AI Dentistry and the Technologies it Uses

The maturation of AI in the healthcare industry is becoming more evident, as experts predict its potential market size to balloon up to 28 billion dollars in 2025. Given the advancements in modern technology, it’s no surprise that dental practices are starting to embrace the idea of AI dentistry.

But what AI technologies currently exist in the dental industry? And how can practices leverage technology to improve patient experience and provide a higher quality service? Let’s ponder these questions and discuss how AI dentistry can significantly impact dental care.

How does AI dentistry benefit practices on the business side?

Insurers are starting to lean towards AI to identify fraudulent claims regarding intraoral scans and X-rays. One example is Pearl, an AI-focused dental software company that uses a pioneering artificial intelligence system to detect fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) in dental insurance. Their patented software unearthed more than $6 billion worth of dental insurance fraud by detecting duplicate 2D images of existing claims.

Automated insurance processing and website experience also benefit from AI. Intelligent document processing (IDP) is a form of AI technology that extracts data from unstructured data similar to human processes, thus increasing productivity in insurance processing. AI-based chatbots also enhance the patient experience, as they can maintain conversations with a human touch.

AI Dentistry

What are the technologies used in AI dentistry?

On the clinical aspect, dental practices are using artificial intelligence to improve cavity detection and detect radiograph problems. Instead of using conventional tray impressions to map a patient’s mouth, dentists use intraoral scanning to create digital impressions of the oral cavity.

Here are other examples of technologies present in dental care that help boost practice efficiency and productivity.

1. Smart voice assistant

Imagine pulling up a patient’s imaging without the need to remove your gloves and type on a computer. With voice technology, you can adhere better to infection control protocols and eliminate tedious tasks in your daily processes.

One of the first voice assistant technologies introduced to the dental industry is DexVoice. This command-based software lets dentists pull up records, x-rays, and charts through voice activation, making it easier to access information and enhance multitasking capabilities. It’s compatible with any Alexa-enabled device, allowing easy integration into any dental practice.

Since dentists interact with various interfaces, voice commands are a game-changing technology that practically costs nothing and can assist practices in every instance.

2. In-depth patient data analysis

AI’s machine learning capabilities extend beyond voice activation, as dentists can use it to retrieve and analyze patient records more accurately. Since these systems can learn and adapt, dentists can use artificial intelligence to predict potential diseases or lesions by processing multiple data simultaneously.

Software companies continuously develop algorithms that can scan several radiographs to detect patterns that are otherwise difficult for humans to see. This process aids dentists in identifying potential infections or lesions. Through in-depth patient data analysis, dental practices can identify oral problems and prescribe the right treatment with greater precision and speed.

3. AI-assisted orthodontics

We’ve learned that AI dentistry can help streamline operations and provide accurate data analysis. But can it help shift the patient’s teeth in the right place? Absolutely. Orthodontics requires careful planning and consideration, a treatment that will benefit greatly with the help of artificial intelligence.

Dentists can utilize AI to determine the need for a tooth extraction or the size of an unerupted tooth. Al algorithms can also aid dentists in figuring out the best path for the patient’s teeth to shift by taking the start and end points to calculate the most optimal destination.

These processes assist dentists tremendously in guiding the patient’s teeth to move efficiently. Aside from assisting with orthodontic treatments, dentists can use AI to diagnose orthopedic pathologies in the patient’s mouth, like osteoarthritis around the jaw joints.

Whether addressing jaw arthritis or correcting teeth alignment, AI is a strong companion for orthodontists and will continue to do so as the technology evolves.

4. Artificial smart teeth

The idea of attaching sensors to a patient’s teeth might sound far-fetched. Still, the reality is that this kind of technology exists to help dentists identify a patient’s oral habits. Artificial smart teeth rely on accelerometers glued to the patient’s teeth to observe food intake, brushing habits, and potential dental issues.

The sensors transmit data to a mobile application that patients can use to analyze their oral activity. Dentists can also utilize the information to recommend the best oral practices to help maintain teeth quality and saliva pH levels.

Artificial smart teeth hold a ton of potential, as dentists can use them as a research tool or a monitoring medium to keep their patients’ oral health in excellent shape.

5. Smart toothbrushes

Dental fear is one of the many barriers dentists face when acquiring new patients. Many people visit the clinic only when there’s an oral health emergency. To combat this growing issue, new technology in the form of smart toothbrushes emerged.

Smart toothbrushes are unique from electric toothbrushes in that they have various sensors like cameras, pH sensors, and pressure sensors. The device collects data from the patient’s brushing habits to determine their frequency of brushing, quality of brushing, and more.

Patients can forward the collected information to dentists for in-depth analysis. Smart toothbrushes encourage remote consultations, and given the rise of teledentistry in this digital era, it’s only a matter of time before this kind of technology becomes prevalent.

6. AI virtual assistants

The ability to process data in bulk greatly benefits dental practices. That’s why AI virtual assistants are becoming commonplace, as their efficiency leads to quality improvements like time savings and labor cost reductions.

From automating front-office tasks to improving patient outreach, AI-driven virtual assistants can optimize even the most mundane tasks so that practices can focus more on providing quality dental care.

7. AI-assisted endodontics

When treating dental pulp issues, AI models can look at radiographic images and evaluate the condition of the teeth from the root. By using deep learning algorithms, AI can determine tissue viability, measurements, structure, and even rate of treatment success.

There are several ways to detect lesions in root tissue and its overall working length. The good news is computer vision works amazingly at reading radiographic images because it can accurately recognize complex patterns to provide quantitative assessments.

Final Thoughts

The significance of AI dentistry grows larger as technology continues to move forward. Dental practices can take advantage of these solutions to provide better oral care, enhance their internal operations, and improve long-term patient outcomes.

Hopefully, this article provides you with the information you need on AI dentistry technologies and how you can leverage them to modernize your dental practice.

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