device in US6737607 receives both the sensor beam and the cutting beam and causes downstream beam segments to be coilinear with each other as they impinge the workpiece surface. The cutting is thereby according to US6737607 able to be carried out in a single pass, and is precise, repeatable and independent of cutting depth, angle of cutting, scoring patterns, material inconsistency, material color, and surface grain variability.

[0019] The iTero Element intraoral Scanner, obtainable from Cadent, Inc. 640 Gotham Parkway Carlstadt NJ, 07072-2405 USA, referenced herein, employs parallel confocal imaging technology for scanning to achieve high precision and accuracy without powder or complicated hovering.

[0020] MicronTracker obtainable from Ciaron Technology, at Carlton St 120, Suite 217, Toronto MSA 4K2 Canada, is a real-time sub-millimeter optical pose-tracking products. MicronTracker products are fully passive, using available visible light to defect and track objects of interest. The objects are marked using small checkered target regions called Xpoinis. MicronTracker cameras connect to the host PC using a standard !EEE- 394 (FireWire) interface. Multiple cameras may be simultaneously activated to create a larger field of measurement and/or reduce line-of-sight interruptions. MicronTracker 3 is fully developed, tested and certified including several models, Hx40, Hx60, Sx60 and H3- 60, differentiated by the size of their field of measurement (FOM) and measurement rate,

[0021 ] !n light of that robotic tooth preparation systems known in the art, they are implementabie inter alia for in-situ tooth preparation, since the enablement of automated in-situ formation of a preparation stub based on a virtual computational CAD model with automated manufacture of a prefabricated custom dental prosthesis based on the virtual computational CAD model entails a clear clinical benefit.

[0022] In light of that robotic tooth preparation systems known in the art are implementabie inter alia for in-situ tooth preparation, since the enablement of automated in-situ formation of a preparation stub based on a virtual computational CAD model with automated manufacture of a prefabricated custom dental prosthesis based on the virtual computational CAD model entails a clear clinical benefit, such combination of automated in-situ formation of the preparation stub with automated prefabrication of custom dental prosthesis based on the same virtual CAD model satisfies a long-felt need in the art.

SUIVIIVIARY OF THE INVENTION

[0023] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a system for automated formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, configured to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, including a digital imaging facility, configured to generate a digitized three- dimensional imprint model of at least one subject tooth of a patient, for future mounting of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis thereon, including: an image acquiring device configured to obtain a plurality of images of the subject tooth and a three-dimensional data digitizer, operatively connected to the image acquiring device, the three-dimensional data digitizer is configured to receive raw data of the plurality of images of the subject tooth and process the raw data to generate the digitized three-dimensional imprint of the subject tooth; a modeling facility operatively connected to the digital imaging facility, configured to receive the digitized three-dimensional imprint model of the subject tooth, including: an exterior surface design module, configured for modelling an exterior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and generating a digital three-dimensional model of the exterior surface and an interior surface design module, configured for modelling and generating a respective digital three-dimensional model of an interior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and/or an exterior surface of the preparation stub: a fabrication facility operatively connected to the modeling facility and receiving the digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis, including a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) module, configured to process a workpiece according to the digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models and to manufacture the prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis; an application facility operatively connected to the modeling facility and receiving at least one of the digital three-dimensional models from the modeling facility, including: an ablation tool configured to controllably remove dental tissue from the subject tooth, so as to form the preparation stub and an automated in-situ preparation module configured positioning of the ablation tool according to a digital three-dimensional model of the interior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and/or the exterior surface of the preparation stub.

[0024] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a system for automated feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub, in which an application facility includes an intra-orai feedbacking appliance including a distance measurement probe, configured to obtain a distance measurement of an ablation site on the subject tooth.

[0025] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a system for automated feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub, based on an a priori created computational geometrical model, configured to conform to a prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis, in which at least one parameter related to positioning of the ablation too!, actuation of the ablation too! and intensity of operation of the ablation tool, is determined according to the distance measurement of the ablation site on the subject tooth obtained by the probe.

[0026] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a system for automated feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub, in which the intra-orai feedbacking appliance is configured to iterative!y attain a plurality of distance measurements of an ablation site on the subject tooth and wherein the at least one parameter selected from the group consisting of: a parameter related to the positioning of the ablation tool, a parameter related to actuation of the ablation tool and a parameter related intensity of operation of the ablation tool, is repeatedly re-determined according to the a plurality of distance measurements.

[0027] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a method for automated formation of a preparation stub including: obtaining a plurality of images of at least one subject tooth of a patient, for future mounting of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis thereon; processing raw data of the plurality of images of the subject tooth and generating a digitized three-dimensional imprint mode! of the subject tooth; transmitting the digitized three-dimensional imprint mode! of the subject tooth to the modeling facility; modelling an exterior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and generating a digital three-dimensional model of the exterior surface; modelling and generating a respective digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of the preparation stub configured to conform to the prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis; processing a workpiece according to the digital three-dimensional exterior and interior surface models to manufacture the prefabricated fixed dental prosthesis; transmitting a digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of the preparation stub, to a controller of an automated in-situ preparation module; devising an operational plan for the automated in-situ preparation module and commanding the automated in-situ preparation module to controilably remove a portion of dental tissue from the subject tooth.

