Revolutionizing Dentistry: The Role of Artificial Intelligence

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As AI evolves, there is an opportunity to revolutionize oral health care and improve patient treatments and experiences.

Revolutionizing Dentistry: The Role of Artificial Intelligence | Image Credit: © Gefo - stock.adobe.com / Generated with AI

Revolutionizing Dentistry: The Role of Artificial Intelligence | Image Credit: © Gefo - stock.adobe.com / Generated with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI), the latest technological advancement to alter today’s society, has transformed in recent years from an incomprehensible concept to a widely used tool. AI has been integrated into the technology most of us use daily. AI is more commonly used than you might realize, from search engines and social media algorithms to GPS navigation and streaming recommendations.

Through AI integration, standard dental tools and practices are evolving to provide better care and advance diagnosis and treatment plans. For the industry, it is essential to continue developing the technology so that patients receive the highest, most efficient level of care possible. Implementing new technology may improve treatment plans and oral health, increase patient retention, and improve brand reputation.

Using AI in Dental Offices

AI has become common in dental offices through office management platforms that assist in patient billing and scheduling, as well as software services that allow clinicians and hygienists to view and better understand images, analyze patient data, and develop treatment plans.

Front office management is crucial in running a practice, so tools that can offer administrative staff assistance should not be ignored or neglected. An efficient, easy-to-use scheduling and billing system can improve patient satisfaction and increase retention. The platforms can assist with online payment options, payment plans, scheduling assistance, chat features, and more. They can also help to improve the quality of work of the front office management staff. Equipping your practice with state-of-the-art technology may make people in your community more apt to visit your practice.

Recently, new technology has developed to assist providers in recognizing and treating poor oral health through AI. After capturing images of a patient’s teeth, AI can help detect early signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and more by analyzing images and comparing them to other patient profiles and diagnoses. According to the American Dental Association, detecting these precursors to potential oral health problems can aid treatment plans and motivate patients to seek action sooner.

Imaging with the integration of AI can also show patients how their teeth and smile will look after a procedure. Through AI, dentists can generate images of how a patient may look after surgery, a new crown or veneer, or braces. These images can help patients decide when choosing a dentist or determining whether they want to receive a specific treatment.

Lastly, AI can assist dentists and hygienists with data analysis. By analyzing patient data, care records, and medical histories, AI can offer treatment plans for certain oral health diseases. Although AI did not attend dental school, and it is always best to refer to a dentist’s knowledge when treating patients, AI can offer a new idea or perspective that may improve a treatment plan and provide better care for the patient.

AI should be used in dental practices to help offer patients the best level of care. Whether through administration tasks or treatment plans, AI can assist your office and, when used correctly, improve practices. AI in dental practices should be seen as a tool to supplement and improve work.

Enhancing Patient Engagement Through AI

Although AI in the dentist's office is beneficial, how can patients use it to improve overall oral health practices? Beyond dental offices, AI is reshaping patients’ daily oral health through innovative products and technology. Leading oral care brands have recently integrated AI technology into their toothbrushes to track brushing patterns and recommend better oral health practices. Typically, these recommendations are supplied to users through an app that connects with their brush and shares results.

These brushes use sensors equipped with Bluetooth and AI to recognize where in the mouth the user is brushing, alerting them when the area is fully clean or recommending they return to a spot they may have missed or not brushed well enough. One brush, announced at the 2024 CES, even uses AI voice-guided assistance to tell users when they are brushing too hard, when to move to a different area, or when they can stop brushing.

Oral health does not come quickly to everyone, so a brush that guides brushing patterns can be beneficial in catalyzing behavior change and promoting preventive care for patients at home. Many of these brushes also provide an analysis or data report on the user’s brushing habits to educate the user further. These reports track the user’s brushing history and can offer personalized recommendations on practices that can further improve oral care. The patient can easily share the report with a dentist because these data are usually accessed through the user’s smartphone or device. The clinician can better understand patient habits and provide a more personalized oral care plan that may better align with patients’ daily lives.

The Future of AI in Dentistry

As AI continues influencing technology, consumer products, and society, its impact on dentistry should be acknowledged and appreciated. Future advancements in AI-driven diagnostics, treatment plans, and patient engagement hold promise for revolutionizing oral health and health care. By harnessing AI’s analytic capabilities, dentists and hygienists can deliver more precise diagnoses, personalize treatment plans, and enhance patient experience and satisfaction. Patients can benefit from introducing AI into their oral health routines because it can empower them to manage their oral health proactively. Integrating AI into society offers a new era of innovation and optimization in the dental industry. As AI evolves, it can revolutionize health care and improve patient treatment and experience.

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