Dental practices keep updating themselves by adopting the latest technological advances. They usually choose technologies that increase the pace of dentists’ work or make workflow reliable. Also, clinics prefer technologies that help in providing an enriched patient experience.
Technologies like 3D printing are already labelled to be disruptive. These tools can propel practices to the forefront of the competition. Boosting your dental practice is a necessity.
This blog discusses five innovative technologies that can enhance dentists’ practice.
- Artificial Intelligence-based CRM/PMS
- Machine Learning-based integrated Appointment Scheduling
- Tele-Dentistry to increase Patient Reach
- Blockchain for Dental Practices
- Robotic Process Automation.
1. AI-based CRM/Patient Management Software
There is an increase in demand for cosmetic dental treatments with the massive growth in social media.
Based on the laws of demand and supply, even medical and dental services have become merchandise. As a result, the competition to fulfill it has shot up. To keep up with the competition, dentists must be good.
Additionally, the office should function smartly, focusing on effectively reaching customers/patients.
A good CRM or PMS helps maintain all touchpoints crisp and clear. To reduce no-shows, PMS helps send timely reminder messages, emails, or calls.
The objective here is to maintain long-term relationships with patients.
AI-based CRM systems have demonstrated promising results in building relationships with patients. AI can track patients with their consent. These CRM systems reduce inefficiency in data collection, thereby showing sustainable and productive results.
2. Machine Learning(ML)-based Appointment Scheduling and Rescheduling
Dental clinics try to optimize resources by using technology that saves patients’ time and provides prompt treatment.
Healthcare facilities witnessed a performance boost of over 10% using ML-based models. The models integrated scheduling and rescheduling of operating rooms for emergency and elective surgeries.
Similar integrated scheduling, if incorporated to optimize the appointments for existing patients, new patients requiring routine dental check-ups, and emergency dental appointments, can create a 5-star patient experience. The management of dental chairs, specialists, and hygienists is optimized to boost comprehensive dental practice.
3. Tele-Dentistry to increase Patient Reach
Telemedicine represents a solution for patients seeking healthcare services when limited access to medical providers exists.2 Tele-dentistry is a subset involving dentistry. Tele-dentistry can be of greater use:
- In primary emergencies for prescription of suitable antibiotics by an emergency dentist
- In planning a multi-disciplinary treatment with different specialties
- In reducing follow-up visits after tooth extractions3
Merits of Tele-dentistry lie in reducing health inequalities and waiting lists.
It promotes better access to specialist opinions and optimizes the time and service quality.
Dentists can incorporate POTS(Plain Old Telephone System), ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), and worldwide web-based modalities for patient communication as part of Tele-dentistry.
The application of blockchain in dentistry is just in its teething phase.
Though studies are few on the usage of blockchain in dentistry, it has been an effective tool in oral and maxillofacial radiology and the maintenance of patients’ digital health records.
Dentacoin (an industry-specific currency) and dental care services are a few other uses. Researchers predict the extensive use of blockchain in healthcare systems within the next 5–10 years. Data sharing between dental clinics, researchers, smart medical prescriptions, and financial matters are some of its uses.
5. RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
Robotic process automation is a software-driven systemic approach. It helps in automating dental clinics by understanding existing processes and practices. It helps reduce human involvement by performing and mimicking essentially repetitive tasks.
The core elements of oral healthcare are dentists, patients, insurance companies, physicians, etc. Balancing increasing patient numbers and getting their insurance claims settlement is the key. So, using RPA in such circumstances will be a great move.
A dental practice needs to update with the plethora of newer technologies. The operation of a dental practice is like a small business and the customer experience is crucial to boosting it. A dental practice that employs innovative technologies creates a better patient experience and drives clinic growth.
Eshghali M, Kannan D, Salmanzadeh-Meydani N, Esmaieeli Sikaroudi AM. Machine learning based integrated scheduling and rescheduling for elective and emergency patients in the operating theatre. Ann Oper Res. 2023 Jan 19:1-24. doi: 10.1007/s10479-023-05168-x. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36694896; PMCID: PMC9851122.
Lorella Cannavacciuolo, Guido Capaldo, Cristina Ponsiglione, Digital innovation and organizational changes in the healthcare sector: Multiple case studies of telemedicine project implementation, Technovation, Volume 120, 2023, 102550, ISSN 0166-4972, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.technovation.2022.102550.
Kui A, Popescu C, Labuneț A, Almășan O, Petruțiu A, Păcurar M, Buduru S. Is Teledentistry a Method for Optimizing Dental Practice, Even in the Post-Pandemic Period? An Integrative Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jun 22;19(13):7609. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19137609. PMID: 35805267; PMCID: PMC9265299.
Hassani, H.; Norouzi, K.; Ghodsi, A.; Huang, X. Revolutionary Dentistry through Blockchain Technology. Big Data Cogn. Comput.2023, 7, 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/bdcc7010009
Jain R, Bhatnagar R. Robotic process automation in healthcare-a review. Int Rob Auto J. 2019;5(1):12‒14. DOI: 10.15406/iratj.2019.05.00164
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