[0028] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a method for automaied feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub including: performing at least one feedbacking in-situ measurement of an ablation site on the subject tooth; comparing results of the at least one feedbacking in-situ measurement of the ablation site on the subject tooth to a digital three-dimensional model of at least one surface selected from the group consisting of: an interior surface of the prefabricated fixed prosthesis and an exterior surface of the preparation stub; determining whether differences determined at the step of comparing exceed a predetermined threshold; devising an updated operational plan for the automated in-situ preparation module and commanding the automated in-situ preparation module to controilably remove yet another portion of the dental tissue from the subject tooth, if the differences determined at the step of comparing are found to exceed the predetermined threshold at the step of determining.

[0029] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a method for automated feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub including iteratively performing a plurality of distance measurements of the ablation site on the subject tooth and repeatedly performing the steps comparing, determining and devising the updated operational plan.

[0030] There is provided in accordance with embodiments of the present invention a method for automated feedback-controlled formation of a preparation stub including performing primary in-situ scanning of the subject tooth.

DEFINITIONS

[0031] The term QUADTREE, as referred to herein, is to be construed as any tree data structure in which each internal node has exactly four children. QUADTREES are most often used to partition a two-dimensional space by recursively subdividing it into four quadrants or regions. The regions may be square or rectangular, or may have arbitrary shapes.

[0032] The term OCTREE, as referred to herein, is to be construed as any tree data structure in which each internal node has exactly eight children. OCTREES are most often used to partition a three dimensional space by recursively subdividing it into eight octants. OCTREES are the three-dimensional analog of QUADTREES.

[0033] The terms robot-assisted surgery and/or computer-assisted surgery or alike, as referred to herein, is to be construed as any clinical appliance that uses either autonomous or other robotic systems to aid in clinical procedures and allows the surgeon to have the normal movements associated with the clinical treatment performed whilst the robotic arms carry out those movements using end-effectors and manipulators to perform the actual actions on the patient. In computer-controlled systems the clinician uses a computer to control the robotic arms and its end-effectors, though these systems can also still use tele-manipulators for their input.

[0034] The term fixed dental prosthesis, as referred to herein, is to be construed in accordance with the definition of this term as set forth in THE GLOSSARY OF PROSTHODOIMTIC TERMS, (Annex 3), namely as any dental prosthesis that is luted, screwed or mechanically attached or otherwise that is luted, screwed or mechanically attached or otherwise replacement of one to sixteen teeth in each dental arch, if a metallic or ceramic component is included within the fixed dental prosthesis, that component is termed the framework. Dental prostheses (fixed dental prostheses, re-movable dental prostheses) as well as maxillofacial prostheses can be supported and retained in part or whole by dental implants. Terminology to assist in describing the means of retention, support and dental materials should be limited to concatenation of three and no more than four adjectives to provide clarity. Descriptive terminology (modifiers) expressed as adjectives to each fixed dental prosthesis may include such items as the method of retention, composition, nature of support, design characteristics, and/or form of anchorage.

[0035] The term automatic mesh generation is an algorithmic procedure which produces a valid finite element mesh in a domain of arbitrary complexity, given no inputs besides the geometric description of the part and some element discretization information.

[0038] The term fixed dental prosthesis, as referred to herein, is to be construed in accordance with the definition of this term as set forth in THE GLOSSARY OF PROSTHODONTIC TERMS, namely as any dental prosthesis that is luted, screwed or mechanically attached or otherwise that is luted, screwed or mechanically attached or otherwise replacement of one to sixteen teeth in each dental arch. If a metallic or ceramic component is included within the fixed dental prosthesis, that component is termed the framework. Dental prostheses (fixed dental prostheses, re-movable dental prostheses) as well as maxillofacial prostheses can be supported and retained in part or whole by dental implants. Terminology to assist in describing the means of retention, support and dental materials should be limited to concatenation of three and no more than four adjectives to provide clarity. Descriptive terminology (modifiers) expressed as adjectives to each fixed dental prosthesis may include such items as the method of retention, composition, nature of support, design characteristics, and/or form of anchorage.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0037] The present invention will be understood and appreciated more comprehensively from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:

[0038] FIG 1 is an illustration of a tooth subject to future mounting of a fixed dental prosthesis (not shown) thereon, showing a schematic representation of a preparation stub to be formed therein.

[0039] FIG 2 is a schematic illustration of a prepared tooth, in which the coronal portion of the tooth is prepared for a preparation stub as well as of a dental prosthesis, showing a schematic representation of a respective cavity for the preparation stub therein;

[0040] FIG 3 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of the system for automated in-situ preparation for mounting of prefabricated custom dental prosthesis;

[0041] FIG 4 is a schematic flowchart of an embodiment of the method for automated in-situ preparation for mounting of prefabricated custom dental prosthesis

[0042] FIG 5 is a schematic functional block diagram of a preferred embodiment of in-situ preparation module including intra-orai feedbacking appliance;

[0043] FIG 6 is a schematic flowchart of an embodiment of a method for controlled automated in-situ preparation utilizing in-situ feedbacking measurements;

[0044] FIG 7 to 9 are respectively an isometric, front and top views of an embodiment of a fixation mechanism of in-situ preparation module.

DETAILED DISCLOSURE OF EMBODIMENTS

[0045] In accordance with some embodiments of the present invention, reference is now made to FIG 1, showing a schematic illustration of exemplary molar tooth 10, which is subject to future mounting of a fixed dental prosthesis (not shown) thereon. A schematic representation of the geometry of preparation stub 17 defined by exterior surface 18, to be formed of the tissue of tooth 10 is also shown in FIG 1. Exemplary tooth 10 embodies coronal portion 14 and apical portion 16 and comprises exterior surface 12. [0046] In accordance with some embodiments of the present invention, reference is now made to FIG 2, showing apical portion 16 with preparation stub 17 formed thereon. Preparation stub 17 defined by exterior surface 18 is formed by removing dental tissue from a coronal portion of a tooth, such as corona! portion 14 of exemplary molar tooth 10 shown in FIG 1. Fixed dental prosthesis 15 to be mounted onto preparation stub 17 comprises recess 19. Recess 19 embodies solid geometry respectively matching exterior surface 18 of preparation stub 17, so that a relatively minor interstice, preferably not exceeding 100 microns, is formed in-between the former and the latter.

