• Uses of Dental AI in Prosthodontics

Dental Care Applications for Advanced AI Technology

AI technology is all over the news these days as engineers and scientists work to leverage its benefits across a wide range of industry segments. In the world of health care, AI has the potential to revolutionize many of the processes used by doctors and dentists to provide positive outcomes for their patients. Join us as we explore the ways that advanced AI technology is being used in dental clinics, and look at what the future might hold.

It’s quite remarkable how far dental health care has evolved over the years. Today, dental clinics are wonders of advanced technology that help dentists, hygienists, and orthodontists provide better outcomes for their patients than ever before. Modern x-ray machines and 3D imaging scanners can create reference images and digital models of a patient’s mouth down to the smallest detail with exacting precision. 3D printing has enabled the production of customized dental tools and templates made to suit specific patients in ways that were never before possible. These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg. With the introduction of AI technology into the dental health care space, innovation is poised to leap forward yet again.

What Is AI and How Does It Work?

To understand how AI can be utilized to provide better dental care for patients, it’s essential to first learn how modern AI technologies work. To start at the beginning, AI is an acronym for ‘artificial intelligence’. Although the term may conjure images of intelligent robots from science fiction movies, the real-world applications are a little different.

At its core, AI is essentially a problem-solving technology that uses vast amounts of data and complex algorithms to provide answers to questions. Over time, these algorithms begin to evolve based on the results of previous calculations, essentially ‘learning’ as new data is made available to answer questions with greater accuracy and speed. Quite simply, AI gets smarter over time. The more data it has to refer to, and the more questions it’s answered in the past, the better it gets at answering new questions.

These technologies are used to automate many data processing tasks, including finding and analyzing trends and patterns that are hidden in amounts of data that are simply too massive for a human to efficiently manage. It is because of this that AI has so many beneficial applications in the field of health care and dentistry, as much of what dentists and doctors do for patients is analyze data and provide recommendations for the best course of treatment.

While these technologies are still in the very early stages of research and development, the potential future impact could be quite significant. Here are some of the areas of dentistry where AI could quickly become an integral part of how dental health care works in the coming years.

Leveraging AI for Analysis & Diagnosis

Using the highly detailed imagery and scans produced by modern dental diagnostic equipment, AI algorithms are able to rapidly analyze this data and pinpoint any anomalies or warning signs that are known to be associated with a vast array of dental health conditions. Some examples include gum disease, tooth decay, bone density degradation, and even oral cancer. Now, AI does not provide the actual diagnosis, but rather increases the speed at which a diagnosis can be reached. AI helps by calling out the critical points of interest for the dentist to review, which thereby allows them to spend less time scanning through the data themselves and more time interpreting the findings.

AI also has the advantage of comparing data among a much larger data set than what could typically be done by a human. In just moments, an AI algorithm can crunch through thousands of datasets, which is far more than could be reviewed by human eyes. This not only increases the consistency and reliability of the results, but also works at identifying important pieces of information that may not have been present in a smaller data set. AI is not intended to take the place of an experienced dentist, but rather to give that experienced dentist the tools and information needed to make a more precise diagnosis.

Benefits of AI for Clinic Management

AI technology also has beneficial applications for the daily operations and management of the dental clinic. Every day, there are many administrative and clerical tasks that must be completed at the clinic. These include such things as ensuring that records are kept accurately and promptly, supplies are stocked and inventory levels are accurate, and communications between the clinic, patient, insurance providers, and other organizations are working properly.

Clinic management software is evolving to include AI tools for automation of a wide range of daily administrative tasks to increase efficiency and accuracy, as well as reduce the risk of preventable errors. These powerful software tools can be used to simplify scheduling, automate patient reminders, alert staff of possible errors, and improve the speed and accuracy of clinic record-keeping.

Orthodontic Treatment Planning

For patients in need of braces, it’s not unusual to have some questions and concerns about what the treatment will be like, and what they can expect in terms of final results. Thanks to tools like the iTero Element 5D intraoral imaging system and advanced predictive software programs, patients can quickly see a preview of how their smile will look at the end of their treatment. In the future, thanks to the incorporation of AI technology, this software may be able to predict the final results of orthodontic treatment with even greater accuracy.

For example, it may be possible in the future to combine multiple data sets such as the dental history of the patient, the current high-resolution digital scans, the type of orthodontics being used, and records of results achieved by other patients. Taking all this information into consideration, predictive software can not only show a more accurate view of the final appearance of the smile, but could also call out any special considerations that may affect the course of treatment. Using all this data, orthodontists can more effectively plan ahead for these considerations and provide patients with the shortest treatment timelines.

Future Dental AI Applications

As AI is gradually incorporated into the daily operations of dental clinics, other potential aspects that can benefit from these technologies will be revealed. Higher levels of personalization in dental treatment will be possible thanks to the accelerated data analysis of AI algorithms, providing dentists the information needed to create a customized treatment plan for patients to achieve the optimum outcome in the least amount of time.

Clinical trials of new dental treatments will also benefit from AI technology as trends can be identified earlier and greater amounts of statistical data can be analyzed, allowing doctors and scientists the freedom to spend more of their time diving deeper into the results and creating solutions.

In the future, communications at the clinic level can also be enhanced with AI tools. Imagine the advantages for patients of being more informed about their dental care and obtaining personalized advice and guidance based on their specific dental history. Furthermore, clinic staff can be alerted in real-time to various tasks and functions that need their attention, increasing the efficiency of operations and allowing dental clinic staff to improve productivity.

Providing Exceptional Care with Advanced Dental Technology

Here at Georgian Dental, we have always prided ourselves on staying on the leading edge of dental health care technology. We are innovators of advanced dental treatments like the Pinhole Surgical Technique for treating gum disease, a minimally-invasive gum restoration procedure to help treat cases of periodontitis. We were also one of the first clinics to adopt the revolutionary All-on-4 dental implant procedure, providing total mouth restorations for patients in need of a complete set of new top and bottom teeth. The All-on-4 system offers vastly superior comfort and a far more secure fit than traditional dentures, allowing patients to regain the full function of their mouth and improve their overall quality of life.

We are committed to continual improvement in processes and technologies in our clinics. We recently invested in new iTero Element 5D machines for both our Barrie and Orillia clinics, and are on the forefront of modern orthodontic treatments with Invisalign and Fast Braces.

We welcome the opportunity to arrange an appointment for you to discuss the latest advancements in dental health care, and how new technologies and procedures can benefit you personally. We’re here to help you keep your smile in style, and look forward to seeing you soon!

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