When you hear the phrase “artificial intelligence,” you may think of something from a science fiction movie like robots and self-operating spaceships. But the term “AI” encompasses even technology that we use daily like voice recognition or language translation. As our world is becoming more technologically advanced, artificial intelligence is used in dentistry offices everywhere and in increasing numbers. So, how can you use artificial intelligence in your practice for the benefit of your patients? And what are the challenges associated with the implementation of artificial intelligence? Let’s dig a little deeper into the world of AI and advanced technology.
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence
Technology is integrated into our everyday lives and health care is no exception. In fact, among adults who have been to a dentist previously, two-thirds say they would prefer a dentist with more advanced technology. Benefits to integrating AI into your dental practice include:
- reduced treatment times
- logical data collection and processing
- standardization of procedures
Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence, which can be found increasingly useful in the world of dentistry. A popular model of machine learning is Artificial Neural Network or ANN. This technology is a model system that uses mathematical operations and artificial neurons. It is modeled after human neurons to solve complex problems. An example of this in dentistry is advanced radiographic imaging of a decayed tooth.
Artificial neural network can be used to diagnose disease processes or solve problems that are too complex to be solved by conventional dental methods. One study used the Artificial neural network to predict toothache in patients by associating toothache and daily toothbrushing frequency, toothbrushing time, use of dental floss, frequency of toothbrush replacement, and other factors.
This created the toothache prevention model that recognizes eating habits, oral hygiene, and stress prevention as the most important factors in preventing toothaches. So, by using data collection and processing, artificial intelligence can assist in the development of treatment and infection prevention processes for patients.
Challenges for Artificial Intelligence in Dentistry
Although AI has numerous benefits and can reduce the chance of human error and improve patient satisfaction, there are also challenges to consider before selecting how you will use it. One challenge to its implementation is the lack of training for most dental office employees. Some AI systems can be complex, and dental office management may have to pay more costs upfront for employee training and system setup. However, the long-term benefits may be worth the initial cost. Prepare for extensive staff training, and extra time set aside for setup of any new equipment.
Another challenge is patient education for new artificial intelligence systems. Nearly 25% of adults report dental equipment as the reason for fear of going to the dentist’s office. Increasing patient knowledge about new technology can increase patient traffic and patient satisfaction, since patients also report desiring the most updated technological advances when it comes to their health care, including dentistry. Patients should be educated about how artificial intelligence can increase their comfort, improve oral health and improve their understanding of how to manage their oral health. Once new AI is implemented in your dental practice, start with open patient communication about how the technology will be used in the patient’s care and how it will be beneficial.
Types of Artificial Intelligence in Dentistry
AI can be found in dentistry offices everywhere. It can be as simple as a dentist chair that calculates patient weight and vital signs, to a complex model data processing system like the Artificial Neural Network. For patient management, virtual dental assistants have been used to manage patient appointments, insurance information and medical backgrounds.
In the area of orthodontics, artificial intelligence has made advancements with 3D scans and aligners to help providers perform more precise treatment. There has also been development of new systems used by periodontists to detect periodontitis sooner. A simple place to start with artificial intelligence may be new imaging systems like the CS 9600 CBCT scanner. A new 5-in-1 imaging system that produces better quality images. It also utilizes AI to help ensure patients are positioned appropriately for the best scan results. As a dental practice, explore which artificial intelligence would most benefit your practice. What types of AI are you already using?
Are you looking for advice on which artificial intelligence technology would most benefit your dental practice? Look no further than Strategic Practice Solutions. The SPS dental management system takes a unique approach to help you grow your business. This is by helping you make changes and implement new innovative improvements. Coordinate with a professional to discuss your business goals and develop a plan to train your team and grow your client base. Call or click today for more information about how artificial intelligence can help your dental practice thrive.