[0047] In accordance with some embodiments of the present invention, reference is now made to RG 3, showing a schematic block diagram of system 20, for automated in- situ preparation for mounting of prefabricated custom dental prosthesis, as well as to FIG 4, showing a schematic flowchart of an embodiment of method 100 for automated in-situ preparation for mounting of prefabricated custom dental prosthesis. System 20 comprises a digital imaging facility 22. Digital imaging facility 22 of system 20 comprises image acquiring device 24 configured to obtain a plurality of images of patient teeth, which are subject to future dental prosthesis mounting thereon, at step 112. image acquiring device 24 exemp!ariiy embodies a three dimensional (3D) scanner, such as optical three dimensional (3D) scanner, physical touch-based 3D (typically CNC) mapping, x-ray imaging device, a computerized tomography (CT) device, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or any other modality configured to obtain a plurality of images of patient teeth, suitable for digitization into three-dimensional solid geometry data, as elaborated hereunder, as well as any combination thereof. It should be that any image acquiring device configured to obtain a plurality of images of patient teeth, employing electromagnetic radiation waves, such as based upon absorption, emission, reflection or scattering, are equally contemplated for those skilled in the art by the current disclosure.

[0048] Digital imaging facility 22 of system 20 comprises digital three-dimensional CAD converter 26 configured to process the plurality of images of patient teeth obtained by image acquiring device 24, so as to generate three-dimensional solid geometry CAD data 28, at step 114, representing the exterior surface of patient tooth, subjected to imaging, at step 112, by image acquiring device 24 of digital imaging facility 22. Digital three-dimensional CAD converter 26 typically embodies a dedicated computer hardware and/or software, exempiariiy employing techniques elaborated in US5345490, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by this reference.

[0049] In one embodiment the three-dimensional solid geometry CAD data 28, representing the exterior surface of patient tooth, comprises an alternate geometry defined discretely rather than with continuous analytic curves and surfaces but still provides a foundation for geometry-dependent applications, such as automatic mesh generation. Once the discrete solid model is created, the automatic mesh generator uses the model to produce a finite element mesh form of an input file, !n some embodiments the automatic mesh generator of digital three-dimensional CAD converter 28 uses two algorithms, depending on whether 2-D or 3-D solid meshes are desired. QUADTREE generates two dimensional meshes on arbitrary slices through the data set, whereas OCTREE generates general three dimensional solid meshes. The resulting finite element meshes can be input to any finite element code with a simple formatting code.

[0050] Exemplary digital imaging facility 22 of system 20, including image acquiring device 24 as well as digital three-dimensional CAD converter 26, is the iTero Element Intraoral Scanner, available from Cadent, Inc. 640 Gotham Parkway Carlstadt NJ, 07072- 2405 USA, set forth in iTero User Guide referenced herein and enclosed hereto, implementing parallel confocai imaging technology for generating three-dimensionai dental CAD data 28.

[0051 ] Upon generating three-dimensional solid geometry CAD data 28, at step 114, by digital three-dimensional CAD converter 28, these CAD data 28 are transmitted from digital imaging facility 22 to modeling facility 30, at step 116, to be processed therein, so as to form two different CAD models, one for the exterior surface of the dentai prosthesis and another one for the interior surface of that dentai prosthesis and/or exterior surface of the preparation stub, for the dentai prosthesis to be mounted thereon, as elaborated infra.

[0052] Modeling facility 30 comprises exterior surface designing module 32 and interior surface modeling module 34. Both exterior surface designing module 32 as well as interior surface modeling module 34 embody dedicated computer hardware and/or software. Exterior surface designing module 32 preferably comprises clinician/patient consult interface 36, accessible by the patient, clinician, dentai technician or any other relevant party, so as to provide an input or feedback utilized to design and/or model the exterior surface of the future dental prosthesis. Clinician/patient consult interface 38 is preferably accessible by a clinician/dentist and/or dental technician and/or patient, so that ciinicai/aesthetic/technical preferences dictated by the clinician/dentist and/or dental technician as well as aesthetic preferences of the patient are effectively addressed in an integrated manner. Exterior surface designing module 32 preferably comprises database 37 containing a plurality of exterior surface dental prosthesis models, representing a common solid geometry of typical human teeth. [0053] Examples of clinician/patient consult interface 36 and/or exterior surface tooth models database 37 and/or designing module 32 in a non-limiting manner include EXOCAD ® software available from Exocad GmbH, Julius-Reiber 37 Darmstadt 64293 Germany and set forth in more details at EXOCAD ® Partial Framework CAD Technology Preview - Quickstart Guide, referenced herein and annexed hereto. EXOCAD ® software provides a state-of-the-art framework with design capabilities of full contour modeling of functional dental prosthesis. It should be acknowledged however that the embodiments of clinician/patient consult interface 36 and/or exterior surface dental prosthesis models database 37 and/or designing module 32 are not limited to EXOCAD*" software, whereas numerous other technologies are available for modeling the exterior surface of the dental prosthesis.

