Providers17 May, 2022



Providers17 May, 2022

New technology can seem at odds with traditional or preferred ways of doing things. To be fair, it’s not so much head-to-head competition rather it’s more what could be called two-headed collaboration. That’s the reality of how AI (artificial intelligence) supports dental practice workflows and clinical accuracy.

The collaborative relationship dentists have with each other supports this idea. On the other hand, that relationship can also produce differing opinions — especially around patient diagnosis and how you/your team’s approach daily operations.

Are two “heads” better than one?

Peer-to-peer collaboration and second opinions support the value of shared perspective. It’s valuable because patient care outcomes and practice/organizational care standards are points of emphasis.

The second-set-of-eyes mindset is fundamental to AI technology. To clarify — this new era of technology is not about replacing trained human expertise.

Think of AI as an ever-available second perspective that supports clinical and business functions throughout your dental organization.

Dental AI leads to more sustainable clinical workflows.

The need for sustainable support

Clinical pace alongside business-of-dentistry pace can and does takes a toll on dental providers. For example, even as the DSO structure helps shoulder some of the burden there’s still room for additional support.

The height of the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on dentists and their teams. Supportive networks aside, some continue to recover physically, administratively, and financially.

  • Hiring and rehiring challenges

  • Workflow interruptions and backlogs

  • Task overwhelm and burnout

These and more welcome the fresh-air provided by innovative technology such as dental AI, which leads to more sustainable clinical workflows.

How Dental AI helps support clinical processes and operational workflows
Diagnostic alignment

The earlier mentioned “second-set-of-eyes” idea has strong relevance at the clinical level. It’s not uncommon for dentists to arrive at two or more different conclusions when presented with the same case.

A diagnostic decision ultimately relies on an accurate review of all available data. Add pace, staffing shortages, and other practice related challenges to the mix and it’s easy to understand how decisions can become skewed.

AI adds another layer of review that’s not subject to those challenges. And the technology allows for automation to help offset any lack of available collaboration when it’s essential to an informed diagnosis.

  • A reduction in diagnostic error

  • Helps eliminate decision fatigue

  • Enhances consistency in patient outcomes across treatment types

Streamlined task and workflow management

Billing, insurance, and payment monitoring are substantial parts of your revenue stream. The data within each can consume a high percentage of your business team’s time and energy.

AI can be deployed to handle some of the tedious details. The technology support enables your team(s) to be freed up for more attentive patient engagement.

  • Access to insurance portals, plan details, and payer protocols.

  • Automate and improve timing for billing and payment collection.

  • Eliminate task redundancy on claims and billing follow-up, etc.

  • Monitor coding and billing changes to reduce errors and payment delays.

  • Track KPIs relative to practice/organizational financial health (e.g. marketing ROI, insurance coverage, production, scheduling, etc.)

Add value to the patient experience

Your patient’s time and resources are valuable. It’s important that your practice/organization maximize the experience each patient has prior to, during, and following an appointment.

AI can help keep tabs on patient due dates, unscheduled treatment, follow-up, and more.

  • Assist in reducing no-shows and cancellations.

  • Monitor available schedule blocks and related production values.

  • Flag past-due patients and those with treatment pending.

  • Support front-office team(s) with follow-up, report building, and routine patient communication.

In reality, AI in dentistry is somewhat of an additional team member with a broad reach and support capacity.