Artificial Intelligence in Dentistry: Why Benco Believes AI Is Integral to the Future of Dental Care
February 1, 2022
The field of artificial intelligence has undergone tremendous transformation over the past decades. In dentistry, AI applications have expanded into areas initially thought of as exclusive human domains—leading to results that benefit both providers and patients. The adoption of artificial intelligence in dentistry has tremendous potential to revolutionize the field. Let’s take a closer look at how this critical trend affects the future of dentistry.
How AI Shapes Dental Care of the Future: 5 Beneficial Uses of Artificial Intelligence in Dentistry
#1: AI Dental Technology Improves Clinical Decision-Making and Standardization of Care
Preventative healthcare is one of the most significant trends in the future healthcare ecosystem. AI dental technologies use predictive analytics to enable providers to gauge where their efforts can have the most significant impact and provide care tailored to the patients’ needs.
While no advances in dental care can replace what a dentist can do, artificial intelligence offers speed and accuracy far above human capacity. Typically, dentists use dental radiographs as a clinical examination aid to detect caries, periodontal disease, and other dental health conditions.
Still, diagnosis can vary depending on the provider’s experience and other factors. Often, various treatment options apply to a single dental problem, making decision-making challenging for clinicians.
Dental AI empowers providers to make informed clinical judgments faster. By analyzing visual images and historical and current digital radiographs, AI instantly enables dental professionals to see diagnostic results. This ability allows them to decide the best modalities for the patients while eliminating unnecessary procedures.
The application of artificial intelligence in orthodontics, for example, has helped providers decide the best treatment plan to move patients’ teeth. There are numerous options to straighten teeth, from metal braces to clear aligners. With its powerful algorithmic ability to find patterns and make predictions, AI dental technology facilitates the standardization of care among dental professionals.
#2: Dental AI Streamlines Workflow to Enhance Production and Profitability
Across industries, artificial intelligence has been proven effective in enhancing productivity. According to 54% of executives, incorporating AI solutions to automate processes has helped increase their productivity. Employees share the same optimism, with 81% believing that AI has helped boost their performance at work.
Likewise, artificial intelligence in dentistry can significantly improve practice performance, both from a clinical and business perspective.
AI enables practices to streamline processes and achieve optimum productivity. In an industry where the bottom line is directly impacted by patient flow, taking advantage of such advances in dental care is a decision that could drive exponential growth.
One specific way practitioners can carry this out is by integrating voice activation AI into the dental workflow. AIs can be trained to respond to dentists’ voice commands and provide what they need through imaging machines. Such a function allows practitioners to multitask, saving the practice and the patients time.
#3: AI Dental Technology Simplifies Billing and Insurance Claims Processes
Dental practices experience confusion and frustration when dealing with billing and insurance. These scenarios may soon be a thing of the past with further advancement in AI technology .
As AI penetrates the clinical setting, advancements within insurance companies are also well underway. Many insurance companies are beginning to use AI in various claims verification procedures. Artificial intelligence helps practices ensure a healthy cash flow by minimizing disputes and denials.
In the future, practices may also use AI technology to verify pre-determinations for treatment even while the patient is still in the chair. This capability, in turn, will lead to more accurate treatment plan presentations. Decreasing the uncertainty of the treatment a patient would be financially responsible for also increases the probability of case acceptance.
#4: Dental AI Improves Data and Patient Record Management
Repetitive administrative tasks are the biggest roadblocks to productivity in nearly all industries. A study shows that about 40% of employees spend at least a quarter of their workweek doing repetitive functions, such as data entry and management. In dentistry, inefficient management of patient data leads to employee unproductivity. It also leads to missed appointments and poor patient outcomes.
AI helps providers identify treatment needs within their current patient population. Machine learning programs can track patients’ progress and treatment adherence by interfacing with the provider’s dental practice software. It can also proactively send appointment reminders to prevent the patients from falling through the cracks.
#5. AI Dental Technology Enhances Patient Education to Improve Case Acceptance
Patient education is the key to case acceptance, but not all providers have mastered this crucial aspect of dentistry. Ideally, practices should close at least 90% of cases. Yet many providers fall behind this margin and settle for a 60% treatment acceptance rate.
Visual representations can enhance the patient education experience and engagement about their oral health. By combining data from practice management software and recognizing complex radiograph patterns, dental AI technology can produce visuals that can bridge the gap between diagnostics and patient education.
The visual representation on each radiograph helps providers lead directed and intentional conversations with patients about areas of concern within their mouth. It allows providers to have a clearer picture of the patient’s oral health while educating the patient through color-coordinated markings on a radiograph. By enabling patients to see areas of concern, AI functions as a second opinion for the practice.
AI adds immense value to the patient-provider relationship with its ability to make conversations regarding a patient’s oral health transparent and educational. The immediate gratification from AI technology builds confidence in patients that they are following through with the best treatment for their oral health.
So, Why Does Benco Believe AI Is the Future of Dentistry?
Artificial intelligence is taking many industries by storm. AI has proven itself essential during the emergence of the recent global health crisis, more (if not all) practices will continue to adapt its applications at an exponential speed. AI will be growing and will be everywhere.
Take a look at the following statistics:
The global AI market value is expected to reach $190.61 billion in 2025.
Between 2020 and 2027, the industry is projected to grow at 33.2% annually.
Increased AI profitability and consumption will lead to about $15.7 trillion global economic growth by 2030.
80% of retail executives expect to adopt intelligent automation by 2027.
The global use of digital assistants is expected to double to 8.4 billion by 2024.
The significance of AI in dentistry all boils down to patient experience. The rise in the adoption of artificial intelligence in dentistry signifies how crucial patient experience is today and in the years to come. The healthcare sector is shifting toward value-based care, wherein the quality of the patient-provider relationship is a key defining factor for success.
As patients see the value that an AI-empowered practice offers, they can enable the practice to thrive by increasing positive reviews, referrals, and repeat business. Dental AI technologies simultaneously allow dental practices to enhance the patient experience and create movements pushing practices to elevate dental care to a new standard.
Gear Up for the Dental Care of the Future
To learn more about dental AI and its applications, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO. We will be glad to discuss how you can empower your practice with the future of dentistry technology.
Larry Cohen graduated from Wilkes College with a B.S. in Accounting in 1957 and Columbia University Graduate School of Business, earning an M.S. in Management and Finance, 1958. He served in the U. S. Army Reserve from 1958 through 1964.
He is the second-generation owner of Benco Dental Company, which was founded by his father, Benjamin Cohen in 1930.
Joining Benco Dental in 1959 as manager of the Tooth Department, in 1960, Larry became an outside sales rep, a position he enjoyed full time until 1972. Beginning that year, Larry began reducing his outside sales role and increasing his managerial duties, later becoming the president of Benco Dental from 1965 – 1996.
Larry is the Founder of the American Dental Cooperative; Board, American Dental Trade Associate, plus Various ADTA committees. He sits on the Board of Wilkes University, Board of Visiting Nurses Association and the Board of Jewish Community Center.