[0054] Interior surface modeling module 34 preferably comprises clinician/technician consult interface 39, accessible by the clinician/dentist, dental technician or other relevant party, so as to provide an input or feedback utilized to model the interior surface of the future dental prosthesis and/or exterior surface of the preparation stub. It should be acknowledged that the solid geometry of the interior surface of the future dental prosthesis and/or the solid geometry of exterior surface of the preparation stub are respectively related, as relatively minor tolerance of interstice apply, preferably not exceeding 100 microns. Therefore, optionally the modeling of the interior surface of the future dental prosthesis and/or exterior surface of the preparation stub is performed by both the interior surface modeling module 34 and the exterior surface designing module 32 together and interdependently. Interior surface modeling module 34 preferably comprises database 35 containing a plurality of preparation stub models, representing a common solid geometry of typical preparation stubs for human teeth.

[0055] Examples of clinician/technician consult interface 39, and/or interior surface models database 37 and/or modeling module 34 in a non-limiting manner include EXOCAD ® Model Creator software available from Exocad GmbH, Julius-Reiber 37 Darmstadt 64293 Germany and set forth in more details at Seamless integration of the EXOCAD ® Model Creator with the Stratasys Eden260V 3D Printing System, referenced herein and annexed hereto. EXOCAD ® Model Creator software provides a state-of-the-art framework with design capabilities of modeling the interior surface of the future dental prosthesis and/or exterior surface of the preparation stub. It should be acknowledged however that the embodiments of clinician/technician consult interface 39, and/or interior surface models database 35 and/or modeling module 34 are not limited to EXOCAD ® Model Creator software, whereas numerous other technologies are available for modeling the exterior surface of the dental prosthesis.

[0056] Upon completion of designing the exterior surface of the future dentai prosthesis by exterior surface design module 32, exterior surface mode! 38 is generated by modeling facility 30, at step 118. Additionally, upon completing the modeling of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the future dentai prosthesis by inferior surface modeling module 34 interior surface model 46 is generated by modeling facility 30, at step 120. Upon generating exterior surface mode! 38 of the exterior surface of the future dental prosthesis as well as interior surface mode! 48 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the future dental prosthesis, exterior surface model 38 and interior surface model 46 are transmitted from modeling facility 30 to fabrication facility 40, at step 122, in order to fabricate a preferably permanent dental prosthesis therein, as elaborated hereunder.

[0057] Additionally, upon generating interior surface model 46 of the future dental prosthesis and/or of the exterior surface model of the preparation stub, interior surface model 46 is transmitted, at step 128, from modeling facility 30 to application facility 50, such as a dental ciinic. It is noted that in this specification as well as in claims hereunder the terms interior surface model 46 of the dental prosthesis and the exterior surface mode! of the preparation stub are optionally used interchangeably. This is because the geometrical models of the interior surface mode! 46 of the dental prosthesis and of the exterior surface model of the preparation stub are closely interrelated and in some examples are essentially identical. While in some embodiments a dedicated geometrical model is generated for the interior surface model 46 of the dental prosthesis and additional dedicated geometrical mode is generated for the exterior surface model of the preparation stub, in other embodiments merely one genera! geometrical model is generated for both the interior surface mode! 46 of the dental prosthesis as well as for the exterior surface model of the preparation stub. In the latter instance to application facility 50 is capable of generating the exterior surface mode! of the preparation stub based on the interior surface mode! 46 of the dental prosthesis.

[0058] Fabrication facility 40 is typically a dentai technician laboratory or workshop.

Fabrication facility 40 preferably comprises a dental computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) module 42, such as the dental CAM disclosed in US8954181 , Dental CAM module 42 receives an input comprising exterior surface model 38 and interior surface model 46 and further utilizes both models for computer-aided manufacture of custom fabricated dental prosthesis 52, at step 124, or for computer-aided manufacture of an antisense moid (not shown) for subsequent molding of custom fabricated dental prosthesis 52, at step 124. [0059] Fabrication facility 40 preferably further comprises fabrication module 44.

Fabrication module 44 is configured to fabricate custom fabricated dental prosthesis 52, at step 114, from the antisense mold manufactured by denial CAM module 42 and/or to cover custom fabricated prosthetic antisense dental prosthesis 52 with a tooth like ceramic substance.

[0080] Upon fabrication, at step 124, custom fabricated dental prosthesis 52 is shipped from fabrication facility 40 to application facility 50, at step 126. As previously mentioned, interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis is transmitted from modeling facility 30 to application facility 50, at step 128. Application facility 50, which is typically a dental clinic, comprises in-situ preparation module 54, configured for automated/machine controlled and/or machine guided/assisted and/or machine supervised formation of the preparation stub, such as preparation stub 17 shown in FSG 2, during step 130, according to interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis, received in application facility 50, at step 128.

[0061 ] In one embodiment, in-situ preparation module 54 comprises a robotic appliance for removal of the dental tissue from the tooth which is performed entirely automatically and/or autonomously. Examples of robotic appliances configured for removal of the dental tissue from a tooth, so as to form a preparation stub, in a non- limiting manner include the intraoral device for automated preparation of the teeth with a view to performing partial or peripheral dental reduction also known as preparation as disclosed in US20150182299.

