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The Future of Dentistry: How Will Technology Transform Dental Practice?

Technology is advancing at unbelievable speeds. Not too long ago, we would have to forfeit use of the telephone line to access the internet. Nowadays, surgeons can perform surgery miles away from a patient using robotics controlled through the world wide web. The dental industry is no exception to benefitting from new technology, as more precise and painless techniques are developed with the patient in mind.

Some current notable advancements of the tech revolution include tools such as CAD/CAM assisted crowns/bridges, digitally assisted treatment planning for implant surgery/restorations, and improved diagnostic tools such as digital radiographs, digital imaging of fiber-optic trans-illumination, optical coherence tomography and laser fluorescence.

The advancement of technology has not only improved the quality of dental care but also its efficiency and the number of successful procedures. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) on its way, it leaves open a world of possibility as to what the next advancement will be.

AI and Dentistry

New technology is rapidly improving the quality of care that dental teams provide their patients. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a trending technology that many believe is likely to change the face of dentistry forever.

AI technology in dentistry relies on machine learning to allow the tech to understand and undertake commands. This means that computers can train themselves to undertake commands using older data. By learning from previous behaviors, technology can become smarter without being directed to do so. This means that technology can accurately predict an ideal outcome such as the best possible treatment plan for a patient.

It is believed that the entry of AI can introduce several innovative paths to clinicians, which equips them to provide higher standards of dental care to their patients. From efficient communication and optimal scheduling of patients to providing better diagnoses, this novel technology can help improve the quality of dental care for many patients.

Radiographs

One of the most important applications of AI in dental care is the detection of cavities from bitewing radiographs. These radiographs provide a clear image of the teeth to detect any dental changes that may be associated with dental disease.

Traditionally, a dentist would need to look at least 10 to 15 bitewing radiographs per patient to check for cavities across all surfaces. In such conditions, it is likely the dentist would miss a few lesions due to work fatigue and/or human error. It’s also important to note that due to differences in professional training programmes, there could be errors in the classification of disease when diagnosing and treating a patient.

AI can help dentists and technicians overcome such challenges in the dental industry. It will help reduce the chance of error made by missing undetected cavities. Using the same technology across different practices will also bring consistency among clinicians and the services they offer.. It can also be employed as a tool to educate patients about the condition, create awareness about the causes, effects, treatments, precautions to be taken, and so on.

Smart Scheduling

AI can be of huge help when dealing with appointment scheduling. Utilising technology can ensure that the provider can maximize productivity and efficiency without having to spend time on lengthy admin. It also eases pressure on staff by decreasing their workload.

Staff Hiring

Whether the practice is looking for locum or full time employees, AI can be utilized to better match employers with staff to speed up the hiring process while lowering recruiting costs. This can result in faster turnarounds in ensuring staff are ready for work, and making sure the employer and worker are a good fit.

Smart Patient Communication

AI can be used to provide effective patient query resolution. If technology cannot provide this service, then the query will be directed to the dentist. This way, time and effort is saved on answering simple queries by the clinical staff.

The Future of Dentistry

What we have seen, to date, in the world of machine learning is only the beginning. We can expect to see many more technological advances that will change the face of dental care as we know it. All such applications are likely to be integrated in the routine workflow, and maximize effectiveness and precision. Eventually, this will result in quicker treatment cycles and minimal rates of failure. This, in turn, leads to an overall decrease in expenses for both patients and the practice whilst at the same time promising greater access to elite dental care services.

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