The future of artificial intelligence (AI) in dentistry has arrived. Most dentists just don’t realize it yet.
That will soon change.
Around the world, people use AI-powered technology every single day. AI algorithms generate everything from Google search results to predictive text when writing emails to speech-to-text messages on smartphones. Every time you’re shopping and see “Recommended for you,” that’s based on AI data analysis, comparing your shopping habits to those of thousands of other people.
It’s not random. AI programs are trained by using millions of data points that were categorized by human beings already. That teaches the program how to recognize what it’s seeing. Then the AI programs use machine learning to extrapolate results and apply the information to future data.
In dentistry, AI has the ability to improve the patient experience and clinical outcomes at every stage. Here are eight ways to leverage AI to grow your dental practice.
Hygiene at Home
Smart toothbrushes can record how patients are brushing their teeth and share that data with dentists, typically via an app. That allows dentists to identify bad habits and teach patients how to improve their at-home hygiene routine. Some apps even remind patients when it’s time to schedule their next dental appointment.
Patient Phone Calls
Companies like Patient Prism leverage AI’s natural language processing algorithms and machine learning to quickly identify why patients called, the services they requested, the associated revenue, and whether the call ended in a booked appointment. Dentists use the data for everything from front office training to winning back unscheduled callers to determining whether their marketing efforts are driving the right kinds of calls.
Computer vision AI analyzes radiographs in real time to detect pathologies and standardize quality of care. It provides confidence in the dentists’ diagnostics and ensures problems are not missed. Companies like Pearl, Videa, and Overjet are successfully implementing computer vision AI in thousands of dental practices and improving diagnosis, case acceptance, and ultimately patient outcomes.
AI computing models are based on the treatment plans and outcomes of hundreds of thousands of patient records. Dentists can leverage AI to analyze different treatment possibilities and determine the potential for success, the length of the case, the materials that would be used, costs, and other considerations.
Augmented reality isn’t just for kids’ games. Dentists use AI-powered augmented reality to generate smile designs in real time. When patients can see how the dental work will improve their appearance and restore function, they are more likely to start treatment.
At its most basic functionality, AI is big data computation. Its advanced algorithms predict future outcomes based on data patterns. Some dental support organizations around the country are already using AI to crunch numbers for predictive analysis designed to increase case acceptance, improve show rates, and optimize schedules.
For decades, insurance claims have been manually reviewed by dental professionals employed by the insurance carrier. AI can review claims, radiographs, and supporting documentation in seconds, generating approvals or identifying fraudulent claims much more quickly.
Elevated Patient Care
Technology has already revolutionized electronic health records. In this decade, AI will make it possible to closely tie oral health conditions to overall systemic health, which will lead to better communication between providers and breakthroughs in both disease prevention and treatment.
Groups like the Dental Artificial Intelligence Council (DAIC), a nonprofit organization established by Pearl, are leading the way on the research and future applications. From helping patients at home to making it easier to book appointments to ensuring accuracy in diagnosis and treatment planning, AI is already revolutionizing dentistry. The future has arrived.