Artificial Intelligence and Your Smile – Can Dentists and AI Join Forces?

It seems as if artificial intelligence or AI is making its way into everything today.  The Tang Institute in Andover Massachusetts is even developing a means of infusing AI into academics, as opposed to so many institutions of higher education that are shunning its effect on academia.  In the article “Artificial Intelligence: A Hands-On Lesson in Responsible Integration in Schools,” Senior Writer & Editor Kristin Bair O’Keeffe writes about how AI can be a partner, not a replacement, in the journey of acquiring knowledge and in fact enhance the learning process.

But can AI enhancements improve your smile?  Although not an integral part of dentistry today, its emergence is very exciting!

AI is far from substituting Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi’s care for your dental health, but the extent to which it can make our work more accurate and predictive is truly amazing.  In a Boston Globe interview with staff correspondent Casey Ross, Ross explains computer aided detection of x-ray software.  AI, with its ability to store, access and process in milliseconds millions of points of data, can more effectively detect patterns that the human brain simply cannot retain, understand, and detect.

Also, The Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, cites that by analyzing patient data, AI can provide more personalized recommendations for treatment, very likely leading to better outcomes of preventative care and surgeries.  AI can also employ the use of algorithms that may very well more effectively and quickly detect microscopic cancers in their very early stages and other abnormalities that humans do not have the capacity to detect.  This would lead to the ability to remove such dangers to our bodies and health when it can be done easily and with minimal intrusion into our lives and our bodies.

Yet this is not the most exciting part of AI dentistry.  Consider the possibility of robot assisted surgery, and likely robot exclusive surgery even further into the future . . . scary thought?  Possibly.  Still, regarding surgery, precision is the biggest benefit to the utilization of robots.  It is imperative with all operations in which an infection or damaged part of the body needs to be removed, the preservation of as much of the healthy tissue or part of a tooth is highly desirable.  This reduces the recurrence of cavities and reduces the discomfort dental patients experience during such procedures.  And due to the fact robots can be programed to a fraction of a micron even today, robots can ensure the most error free results.

Even more exciting, when it comes to dental implants, AI can better predict risks and improve accuracy.  According to The Journal of Forensic Dentistry, AI can predict implant success by using patient risk factors, why certain conditions arise, and the optimal size and design of an implant.  This branch of dental AI is still being developed, but the implications are amazing.

Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi are not going to be replaced any time soon, but we are encouraged by the advancement in AI to improve our efforts to keep your smile beautiful as well as the reduction in discomfort often associated with dental work and oral hygiene.  Rest assured that as these advancements in AI technology come into existence, Riverwalk Dental will be keeping up to date on all the latest advancements.

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