DSOs are investing in AI to lower costs


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Across the U.S., dental service organizations are pouring money into artificial intelligence in hopes of lowering costs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"AI is happening in the medical world, so it's naturally creeping over to the dental world. They can do a better job of diagnosing, and they can do it cheaper," said Doug Fettig, director of dental services at Aldrich CPAs + Advisors, an accounting and consulting firm.

Currently, DSOs account for 15 percent of the dental market. By 2025, that number is expected to reach 30 percent, Mr. Fettig told WSJ. Typically, patient fees in DSOs are around 11 percent lower compared to private practices. This gap may even widen as AI is introduced.

East Syracuse, N.Y.-based Aspen Dental Management is exploring the use of AI to analyze X-ray images and find cavities. The DSO has plans to invest $2 million in AI and robotic process automation tools, said Yoglish Suvarna, CIO at Aspen Dental.

Effingham, Ill.-based Heartland Dental is also evaluating AI. The DSO is currently working to automate steps to better place crowns, Anna Singh, DMD, the vice president of clinical training and development told WSJ.

"Staying current with modern technologies and adapting it to your workflow is absolutely critical. It's improving efficiencies and improving experiences," said Dr. Singh.

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