Facing the future of AI

Facing the future of AI

Julian Perry casts a look ahead to what artificial intelligence could spell for dentistry.

Modern dentistry is about ‘doing the right thing’. In other words, acting in the best interest of the patient.

In 2023, this means going digital – digital records, digital interrogation and proper data to confirm best outcomes. There is a distinct move towards objective analysis rather than subjective opinion – data-driven analysis and probability assessment is coming to both medicine and dentistry.

Intraoral scanners are a hot topic in this area, and with good reason – we know that digitalisation reduces risk, and can therefore improve practice and reduce the likelihood of patient complaints and claims. Yet, at the time of writing, less than 10% of UK dentists have embraced them. 

While the use of intraoral scanners is increasing (and will eventually be firmly embedded in everyday practice), at Densura, we think the real future of dentistry lies in artificial intelligence (AI). 

We already have excellent AI interrogation of radiographs which, in studies, diagnose more accurately than the human eye. A leading technology partner in this regard is Pearl (where the image here has been taken from), but there are others.

Tip of the iceberg

But this is the tip of the iceberg. We are already seeing huge investment in the AI-driven examination, and we envisage the future to look a little like this:

  • A patient attends the clinic and has baseline records completed, including a very comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire, a digital intraoral scan, digital pictures and digital radiographs
  • When they leave the clinic, they will be given a box containing a smartphone holder/cheek retractor and instructions on how to download the corresponding app
  • When the routine check-up is due, the patient will get a text notification. The patient will access the app, put the phone into the holder and press ‘go’. The phone will tell the patient to move the camera around while it captures the required images, and communicate when the data collection process is finished. That’s it!
  • The data will auto-upload into a cloud-based server, and the computer will overlay the new data onto the old. A treatment plan will be created that will go to the dentist to be checked before being submitted
  • The system can also be programmed to ‘upsell’ – implants for spaces, aligners for crooked teeth and whitening for teeth dropping a little in colour over time. Computer analysis is not emotional, so we anticipate that patient acceptance will be high. 

AI is going to be the future of dentistry. Get on board or get left behind!

At Densura, we know all about digital dentistry, and welcome practitioners to contact us to discuss any queries that they may have about this emerging technology and the safeguarding issues that such tech might bring. 

For more information visit www.densura.com.

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