[0082] A preferred example of the robotic appliance configured for removal of the dental tissue from a tooth, so as to form a preparation stub, is disclosed by Takafumi Otani at al. in THE JOURNAL OF PROSTHETIC DENTISTRY, in a study published August 2015 on In vitro evaluation of accuracy and precision of automated robotic tooth preparation system for porcelain laminate veneers, annexed hereto. The robotic appliance of Takafumi Otani was tested on twenty right maxillary central incisor tooth models with mean natural tooth dimensions and made out of composite resin and epoxy-resin to simulate enamel and underlying dentin, available as "2-Layered Tooth Model" obtained from Nissin Dental Products !nc, were divided into two groups. Ten tooth models were assigned for tooth preparation with dental robotics as an experimental group, and ten tooth models were assigned for tooth preparation with the conventional free-hand method as a control group.

[0063] For the experimental group, three indentations were made on the facial surface of the tooth model with 0.9 mm diameter round diamond rotary cutting instrument 801 .31.009 FG Medium Round Diamond obtained from Brasseier USA. These indentations were placed at the incisai and middle thirds, with a depth of half of the 0.9 mm diameter round diamond rotary cutting instrument. These in- dentations were used to calibrate the robotic arm,

[0084] Twenty tooth models were digitally scanned with 3-dimensiona! (3D) laser scanner model number D7G0L, obtained from 3Shape A S. Scanned data were exported as a stereolithography (STL) file and the STL file was 3D reconstructed with 3D computer- aided design (CAD) software SolidWorks, obtained from Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. A tooth preparation for a PLV was designed on the 3D-reconstructed image of a tooth model. The facial tooth reduction was designed with a dimension of 0.5 mm at the incisai third, 0.5 mm at the middle third, and 0.3 mm at the cervical third. A shallow chamfer finish line, of 0.3 mm wide, was designed and placed 1 mm above the free gingival margins. The incisai reduction was designed with a dimension of 1.5 mm and a butt joint design. All line angles and corners were designed to be rounded. Designed tooth preparation data were exported to computational software MATLAB, obtained from The athWorks Inc, and transformed data were exported to programming software WINCAPS 111, obtained from Denso !ntl America Inc. The robotic arm was controlled with the latter programming software.

[0085] Ten model teeth were mounted on a typodont Prosthetic Restoration Jaw Model, obtained from Nissin Dental Products Inc with a screw. The typodont was attached to the custom mounting unit on a table and stabilized. An electric high-speed handpiece Ti- ax Z95L, obtained from NSK, was attached to the robotic arm VM-60B1 G (www.densorobotics.com/products/vm-g-series/spec) obtained from Denso Intl America Inc., with a custom attachment and a 0.9 mm diameter round diamond rotary cutting instrument was attached to the handpiece. The robotic arm was calibrated by fitting the round diamond rotary cutting instrument into each facial indentation. The rotation speed of the diamond rotary cutting instrument was controlled at 25000 rpm and the speed of the robotic arm movement was controlled at 2 mm per second. The teeth were prepared according to the preoperative preparation design under air-waters pray cooling.

[0066] The same experimental settings as for the robotic tooth preparation were used and the teeth were prepared in a conventional freehand method according to the same preparation design with the same electric handpiece and the same rotational speed. Facial depth grooves of 0,5 mm were placed on the incisai and middle thirds with a depth cutting diamond rotary cutting instrument model 828.31 .026 FG Medium Depth Cutting Diamond, available from Brasseier USA and a 0.3 mm facial depth groove was placed on the cervical third with a 0,3 mm depth cutting diamond rotary cutting instrument 828.31 .022 FG Medium Depth Cutting Diamond available from Brasseier USA. All of the grooves were connected with a double grit diamond rotary cutting instrument model 6844.31 .018 LVS3 available from Brasseier USA. Incisal depth grooves were placed with a 0.5 mm depth cutting diamond rotary cutting instrument and all of the grooves were connected with the same diamond rotary cutting instrument. This procedure was repeated two times to achieve a 1 .5-mm incisal reduction and a silicone matrix Panasil Lab Putty obtained from Kettenbach GmbH & Co KG was used to confirm a 1 .5 mm incisal reduction. A 0.3 mm wide finish line was placed 1 mm supragingivaily with the fine tip of a double grit diamond rotary cutting instrument, and all the line angles on the tooth preparation were rounded. For both the robotic preparation and conventional freehand preparation, the prepared tooth models were detached from the typodont and digitally scanned with a 3D laser scanner D700L available from SShape A S. Scanned data were exported as an STL file, and the STL file was 3D reconstructed with 3D CAD design software. The postoperative scan image was superimposed on the preoperative preparation design image with computational software and the dimensional differences between these two images was measured with the software at 9 points to measure the facial reduction, at 6 points to measure the finish-line width and at 3 points to measure the incisal reduction. To determine the accuracy and precision of the two groups, the difference between the robotic tooth preparation system and the manual freehand tooth preparation from the preoperative preparation design on the 3D image was computed. The accuracy and precision of the 2-tooth preparation methods were summarized from all sites and separately for each tooth surface, namely: facial, finish- line, incisal.

[0067] In second embodiments, in-situ preparation module 54 comprises a clinical appliance for physically guiding and/or assisting in the removal of the dental tissue from the tooth which is performed by the clinician/dentist. Examples of a clinical appliance for physically guiding and/or assisting in the removal of the dental tissue from the tooth in a non-limiting manner include any type of non-autonomous robot-assisted surgery appliance suitable for the purpose of in-situ removal of dental tissue from a tooth, for the formation of the preparation stub, such preparation stub 17 shown in F!G 2.

[0068] In third embodiment, in-situ preparation module 54 comprises at least one robotic arm typically connected to a clinical ablation tool. In third embodiment, in-situ preparation module 54 further comprises a stereoscopic vision sub-module (not shown) or any other means capable of determ ining the three-dimensional position of the ablation tool relatively to the tooth, so as to detect when a deviation from interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis occurs.

