How will AI impact aesthetic dentistry?

This month, Manrina Rhode discusses how she uses AI in practice and how she predicts it will impact the future of aesthetic dentistry.

It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues at the moment: AI this, AI that, Chat GPT this, Chat GPT that. It’s very exciting. I think what’s exciting about it is that it’s going to be quite a quick evolution. I was at university when the internet and mobile phones came about – and they were quite life changing. But that was 26 years ago and there’s been a slow evolution from there of smartphones getting smarter, TVs becoming smart TVs, and the internet, Google and things changing, but it’s been a reasonably slow pace.

With AI, because it’s self teaching, the change is going to be a lot quicker. We’re going to start using it and as we start using it, it’s going to get smarter and we’re going to see quite a big change in the next five years or so.


Already in clinic at the moment, we use AI technology for a range of different things, such as marketing. For our newsletters, you can use quite in depth prompts with Chat GPT to create a really cool newsletter. I think an example was a Halloween newsletter that we sent out that was all written by Chat GPT.

I wanted to send a newsletter about Dracula’s teeth and about him having a smile makeover. So, the brief that I gave to our marketing person was to find a picture of an actor playing Dracula and find a picture of the same actor not as Dracula to then make a joke about it being a smile makeover. And then we put into Chat GPT: ‘Acting as a social media manager for a private dental clinic, write a newsletter about Dracula’s smile makeover’.

It created the most amazing newsletter talking about all the treatments that we do here. We talked about how Dracula had Botox and fillers to improve his skin, how his pointed canines had been contoured, how his teeth had been whitened so they weren’t yellow anymore. And he had minimally invasive porcelain veneers to improve the shape of his teeth. It even talked about contouring his gum with a laser and how chat GPT knew that I was one of the few clinics in the country with a Waterlase was incredible.

The way they wrote about each one of the treatments was just so cool, and it took less than five minutes. It was a much better newsletter than my marketing person had written initially – they had done a better version than the human, which was interesting.


Arguably, this is the same with the X-rays.

For the X-rays that we take, we have software that reads the X-rays. It points out lesions and how deep the lesion is. It runs a report on the X-ray so we can show our patients how we read the X-ray. Then we put it through the AI and show what the AI has found on our dental imaging.

I’ll glance at X-rays and be like, ‘Oh, yeah, they look okay.’ And then we’ll put it through the AI and be like, ‘What about this de mineralisation interproximally that really wasn’t visible with the human eye? But AI picked it up on a Pixlr level and saw that that was going on.’


The other way we use AI in clinic is in imaging. I put a post recently on LinkedIn and Instagram with my own face where I put my smile through AI and asked it to give me a perfect smile, and it did.

Some of them were actually really cool and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, maybe I should do that’. But some of them made me look worse because AI didn’t quite get it yet about where the lips should be positioned, how not everyone’s exactly the same and facial proportions etc.

But I assume as it learns and gets better, it will also get better at that. And that saves me a wealth of time of sitting in and imaging my patients smiles or using Photoshop by hand as I would do traditionally. So that’s been a really cool, exciting improvement.

What else will AI change?

I also think within our dental teams, AI is going to be used more and more. I was speaking to someone the other day that was using AI to book appointments. So, the patient will call and AI can look into the diary to find out what’s available and it will know where to block things in.

And I think for for tasks like that, which actually take up a lot of time and probably don’t need to because it’s a straightforward task, using AI for that will really allow us to let the humans do the bits that need human interaction.

And and even doing treatments remotely or helping us with treatment planning. I think as technology evolves, that’s going to continue. I know with the software that I’ve got now, I keep getting emails saying, ‘We’ve got a new AI integration coming’.

We’re right at the very beginning of a really a big change that’s going to happen. So, maybe take this as an introduction and let’s do this again next year.

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