The Use of AI in Dentistry is the Right Step Forward

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t actually a recent invention as it has been around since 1956, when intelligent machines were discussed at a conference for researchers. So, more than half a century later, AI has become part of our lives. It’s so pervasive that it is used in dentistry and for good reason, too. If as a dentist you are presented with a patient suffering from a toothache, first of all you are likely to quiz the patient on the exact location of the pain, take an x-ray and use the patient’s dental history and your experience to determine the actual site of the decay.  No dentist gets every diagnosis right. Caries can’t always be seen with the naked eye. However, AI is in the process of changing all that.

Machine learning and big data

Machines using big data inputted into them are getting closer and closer to obtaining a perfect score when confronted with having to give a diagnosis. But they do have to be fed a huge amount of data which provides them with sufficient information to come up with a useful diagnosis. Fortunately, the ability to store huge amounts of data has been mastered. In fact, just in the last 5 years, big data with cloud computing provides easy access to massive data sets and at little cost. The machine can sift through the data and select what it thinks is needed to solve a problem it’s been asked to do.

The new era of deep learning

This is considered to be the most cutting edge of AI in the machine learning field. Deep learning is more intelligent than early machine learning as it makes its own rules, even when additional data is included. This feature means it’s well suited for interpreting unstructured data, such as disease detection, earthquakes and for the diagnosis of medical issues. Dentists like you may already be accessing a deep-learning AI platform for diagnosing caries without even realising it.

AI on the dental horizon with deep learning

Artificial intelligence is of great use to the medical and dental fields because so often a diagnosis is dependent on what experience the dentist has had of a similar situation before.  IBM’s Watson can read upwards of 500,000 research papers in just 15 seconds. This sort of deep learning can delve into so much depth that it can recommend diagnoses and suggest the best treatment options. In a study published recently results were presented for detecting caries by a dentist and by a machine.

The AI machine outperformed dentists in sensitivity, which measures the percentage of caries predicted correctly. In the next year or two it’s expected that a reliable deep learning AI tool will be available to dentists. Not long after that, a tool for diagnosing periodontal disease and associated bone loss should be on the cards. So far ORCA Dental AI has developed ceph-tracing algorithms which can instantly offer a custom tracing and ceph analysis report. With cephalometric analysis, orthodontists are able to construct treatment plans for their easily and accurately so there is no delay in starting orthodontic treatment. ORCA’s cutting edge cephalometric analysis and tracing service assists practitioners like you to provide more efficient treatment. Your patients will see the immediate results from your state of the art treatment and they benefit while your revenue grows.

CephX and AI

In the last 4 years CephX discovered the growing importance of AI in the dental community. It hasn’t wasted any time and has responded by creating the first intelligent algorithm capable of automatic and instant cephalometric analysis on an x-ray scan. Most recently CephX introduced a new algorithm which is cephalometric tracing on a CBCT scan. Its AI teeth segmentation solution is no doubt the star of the show offering instant and automatic teeth segmentation. This allows far more accurate and faster treatment for your patients. 

What’s in it for your patients?

A lot more than one could imagine, as AI and big data score highly for the patient too. If one of your patients feels a debilitating jab of pain in a tooth they will soon be able to get their smart brush out, put it in the mouth and link it to a smart phone. In an instant it collects information about the painful tooth which is stored in cloud. Using big data and AI the data is analysed and a diagnosis is revealed, which ends up on your desktop. It’s then up to your practice to organise an appointment and go ahead with treatment.

Your dental practice and big data analytics

Big data analytics is a bit more than big data and it goes a step further in dental care. It has the ability to analyse vast amounts of data which includes a patient’s personal data and demographic data. This can give you an insight into likely dental problems that could affect your patients in the future because it discovers the common dental problems in a particular area. You can advise your patients of possible preventative measures they could use to halt the occurrence of one of these common dental problems.

As more and more AI and smart technology is added to dentistry the role of you as a dentist and your patient will ultimately change and it should lead to better oral health outcomes for your patients because they will be able to link with you in real time instead of waiting for a physical appointment. You will be able to offer state of the art AI diagnostic tools enabling you to come up with just the right diagnosis and treatment plan. You could even become the most sought after dentist in your area.

In the near future, it’s likely that tools for deep learning analysis for images will assist in diagnosing and suggesting treatment plans for periodontal disease because it will be able to far sooner early loss of bone and bone density changes. In orthodontics, it’s expected there will be far more sophisticated prediction models for movement of teeth tooth which will most likely improve drastically digital treatment plans. When applied to oral cancer a deep learning image analysis will improve earlier detection and offer more accurate diagnoses which will improve life’s outcome.

CephX works continuously on creating cutting edge solutions and services for orthodontic practitioners. To receive additional information regarding existing or new upcoming orthodontic services and solutions, please contact us at info@cephx.com.

Read more about How the World Wide Web Brings Peer Dentist Together for the Better Good
and History of Cephalometric Analysis – Using Our Heads