Overall, AI has the potential to improve accuracy, speed, and efficiency in dentistry, but more research and development are needed to fully realise its benefits.
AI is rapidly transforming the field of dentistry in the UK. AI-powered tools are being employed for diagnosis and treatment planning, aiding dentists in improving patient outcomes and reducing errors.
One significant impact of AI is its ability to analyse radiographic images with greater accuracy than humans. It helps detect dental caries, periodontal disease, and bone loss better than human dentists. The use of AI in diagnosis will also reduce the need for invasive procedures, leading to more precise treatments.
AI is also being used for treatment planning, mainly in orthodontics. Orthodontists employ AI to develop customised treatment plans for patients, leading to more successful outcomes. This technology assists in creating better, individualised treatment plans, leading to improved oral health in patients.
In addition to diagnosis and planning, AI is also being used to automate routine dental tasks, such as scheduling appointments and managing records. This automation saves time and leads to improved efficiency in dental practices.
The use of AI in dentistry is still in its nascent stages, but it has the potential to revolutionise the field. By providing accurate diagnosis, personalised treatment plans, and automating day-to-day tasks, AI is set to improve the quality of dental care in the UK.
The use of AI in dentistry could give rise to ethical concerns surrounding patient privacy and consent. For instance, dentists need to ensure that patients are fully informed about the use of AI in their treatment and that their data is being used in a responsible and secure manner.
Dentists will also need to consider the legal implications of using AI in dentistry. They may need to ensure that they comply with data protection laws and other regulations when it comes to processing and storing patient data.
The use of AI in dentistry could have social implications as it may impact the accessibility and affordability of dental care. For instance, AI-powered technology may be expensive, which could make dental care less accessible to those who cannot afford it.
Overall, whilst AI has the potential to revolutionise dentistry in the UK, it is important for dentists to consider the potential ethical, legal, and social implications of this technology. By doing so, they can ensure that they use AI in a responsible manner that benefits both patients and the wider community.
The UK is lagging behind other countries such as the US and China in the integration of AI technologies in dental procedures. However, there are opportunities for innovation and improvement in the field such as the use of AI for early detection of oral cancer and predictive analytics for personalised treatment plans.
With the increasing demand for efficient dental care, it is crucial for the UK to invest in AI technologies to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
AI and machine learning will not put health professionals out of business; rather, they will make it possible for health professionals to do their jobs better and leave time for the human–human interactions that make Dentistry the rewarding profession we all value.₁