The digital dental practice: opportunities and developments

25. April 2022

Digitization has now reached virtually every area of our daily lives. In dentistry, there are also new opportunities to digitize your dental practice. This promises reliable and faster analysis results, optimized patient management, improved X-ray techniques, and consequently higher patient satisfaction.

Artificial intelligence in digital dental practices

Good communication is essential. X-ray images are used every day to facilitate communication in dental practices. They are used to illustrate the diagnosis and explain which treatment plan to consider. However, laypersons find it very hard to understand X-ray images. State-of-the-art technology provides a remedy for dentists and patients. AI-based software such as dentalXrai evaluates X-ray images in seconds and automatically generates a diagnosis.

In order to visualize these results for patients, dentalXrai cooperates with synMedico. The integration into the infoskop® interface of synMedico extends the functions of dentalXrai. Notes can be added directly, X-ray images can be edited with the pen, and all processing steps are automatically documented. In addition, the detections are color-coded by dentalXrai. In this way, you further improve patient communication and create a better understanding of the upcoming treatment.

Digital dental practices can also work with tablets. This allows data and results to be processed automatically and digitally. It also leaves more time to explain the findings and the respective treatment plan. With a complex subject like dentistry, this not only helps you as a dentist but it is also an asset for your patients.

Improved patient communication through digitization

Digitizing the dental practice with synMedico’s infoskop® practice management system simplifies patient communication processes and makes them more intuitive. This also enables a completely contactless patient admission. Documents can be digitally pre-signed, for example. Video consultations are also possible, which allow patients to remain more flexible and save them the trip to the practice. The dentist has full access to the patient’s files and can interactively explain the treatment plan via iPad®.

Digital patient management also makes administration less complicated and speeds up patient processing. For example, automatic appointment reminders could be sent to your patients via SMS or email. This not only increases patient comfort but also leaves a lasting, positive impression.

2D vs. 3D X-ray imaging: when to use which technique?

DentalXrai highlights the analysis results of X-ray images in different colors. In this way, carious lesions become immediately visible to patients and dentists. The software therefore not only saves time but is also more reliable regarding diagnostics and improves patient communication.*

Conventional 2D X-ray imaging is not always sufficient. This is why the 3D X-ray procedure was developed, delivering faster and, above all, more precise X-ray imaging. The images can thus be analyzed from different angles. Findings that would have remained undetected in 2D X-rays can be detected more easily. For surgical interventions, 3D X-ray images also provide greater planning reliability.

So why resort to 2D X-rays at all?

In most cases, 2D X-ray imaging is simply sufficient. 3D X-rays are created by a cone beam computed tomography machine. However, these are very expensive to purchase. A clear disadvantage for patients is that the costs for 3D X-rays are generally not covered by health insurance. It is up to you to decide whether the added value of 3D X-ray imaging is worthwhile for yourself and your dental practice. But bear in mind: If 3D X-ray imaging is considered medically necessary, you will have to refer your patients to other practices in case you decide against purchasing your own machine.

Conclusion: advantages of a digital dental practice at a glance

Digitization has now also found its way into dentistry and is therefore also an important topic for your dental practice. Here are the benefits of a digital dental practice for you, your staff, and your patients in a nutshell:

  • improved patient communication through digitization & visualization
  • faster and more reliable X-ray analysis through AI software
  • more organized day-to-day work through digital patient management
  • more convenient for patients via digital consultations and automatic appointment reminders
  • increased productivity by saving time in many areas

 

* According to the study “Detecting caries lesions of different radiographic extension on bitewings using deep learning” of 2020 our AI – dentalXrai Pro – detects up to 3x more caries lesions at an early stage in comparison with conventional dental diagnoses.

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