This blog post is written by Dr. Robert A. Faiella
To begin, I must admit that I love what I do and consider myself privileged to have spent the last 30-plus years in the dental profession as a practicing Board-certified periodontist, lecturer, author, and serving in leadership positions with many organizations within the dental industry. But over the past several years, I have come to the realization that dentistry is at the forefront of a transformative change in our ability to deliver care in an enhanced and efficient manner.
Why, after years of working to expand my understanding and clinical acumen in the profession, would I feel this way?
The entire healthcare system is based upon a knowledge economy, one that is expanding at an exponential rate. It is generally accepted that both explicit and tacit knowledge is critical to the decision process in achieving the highest clinical outcomes. As the influx of information increases, the need to interact, analyze, and share data will be a required priority to both achieve and excel, and the ability to manage increasing volumes of data will drive innovation.
“Artificial Intelligence” (a phrase first coined in 1956 as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”) is playing an increasingly prominent role in medicine and dentistry due to advances in computing power, learning algorithms, and the availability of large datasets (“big data”) sourced from electronic medical records. And as practicing clinicians, academicians, and dental industry experts, we have a general understanding of what we know, but with the expansion of information clogging our “inbox”, we know we can’t see everything…we just can’t reach it all.
So why did I join Overjet? Because Overjet is aligned perfectly to lead and drive the process in both sectors. Here’s why:
I believe dental medicine is late to the game in adopting AI and machine learning, to both improve our clinical intelligence in the delivery of care, as well as identify efficiencies for insurers in the adjudication of claims in a standardized manner to advance the delivery of care to our patients.
Through computer vision and deep learning models trained over large volumes of radiographic images, accurate assessment of bone loss, caries, restorative indications, and other models that we developed at Overjet, both practitioners and the payer community have access to annotated images and analytics over entire datasets to inform patients and drive enhanced cognition and decisions, delivered through an elegant but detailed interactive dashboard.
And with an enthusiastic team of data scientists, clinicians, engineers, insurance and regulatory experts, it is not only an exciting company on the frontier of AI innovation in dentistry, but also a fun place to be.
So here I am, looking at the rising era of AI in dentistry…and happy to contribute to it. And why not?