[0089] !n third embodiment, in-situ preparation module 54 typically translates the hand movements of the dentist, into the movement of the at least one non-autonomous robotic arm, which actually exerts the clinical effect. In some preferred variation, the dentist manipulates the robotic arm and/or the clinical ablation tool manually, whereas in- situ preparation module 54 merely moderates the movements affected by the dentist and/or supervises over these movements affected by the dentist. In some examples, if in- situ preparation module 54 detects a deviation from interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis, in-situ preparation module 54 preferably performs at least one of: (1 ) prevents any further movement of the robotic arm and/or deactivates the robotic arm and/or the clinical ablation tool and/or (2) reduces the intensity of action of the clinical ablation tool and/or (3) alerts the dentist, by producing a stimulus, such as visual, audible or tactile stimuli, in order to prevent an excessive removal of the dental tissue, thereby retaining a close match between the exterior surface of the preparation stub and the interior surface of the dental prosthesis.

[0070] In third embodiment, in-situ preparation module 54 merely observes the hand movements of the dentist and supervises over them, without somehow interfering with the movements and/or without altering intensity of operation of the ablation tool, which actually exerts the clinical effect. In third embodiment, in-situ preparation module 54 comprises a stereoscopic vision sub-module (not shown) or any other means capable of determining the three-dimensional position of the ablation tool relatively to the tooth, so as do detect when a deviation from interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis occurs,

[0071] If in-situ preparation module 54 detects that a deviation from interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis, in-situ preparation module 54 preferably either reduces the intensity of action of the clinical ablation tool and/or alerts the dentist, by producing a stimulus, such as visual, audible or tactile stimuli, in order to prevent an excessive removal of the dental tissue, thereby retaining a close match between the exterior surface of the preparation stub and the interior surface of the dental prosthesis.

[0072] Upon completing the automated formation of the preparation stub such as preparation stub 17 in F!G 2, by in-situ preparation module 54, at step 130, according to interior surface model 46 of the exterior surface of the preparation stub and/or the interior surface of the dental prosthesis, custom fabricated dental prosthesis 52 is ultimately mounted onto the preparation stub and affixed thereon, typically by specialized adhesives, at step 132.

[0073] In order to appreciate one of the technological problems underlying a successful implementation of the present invention, reference is now made to the results, conclusions and discussion of Takafumi Otani at ai, in In vitro evaluation of accuracy and precision of automated robotic tooth preparation system for porcelain laminate veneers, referenced herein and annexed hereto. According to Takafumi, the precision of robotic tooth preparation achieved by the automated robotic appliance, tested on a fixed tooth model based on a preplanned CAD model was suboptimai, whilst the control performed manually by a skillful dentist has occasionally outperformed the precision of the robotic tooth preparation achieved by the automated appliance, it is further emphasized that suboptimai precision of the robotic tooth preparation was achieved by Takafumi on a fixed tooth model, whereas in real clinical procedures precision is expected to be lower yet, due to the spontaneous movements and breathing of the patient, as set forth in more details infra.

[0074] In accordance with some preferred embodiments of the present invention, enabling a sufficient precision of tolerances not exceeding 100 microns is required. Reference is now made to FIG 5 and 6, showing a schematic block diagram of a preferred embodiment of controlled automated in-situ preparation module 54 comprising intra-oral feedbacking appliance 203 as well as a schematic flowchart of a preferred embodiment of method 300 for controlled automated in-situ preparation comprising in-situ feedbacking measurement at step 307, employed by in-situ preparation module 54 of application facility 50.

[0075] Controlled automated in-situ preparation module S4, of application facility 50, comprises intra-oral feedbacking appliance 203 configured to perform in-situ feedbacking measurement of tooth 10, at step 307. Preferably method 300 of controlled automated in- situ formation of preparation stub 17 commences with primary in-situ scanning of tooth 10, at step 301. Examples of the scanner (not shown) of tooth 10 include the iTero Element Intraoral Scanner, available from Cadent, Inc. 640 Gotham Parkway Carlstadt NJ, 07072- 2405 USA and set forth in more details in iTero User Guide, annexed hereto.

[0076] The scan obtained during step 301 is then transmitted to the controller 202, at step 302. As previously mentioned, at least interior surface model 48, as well as optionally exterior surface model 38, are transmitted to controller 202 of automated in-situ preparation module 54, at application facility 50, during step 128. Interior surface mode! 46, as well as preferably exterior surface model 38, received by controller 202 of automated in-situ preparation module 54, at application facility 50, during step 128, is/are then optionally superposed at step 304, with the intra-oral scan obtained during step 301 and received by controller 202, at step 302.

[0077] Based on interior surface model 46 and/or exterior surface model 38, received by controller 202 of automated in-situ preparation module 54, during step 128, and/or based on the superposition of interior/exterior surface models 46/ 38 with the intraoral scan optionally generated during step 304, an operational plan for robotic appliance 201 is devised by controller 202 at step 305, by calculating inter alia the parameters related to the positioning of the ablation tool, such as the coordinates, vectors and velocities of movements of the ablation tool or acceleration and/or deceleration of the ablation tool, parameters related to actuation of the ablation tool, such as the timing, orientation and position of the activation or response time and movement time, parameters related intensity of operation of the ablation tool, such as the gross power allocated to the ablation tool, maximal rounds per minute (RP ) and/or quota of lumens for the operation of the ablation tool, duration of operational pulses or intervals in-between, as well as optionally various parameters related to operation of optical oblation tools, such as the amplitude, wavelength and/or polarization. Electronic commands are then transmitted from the controller 202 to the robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 203 thereof, so as to remove a primary portion/layer of tooth 10 at step 308,

