A novel vending machine for supplying root canal tools during surgery

Carl A. Nelson, S. G.M. Hossain, Ala'A Al-Okaily, Jason Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A root canal surgery involves the successive use of several tools one after another. Typically dozens of tools are laid out for possible use, and the process of tool selection is done manually. This is a rather inefficient process and uses up a large area on the mobile cart or cabinet of the dental chair due to the large number of tools. In this article, a novel 'tool vending machine' is introduced which will be capable of solving those problems and at the same time move a step closer to robot-assisted dental surgery. The tool vending machine was designed considering the needs of the dentists and also from the perspective of the entire product life cycle. For these reasons the design process was implemented using a rigorous analysis of effective manufacturing processes and product quality. To show the feasibility of using such a machine in improving work efficiency during operations, a study of the associated motion patterns and the required time increments were demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-116
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Design for manufacturing
  • Modular instrument
  • Product quality
  • Root canal surgery
  • Root canal tools
  • Vending machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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