The next revolutionary trend in dental

At the intersection of dentistry and technology is innovation.

Michael Schwartz, CEO of Specialty Dental Brands, spoke with "Becker's Dental + DSO Review Podcast" about the use of AI and machine learning in dentistry.

Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Question: What are some of the big trends that you are following right now?

Michael Schwartz: I really like the technology that's going on in the dental field. I think we're seeing bits and pieces across all parts of our industries today and it's in our daily lives, but the one that pops to the front of my mind in dentistry is [artificial intelligence]. I mean, you hear people talk about AI a lot. Everybody has a different definition of what AI is. I think what we're seeing in dentistry is how AI is coming into play. It's starting more on kind of the X-ray diagnostic technology. When I think about AI, I kind of weave in machine learning. When you can build a database or some type of repository where you could upload hundreds of thousands of X-rays and then apply the AI and the machine learning to that. I think what you're seeing some of these companies do is allowing doctors to have almost a robotic assistant that's helping diagnose and see things because it's referencing — instead of just the doctor's eyes — it's referencing this database of hundreds of thousands of X-rays. The machine learning can say, "Hey, when we see this, X on this X-ray, we know that that means Y issue." "That's a caries or that's a potential need for a root canal." So that's really exciting. I think it's really big in the general practice model. I think it'll start weaving in a little bit more into specialty practices, but I think that technology, the next step from just reading X-rays will be going into kind of machine learning, AI treatment planning.

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