Educators, Providers14 September, 2022



Educators, Providers14 September, 2022

On a typical day, Dr. Terri Dolan, our Chief Dental Officer, may be working with the Machine Learning team on a new artificial intelligence model, writing an article for a dental publication, or leading a meeting of the Santa Fe Group, where she is president of the think tank that advocates for better dental services.

Dr. Dolan is passionate about improving access to health care. As a member of the all-volunteer Santa Fe Group, Dr. Dolan and a cross-disciplinary group of advocates work to reduce barriers to oral healthcare. The group drafted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to their request for comments on Medicare Parts A and B for medically necessary dental care in the proposed rule on Medicare and Medicaid Programs: CY2023 Payment Policies. The group outlined which services it thought should be included and the positive impact the changes would have on millions of Americans.

“The Santa Fe Group has been working on the issues for seven years,” said Dr. Dolan. “Most services are not included as a benefit funded by the Medicare program. When this opportunity to provide comments to the CMS came up, we wrote the white paper based on an extensive literature review focused on determining which services should be provided as a medical necessity.”

Overjet is a member of the Santa Fe Group Strategic Advisory Council, and also submitted a letter crafted by Dr. Dolan and Overjet CEO Wardah Inam to the CMS in support of expanding services.

The Santa Fe Group seeks to bring together organizations that are working on health equity, and recently created a catalog of groups to streamline communication and understanding of each one’s mission. It held a summit in 2022 to promote health equity and reduce barriers to care, especially for populations that may be underserved because of income, race, ethnicity, or geography – including people who live in nursing homes and long-term facilities. 

One of the summit’s goals was to engage physicians and other health professionals to discuss ways to integrate medical and dental services. The group is researching the feasibility of integrating testing of common chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension into dental practices, as well as ways to integrate electronic health records and other backend data systems. 

“I am passionate about having the opportunity to work with great thinkers and like-minded people, and what brings us all together is that we care about oral health issues,” said Dr. Dolan. “We’ve all had opportunities in our life to touch some aspect of dentistry and oral health, and this brings it to a higher purpose so we can move the needle and improve access to services, enhance equity, and improve oral health.”

Dr. Dolan is collaborating with dental schools across the country to integrate artificial intelligence into their curricula.

At Overjet, Dr. Dolan leads the clinical team which includes seven dentists. They work closely with multiple internal departments to provide clinical direction, insight, and feedback, including auditing the artificial intelligence models to ensure consistent, high quality performance. The team also provides clinical support for clearance submissions to the Food and Drug Administration and training for Overjet customers. Dr. Dolan and the clinical team are also very active in the dental community, frequently lecturing on artificial intelligence at dental conferences, study clubs, dental schools, and webinars. 

Dr. Dolan is a champion of continuous learning. She is a professor and dean emeritus of the University of Florida College of Dentistry, where she served as dean and chief academic officer from 2003 to 2013. She is collaborating with dental schools across the country on the integration of artificial intelligence into their curricula, and co-authored a paper called “Preparing the next generation of clinicians for practice using Augmented and Artificial Intelligence” for The Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, which delivers peer-reviewed scientific articles for AEGIS Communication. 

Prior to joining Overjet, Dr. Dolan served as Dentsply Sirona’s Chief Clinical Officer and has gained national recognition for her contributions to dental public health and geriatric dentistry, and as a champion for diversity and women in dentistry.