What tech will shape the future of dentistry? 3 DSO leaders weigh in

Three dental leaders participated in the panel discussion, "New Ideas to Tackle Old Problems: How Dental Practices Are Evolving" for Becker's Dental + DSO Practices — Best Ideas for Business Growth and Management virtual event Jan. 13.

The panel, moderated by Assistant Editor Alan Condon, comprised:

Eric Tobler, DMD, national clinical director of Mortenson Dental Partners
Timothy Quirt, DDS, vice president of clinical operations at Heartland Dental
Jason Genta, DDS, vice president of clinical affairs at DecisionOne Dental Partners

All panelists shared their thoughts on technologies that they anticipate will play an important role in the future of the industry.

Note: Responses were edited for style and length.

Question: What innovations do you expect to play the biggest role in the future of dentistry?

Dr. Eric Tobler: One area in technology that I think is really interesting is customizing interfaces for patients, and we're seeing it across all industries. We just saw this huge surge in online retail. It's grown as long as the internet's been around, but this year, we just saw an absolute explosion, and a lot of it was due to a customization of the user experience.

In dentistry, we really have some opportunities to look at analytics and customization within our software in the way we communicate with our patients and the way that we interact with them from billing to communication and to scheduling. I think there's a lot of really exciting opportunities to help connect us with our patients.

Dr. Timothy Quirt: I think it's ready for prime time, but anything on the [artificial intelligence] side, and not just necessarily on the clinical side, but also in just business, process refinement, allowing our teams to speak with patients more and less about doing some of the processes that could be automated.

Back to the diagnostics and the acceptance [of AI], I think it's really close to being prime time, but they're using it in medicine a lot. The ability to have almost 100 percent accuracy is getting there. So I think you're going to see quite a bit of that.

Dr. Jason Genta: Dr. Tobler and Dr. Quirt both touched on the one I'm most excited about — patient portals. I know myself as a consumer, I enjoy being able to schedule on my online portal and pay and communicate with my physician. You know, a lot of healthcare deals have gone that way, and patients are getting used to it on the healthcare side.

On the dental side, a big thing we learned with the pandemic is we have to hold ourselves to the same standard as other healthcare if we want our patients to take us seriously. Keeping up with technology is going to be super important.

View the full session here.

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