How voice-powered AI can boost dental practice efficiency

Dental AI programs are becoming more common across the industry, providing increased efficiency for dentists, hygienists and assistants, as well as improving outcomes for patients. recently partnered with eClinicalWorks to add its AI listening program to dental practices across the U.S.

Saurabh Singh,'s vice president and chief technology officer, recently connected with Becker's to discuss the future of dental AI and the advantages new technologies can offer to dentists.

Question: How can benefit dental practices, dental professionals and/or DSOs?

Saurabh Singh: Our dental AI program not only streamlines the documentation process for enabling faster and more efficient documentation and patient care but also integrates voice dictation capabilities. Now dentists and hygienists can chart key markers of oral health, existing conditions and planning procedures. We are taking a multimodal approach for dental charting in addition to perio-charting. Through voice dictation, not only do we capture what was done as part of the examination, but we also capture real-time annotation of dental charts. We think that it is a great benefit to solo practices that may be having staffing shortages or somebody starting up a dental practice and are looking at the staffing needs. This can augment their practice and give them a way to start without having to worry about staffing concerns.

Q: What are some of the biggest benefits of dental AI programs and are there any potential drawbacks?

SS: Reducing provider burnout by generating accurate diagnosis and precise documentation of dental exams is one important aspect that they will benefit from. Improving preventive health is also another benefit. We are focusing on enriching that aspect for the dental office so they can better engage their patients and increase the likelihood of having that patient return to them for additional care. There are no drawbacks, however, there is an opportunity. And the opportunity is for the hygienist or the dentist using the technology and the technology itself to adapt to their ways and means. We often see that in case of a speech service or a voice recognition technology, you have to adapt to the pace at which you are doing your notes and you have to consciously articulate a lot more than you did before. That's an adaptation which we are seeing our users bring in as they are more and more cognizant of how the technology is aiding in the process. I think those are not challenges, but good opportunities.

Q: What do you think dental AI programs will be capable of in the future?

SS: What I'm noticing is that there is a tremendous amount of research that has gone into image recognition and understanding reading images. So we're not far from looking at a dental X-ray, putting that through the system and the X-ray generates the documentation at very accurate levels. So at some point, it will go through a review process where somebody just verifies, and then this could become a part of the system itself, and I think that will multiply as more and more dental offices become smarter and more ambitious with the AI technology. So I think systems and software will adapt very quickly. The landscape is changing so fast that it's very hard to keep up in many aspects, but software will adapt to that change very quickly. 

Q: Are there any other dental trends, AI-related or otherwise, that you are currently following?

SS: I think over time, more solo practices may shift towards DSOs and larger groups in order to gain access to better technology and equipment. I also believe that the access to software will become more and more frictionless and the onboarding experience will be no different than today. When you get a laptop, within minutes you're up and running. So as cloud technologies are enabling practices to onboard very quickly, the access to technology also becomes a lot easier and frictionless. So when that happens, I think the environment in which you're practicing can become very flexible. 

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