[0078] Subsequently, intra-oral feedbacking appliance 203 of automated in-situ preparation module 54, at application facility 50, is actuated to obtain in-situ measurement of the ablation site of tooth 10 at step 307, after and/or during the removal of primary portion/layer of tooth 10 at step 306. The intra-oral feedbacking measurement, obtained during step 307, is then transmitted to the controller 202 at step 308, for subsequent comparison with interior surface/exterior models 46 and/or 38 received by controller 202 of automated in-situ preparation module 54 during step 128, and/or with the primary intraoral scan obtained during step 301 and received by controller 202 at step 302, as elaborated immediately hereunder, intra-oral feedbacking appliance 203 of automated in- situ preparation module 54 of application facility 50 comprises a suitable means configured for performing in~situ measurement of the ablation site of tooth 10 at step 307. Examples of an optic means configured for performing in-situ measurement of the ablation site of tooth 10 in a non-limiting manner comprises an apparatus for cutting a workpiece disclosed in US6737607, including a laser beam directed to successive points along the ablation site of tooth 10 surface to be cut and a sensor emitting a sensing beam directed at the same successive points as the cutting beam. A beam combining device receives both the sensor beam and the cutting beam and causes downstream beam segments to be co!linear with each other as they impinge tooth 10 surface. In other examples a mechanical means configured for performing in-situ measurement of the ablation site of tooth 10 is implemented, such as a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) employing mechanical contact-probe, in yet another example an optical scanner configured for performing in-situ measurement of the ablation site of tooth 10 is the iTero Element Intraoral Scanner, available from Cadent, Inc. 640 Gotham Parkway Car!stadt NJ, 07072- 2405 USA and set forth in more details in iTero User Guide, annexed hereto.

[0079] Upon receiving the intra-oral feedbacking measurement obtained during step 307, by controller 202 at step 308, controller 202 optionally compares, at step 309, the intra-orai feedbacking measurement obtained during step 307 with interior surface/exterior models 46/38 received by controller 202 of automated in-situ preparation module 54 during step 128. Alternatively or additionally, upon receiving the intra-oral feedbacking measurement obtained during step 307, by controller 202 at step 308, controller 202 compares, at step 310, the intra-oral feedbacking measurement obtained during step 307 with the primary intra-orai scan obtained at step 301 and received by controller 202 during step 302.

[0080] Upon comparing the intra-oral feedbacking measurement obtained during step 307 with interior surface/exterior models 46/38 received by controller 202 of automated in-situ preparation module 54 during step 128, at step 309, and/or with the primary intra-oral scan obtained at step 301 and received by controller 202 during step 302, at step 310, controller 202 calculates the comparison differences between the former and the latter, at step 311.

[0081] Controller 202 then determines whether the comparison differences, calculated at step 311, exceed a predetermined safety threshold at step 312, namely whether the amount and/or depth of the dental tissue removed exceeds a predetermined safety threshold. The predetermined safety threshold is typically not to exceed 100 microns. Controller 202 then optionally further determines whether the comparison differences, calculated at step 311, do not exceed the predetermined error threshold, at step 312. The predetermined error threshold is dependent upon the accuracy of ablation tool 203 and/or robotic appliance 201. Thus for instance if robotic appliance 201 was commanded by controller 202 to remove 800 micron of dental tissue plus/minus 50 micron, error threshold will be met if robotic appliance 201 has removed between 750 and 850 micron.

[0082] If controller 202, determines during step 312 that the comparison differences, calculated at step 311 , exceed the predetermined safety threshold, a revised and/or updated operational plan for robotic appliance 201 is advised by controller 202 at step 313. Electronic commands are then transmitted from the controller 202 to robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 203 thereof, so as to remove a primary portion/layer of tooth 10 at iterative step 306. If controller 202, determines during step 312 that the comparison differences, calculated at step 311 , exceed the predetermined error threshold a revised and/or updated operational plan for robotic appliance 201 is advised by controiler 202 at step 313. Electronic commands are then transmitted from the controller 202 to the robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 203 thereof, so as to remove an additional portion/layer of tooth 10 at iterative step 306. If controller 202, determines during step 312 that the comparison differences, calculated at step 311, do not exceed the predetermined error and safety thresholds, the preparation procedure is optionally concluded, at step 314, and the newly created preparation stub is ready for mounting the fixed dental prosthesis thereon, during step 134, shown in FIG 4.

[0083] In some preferred embodiments, automated in-situ preparation module 54 comprises a means (not shown) configured to mitigate the risk of a spontaneous relative movement of the dental tissue, such as subject tooth 10 shown in F!G 1, relatively to ablation tool 204, which may result from breathing and/or natural movement of the patient, before the completion of step 306. The means for mitigating a relative movement of the dental tissue, e.g. subject tooth 10 shown in FIG 1 , relatively to ablation tool 204 in a non- limiting manner comprises mechanical fixation and/or motion capture, as well as any equivalent and/or combination thereof.

[0084] In the instance of mechanical fixation, robotic appliance 201 automated in- situ preparation module 54 comprises a fixator or fastener, configured for attachment to a jaw or any other organ/part of the patient. Accordingly, attachment of the fixator or fastener of robotic appliance 201 to a jaw or other organ/part of the patient renders the spatial coordinate system of ablation tool 204 essentially immovable relatively to the subject tooth, such as tooth 10 shown in FIG 1. Therefore breathing and/or natural movement of the patient, before the completion of step 306, essentially does not affect the alignment of ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth. Example of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 and comprising a fixator or fastener, configured for attachment to a jaw by an intraoral splint disposable in the mouth of a patient, including a means for maintaining the position thereof inside the mouth, is disclosed inter alia in US20150182299.

