Artificial intelligence (AI) is still in its infancy. It is only within the last five years that cloud computing and big data have provided sufficient access to the large data sets researchers need to train intelligent systems. It’s already begun to change the way that many industries operate, though, including the dental industry. Read on to find out about six ways modern dentists are using AI that would have been inconceivable just a decade ago.
Predictive modeling software is a form of AI that uses data to show potential treatment outcomes. Dentists are now using predictive modeling programs like those created by OrthoSelect to create treatment plans for fixed and removable braces, facilitate patient consultations, and more. Accurate predictive modeling makes it easier for dentists to create custom treatment plans, while simultaneously offering a valuable resource to patients who want to know what to expect before getting started.
Detecting General Anomalies
It’s common for some types of common dental anomalies, including dental caries, to go unnoticed during routine exams. This can lead to unnecessary pain and tooth decay. AI-based dentistry solutions like automated cavity detection offer a perfect solution by identifying not just cavities, but also nerve damage, in seconds.
Patient Management Software
Even dental offices that have yet to adopt more advanced AI solutions typically have AI-enabled patient management software. This software automatically sends out annual or bi-annual appointment reminders keeps track of diagnoses, prescriptions, and previous interactions, and makes it easier for dentists to come up with custom treatment plans. Automated messaging also makes it easier for patients to stay on top of their exams, cleanings, and other routine dental care.
Charting Pathological Conditions
AI software can be used to track and chart pathological conditions like apical periodontitis. The software uses data derived from thousands of x-rays and other information to learn what different stages of periodontitis look like, then apply that learned information to a particular patient. This makes it easier for dentists to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment plans and track patients’ progress.
Smart Glasses and AI Software
It’s now possible for dentists to use AI software to detect anomalies from x-rays, but that’s not the most impressive part. Dentists can then use smart glasses to view real-time images that show the patient’s bone structure while performing extractions. This can help to reduce pain and the risk of complications, helping patients get the treatment they need without worrying about how it may impact their health and helping dentists maintain their reputations and draw in more business.
Some dentists are using programs similar to the consumer-facing Alexa AI to save time and prevent unnecessary risks during patient visits. Dentists who use specialized voice recognition AI software can avoid the need for having multiple staff members in the room while performing procedures that come with a higher risk of infection, save time that would otherwise be spent on the computer looking up records and provide a higher level of patient care. Plus, specialized dental software doesn’t pose a risk of HIPPA violations.
The Bottom Line
AI is already everywhere in today’s society, including in dentists’ offices. Current uses of AI include image analysis, voice recognition, predictive modeling, and more, but it is even more interesting to think about what the future may hold. If researchers’ knowledge of AI continues to progress at the same rate, tech enthusiasts may be in for a treat.
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