Dentistry is changing, computer-based technologies are transforming the nature of dental practice and providing new opportunities for evaluating and improving the outcomes of care, from electronic record-keeping and data analysis to novel prevention methods, revolutionary treatment options and new diagnostic tools that can analyse our physical condition with ever-greater precision. Besides, currently oral health needs from patients are encompassed in virtual but effective and accurate methods for medical consultations, smile makeovers, enhanced safety protocols, interactive processes, and the quickest and precise diagnostics.

Problem and Description

In the past few years, digital dental workflow has gradually replaced the conventional dental workflow in a growing number of developed countries. The digital dental workflow is beneficial in saving time for patients, dentists and dental technicians alike, improving efficiency and maximizing treatment outcome. Generally, digital workflow in dentistry consists of image acquisitions, data processing and digital manufacturing but the application field is growing every day. Digitalisation not only revolutionises the workflow of dentists and dental technicians, it also changes the dental industrial ecology, as this experiment intends to do.

One of the consequences of this digitization is that many young companies, which were not present in the market ten years ago, can become global leaders in different sectors of digital dentistry. Dentistry provides substantial local and national economic benefits, including increased economic activity, employment and tax revenues. For small countries, an additional dentist provides a significant boost to the local economy. Another important factor is that dental industry has weathered an exaggerated version of the pandemic’s economic impact, and the work of dentistry has become more challenging.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming industries and marketplaces, and dentistry is not an exception. In the last decade, innovations such as Big Data, artificial intelligence, digital twin, telemedicine and virtual reality have accelerated the disruption in the consumption of wellness and medical care; pushing the tipping point where the benefits outweigh the costs.

Nowadays dentistry is expensive, highly inefficient, and unattainable by many, but the digital technologies are helping to address such inefficiencies, enabling providers and health systems to get closer to the patient than ever before. In the particular case of AI as a CPS technology, it is rapidly becoming a part of our healthcare eco-system, getting increasingly sophisticated at doing what humans do, but more efficiently, more quickly and at a lower cost.

Currently, there are numerous applications of AI on the market or waiting for approval that can improve patient care, so it is important for European healthcare professionals and other stakeholders to understand the needs, importance and requirements for the effective development and deployment of these technologies, finding the way of adapting to new and evolving technologies. While its use is still in the early stages, its potential for enabling a new level of patient experience and positive outcomes is far-reaching, bringing digital transformation in healthcare to new heights.

The experiment’s solution has wide replication potential in any context where imaging with advanced analytics and digital application are needed for diagnosis procedures, whether to enrich the pathology scope of oral-dental detections or even to be applied in other general or specific health domains. CPS and AI are a driving factor behind market growth in the medical imaging field, and health care systems are gradually moving toward new models of care based on integrated care processes and on an empowered role of the patient, where mobile technologies are assuming an emerging role.

On the other hand, SMEs involved in the dentistry sector will definitely benefit from the experiment results. The Spanish dental market is one of the largest in Europe, dental care outside the national health system is partly provided by private supplementary insurance and the majority of dentists practice exclusively or additionally in private practices. In this sense, imaging analysis systems for pathology diagnosis by smartphones photos within a completely already structured dental app with other capabilities will represent a great opportunity for private practices. Professionals have the need to break through in the market and position themselves favorably, the industry seeks to expand direct sales relationships and the generation of strategic alliances, which is also a part of this technological ecosystem solution that will be available in Spanish and English. In this way, an efficient flow can be created between patients, professionals and clinics, both at national and international level.

AE Description

The experiment’s solution is contained into the concept of driving the Dentistry 4.0 revolution; the digitalization of the entire dental industry value chain by taking advantage of the vast potential of AI in healthcare, particularly for the development of tools to manage it remotely, establishing a direct and robust link between patients, professionals, clinics and industry. This goal is intended to be reached through the research, development and implementation of imaging analysis capabilities for accurate diagnostic of bucco-dental pathologies, dental monitoring, aesthetic smile simulations prior treatment, and superior patient care and involvement.

The objective is to work on an improved, innovative, reliable and efficient mobile application that allows patients to take a photo of the diseased part of their mouth or teeth (or general teeth frontal photo) with a smartphone (the file is complemented with chatbot for collecting extra information from the patient); then the app analyses oral health data through AI technologies and provides the user with a diagnosis report and advice on whether or not to see the dentist. This allows clinics to more efficiently manage patient influx to facilities.

In addition, the app offers the proper treatments options and the patient, by uploading a photo of their smile can instantly receive a smile prediction with a determined treatment applied, a realistic simulation of the outcome, to empower patient’s motivation and excitement about the potential transformation. At the end, a dental monitoring of patient’s condition and evolution is performed and managed.

In this sense, the technical objectives of the solution are focused in the development of the following major functions based on AI-powered technologies for imaging analysis through smartphones photos, which are:

  • Diagnose of oral-dental health condition, or pathologies
  • Dental monitoring of patient’s condition and evolution
  • Patients smile simulations for looks with different dental appliances
  • New functions integration with the rest of the app platform
  • Interoperability of all the components in a robust and flexible system, including the seamlessly interaction of different type of users

AE Results and Impact

Technological innovations have disrupted the diagnosis and treatment of oral-dental conditions and contributed to the advancement of personalized dentistry. The app proposes the research, development and application of image analysis for the diagnosis of oral and dental pathologies, dental monitoring and smile simulations. This will contribute to that in the nearly future consumers will approach dental health in a drastically different way and AI plays a key role in this new dynamic. This concept gives professionals reliable, in-depth information, helping them to ultimately provide better, quicker service to those in need, also virtually eliminating unnecessary procedures and streamlining administration. Clinical outcomes will greatly improve. Costs will be significantly reduced. Patient satisfaction will directly improve. Access will improve. Dentists and their patients will become major benefactors of these advancements, and as AI becomes more prevalent, these benefits will only become more pronounced.

In the future, the AI-based comprehensive care system is expected to establish high-quality patient care and innovative research and development, facilitating advanced decision support tools. Dentists who incorporate these new technologies will become more accurate, profitable, and trusted by patients.

Based on this, the experiment results will provoke direct impacts in terms of:

  • Providing full dental intelligent services remotely to patients.
  • Creating a new community of patients that interact with the dental clinic and their dentist, acquiring full information on the new potential services, prices and options, always customized to their needs.
  • Creating awareness of this solution to the community and enabling an enlargement of its users and the engagement of other stakeholders in the market.

Partner & Expertise:

CIDIHUBCIDIHub operates by connecting technology providers with entrepreneurs and SMEs in the area of Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Systems, Cloud Computing, with the provision of digital technologies, digitisation assistance; testing and validation, and dissemination services.
RealCAD Innovation DesignRealCAD envisions the development and innovation of mobile and computer applications, with a team formed in the field of medicine, specifically dentistry, together with technical/technological capacity and knowledge in software solutions.

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