[0085] Alternatively or additionally to the mechanical fixation, robotic appliance 201 automated in-situ preparation module 54 comprises a dedicated motion capture device (not shown), operationally connected to controller 202 and/or robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204, configured for registering the spatial coordinates of a jaw or any other organ/part of the patient, firmly connected to subject tooth, the such as tooth 10 shown in FIG 1 , as well as continuously tracking the movement and/or position of the subject tooth relatively to robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204, Example of a dedicated motion capture device (not shown), operationally connected to controller 202, configured for registering the spatial coordinates of a jaw or any other organ/part of the patient, includes the icronTracker real-time sub-millimeter optical pose-tracking device, available from Claron Technology, at Carlton St 120, Suite 217, Toronto MSA 4K2 Canada and set forth in more details in icronTracker Developer Manual - C!aroNav, annexed hereto.

[0086] In the instance of a dedicated motion capture device (not shown), method 300 typically further comprises a step (not shown) of attaching tags to a jaw or any other organ/part of the patient, firmly connected to subject tooth; thereby breathing and/or spontaneous movement of the patient, before the completion of step 306, which may affect the alignment of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth, is/are detectable by the motion capture device (not shown). Upon defecting a spontaneous movement of the patient, before the completion of step 306, which exceeds a predefined safety threshold and is capable to effectively affect the alignment of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth, such a deviation from the alignment of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth is communicated to controller 202 and method 300 iterativeiy performed at least from step 306 onwards.

[0087] In the instance of a dedicated motion capture device (not shown), method

300 further comprises a step (not shown) of calibrating the alignment of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth as well as a step (not shown) of continuously monitoring the initial alignment of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth. Upon detecting a spontaneous movement of the patient, before the completion of step 306, which exceeds a predefined alignment threshold and is capable to effectively affect the alignment of robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth, method 300 optionally further comprises stopping performing the ablation of step 306 and iterativeiy performing the aforementioned step (not shown) of aligning robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 relatively to the subject tooth.

[0088] In some examples automated in~situ preparation module 54 comprising the motion capture device (not shown) embodies a "normally open control" design scheme. However in some preferred examples, automated in-situ preparation module 54 comprising the motion capture device (not shown) embodies a "closed loop control" design scheme with enhanced safety, where the motion capture device (not shown) is operationally connected to controller 202 as well as to the robotic appliance 201 and/or the ablation tool 204. Accordingly to such "closed loop control" scheme, as long as robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 receive a signal from the motion capture device (not shown) confirming that robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 are sufficiently aligned with subject tooth, the ablation of step 306 proceeds. Once however the signal from the motion capture device (not shown) is interrupted and/or indicates that robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 are misaligned relative to the subject tooth, the operation that robotic appliance 201 and/or ablation tool 204 immediately stops.

[0089] In accordance with some preferred embodiments, reference is now made to

FIG 7 to 9 respectively showing isometric, front and top views of exemplary fixation mechanism 400 of in-situ preparation module of the present invention. Fixation mechanism 400 comprises molar teeth accommodating portions 404. Molar teeth accommodating portions 404 are confined by ridges 408 from the inner side. Molar teeth accommodating portions 404 are tillable with a hardening resin (not shown) and configured to affix mechanism 400 to patient's jaw (not shown) by adhering and fastening molar teeth accommodating portions 404 to the molar teeth (not shown) of the patient.

[0090] Fixation mechanism 400 further comprises sockets 410, rigidly connectable to molar teeth accommodating portions 404. Sockets 410 are configured for mounting fixation shafts 402, which in turn are rigidly connectable to the in-situ preparation module (not shown)of the present invention.

[0091] Fixation mechanism 400 further comprises wedge eiements 412, disposed underneath molar teeth accommodating portions 404 and embodying an essentially triangular shape with anteriorly facing pointed end and posteriorly facing thicker end. Wedge elements 412 are typically made of hard eiastomeric material. Wedge elements 412 are configured to prevent the patient from closing the jaws while fixation mechanism 400 is installed in patient's mouth.

[0092] Fixation mechanism 400 ultimately comprises tongue shielding element 406, extending in-between ridges 408 on the inner side of molar teeth accommodating portions 404. Tongue shielding element 406 is configured to divert patient's tongue away the operational area of the ablating agent of in-situ preparation module.

IE. F" EE EE .^1 EE * 5

[0093] US patent application Ser. No, 20150182299 and 201 10008751 US patents

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[0098] THE GLOSSARY OF PROSTHODONTIC TERMS (Annex 3), Volume 94

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[0099] In vitro evaluation of accuracy and precision of automated robotic tooth preparation system for porcelain laminate veneers (Annex 4), by Takafumi Otani at ai. in THE JOURNAL OF PROSTHETIC DENTISTRY, published Aug 2015

[0100] The iTero Element intraoral Scanner User Guide (Annex 5), obtainable from Cadent, Inc. 640 Gotham Parkway Carlstadt NJ, 07072-2405 USA http://www.itero.com/download/iTeroUserGuide.pdf

[0 01 ] MicronTracker Developer Manual - C!aroNav (Annex 6), obtainable from Claron Technology, at Carlton St 120, Suite 217, Toronto MSA 4K2 Canada, available at: http://www.claronav.com/mt3__brochure.pdf