This article was originally published in Group Dentistry Now
Artificial intelligence for X-ray analysis and clinical insights burst onto the scene in 2022. Thousands of practices adopted the technology to help detect pathologies and make their clinicians’ lives a little easier.
Adding the technology provided unexpected benefits, too. Dental groups that implemented Overjet’s AI technology discovered it also helps in these areas:
- Overcoming eye fatigue and decision fatigue
- Creating clinical consistency
- Enhancing patient understanding and treatment acceptance
- Boosting the confidence of younger providers
- Submitting claims with evidence-based data
“The biggest surprise was the acceptance of the tool from our most experienced and most tenured doctors,” said James Nick, the Chief Revenue Officer at Dental Care Alliance. DCA has implemented Overjet in more than 120 practices.
Overcoming Eye Fatigue and Decision Fatigue
Overjet’s AI is FDA-cleared to detect and outline tooth decay and quantify bone level measurements. Unlike humans, AI algorithms never get tired or distracted. The AI provides an objective analysis in real time, and the annotations help doctors to know where to look.
“This is a tool that makes their life a little easier and alleviates some of the decision fatigue. They’re making a thousand decisions a day, and now it’s like having a colleague taking a look at the X-ray to help you diagnose accurately,” said Charles Zasso, DDS, the Chief Dental Officer at Great Lakes Dental Partners.
Creating Clinical Consistency with AI
DSOs want consistency and accuracy across their providers and practices. Patients want to be able to trust the diagnosis. Overjet integrates with the digital imaging system and with the practice management system to provide clinical insights that DSOs can use to establish standards of care. Only a dentist can diagnose, but the objective findings provided by AI help ensure everyone has the same set of evidence-based data to use in their clinical decision-making.
Enhancing Patient Education and Treatment Acceptance
One of the greatest surprises in using AI has been the patients’ reaction. Patients are more engaged when they see the AI annotations, and they ask questions about what the markings mean.
“Overjet helps our team communicate better with our patients,” said Don Gallo, DMD, Chief Clinical Officer at Dental Care Alliance. “It’s a great tool to help educate patients and have them better understand the need for treatment. I didn’t expect as big a lift in case acceptance as there has been.”
Boosting the Confidence of Younger Providers
Less-experienced dentists may lack confidence in their diagnostic and case presentation skills. Having the AI analysis and annotations boosts their confidence that they are diagnosing accurately. It also helps during case presentation. Some patients may not trust a younger dentist. The AI provides an objective third-party analysis that supports the doctor’s recommendations.
Submitting Claims with Evidence-Based Data
One of the biggest surprises for DSOs that implemented Overjet’s AI was how it helps with insurance claims. For example, dental insurance companies typically require evidence of radiographic bone loss in addition to periodontal probing depths to support scaling and root planing claims. Overjet is the only dental AI solution that is FDA-cleared for bone level quantification. The practice can submit a picture with Overjet’s AI-generated measurements as part of their claim.
This is just a few of the ways artificial intelligence technology is helping DSOs elevate patient care and operational efficiency.