A Hygienist’s “Starter Kit” for Using AI

By: Anjuli Avis, RDH, Guest Blog There is so much buzz around artificial intelligence in Dentistry right now. It’s easy to get caught up in something that is this innovative. So, is it worth the hype? As someone who has been using it for the last few years clinically both for my own patients and for implementation and training purposes, I can tell you it is absolutely worth the hype. But how does one get started using it?Here’s my “starter kit” for implementing this technology in the op and in the front office. It’s the protocol that my hygienists and myself use. It just scratches the surface, but it’s a great way to start implementing these wonderful tools.Remember, the protocols here can be utilized for most platforms designed for reading radiographs and information in your practice management software (PMS).Easy, breezy chart prep with AII have my teams print their schedules through the AI dashboard. Here they make notes and use it for feedback during their morning huddles. These are the basic building blocks for comprehensive treatment planning.Most platforms will provide:Last date of x-rays (BWX, FMX).Last date of probing.What patient is scheduled for today.Unscheduled treatment for both hygiene and doctor.AI recognition of possible missed treatment.Some software will now provide the date of the last health history.Review X-rays, augmenting experience with AIReviewing x-rays includes analyzing the artificial intelligence measurements of:Bone loss – CEJ to the bone and compare with periodontal charting.Incipient decay – This indicates opportunities for Curodont Repair by vVARDIS for remineralization of enamel once decay is confirmed with the Doctor.Abnormalities of all tooth structures highlighted in color blocks or in boxes to review with the doctor.Narratives matter, so this is a time to check the quality of x-rays for submission to the insurance company.Review of Treatment PlanClinicians use “scheduled for today” columns and compare with their diagnostics to:Confirm the accuracy of the treatment plan.Present opportunities to the doctor based on what the AI detects as not yet treated or treatment planned. The artificial intelligence analysis is basically the equivalent of: “Hey, look at me! Do I need attention?”During the Dental AppointmentShortcuts, where available, should be used to get to x-rays quickly.Use computer monitors, smart TVs, or iPads for educational purposes.During periodontal charting, hygienists review the AI and make notes for the doctor.Doctors should review the AI findings also, which helps strengthen calibration and treatment planning.Automated periodontal charting and restorative charting is available on some platforms. Use this for quicker comprehensive and new patient exams.Efficiency is crucial, especially as dentistry faces a labor shortage.OperationsUnscheduled treatment and recare reports are available in most of the AI platforms, which can help teams identify patients who need to return and help maintain a full schedule.My teams utilize these reports to fill their schedules during slow seasons and to partner with the front office team.These reports are easy-to-read and visually pleasing.Weekly review of these reports is recommended and can be discussed at team meetings or huddles, depending on the need.Marketing and Business AssessmentsArtificial intelligence can assist the marketing department assess your presence in the community. For example:DMscore will break down your visibility and ranking versus competitors, based on price per click, SEO, and mapping. Review this monthly at least.Artificial intelligence programs can also help with employee training.Patient Prism uses an AI algorithm to re-engage lost patient opportunities. It measures team member interaction with patients on the phone and gives you tangible feedback to facilitate coaching.Other IdeasI encourage my hygienists to utilize QR codes for the websites of the products they are using so patients can see how cool it is! This can be done with any company you decide to partner with in your practice. Let your patients in on the conversation.The TakeawayArtificial intelligence is a transformative force in dentistry, offering a myriad of benefits for both patient care and practice management. By incorporating these protocols, you can harness the full potential of AI in your dental practice._ _ _Anjuli Avis has been a dental hygienist for 18 years. She has been a clinical coordinator, hygiene mentor, trainer, study club content creator and presenter. Anjuli is an advocate for consistent and thorough diagnostics like salivary testing, oral cancer screenings and artificial intelligence.She enjoys writing for industry newsletters that address modern challenges for dental clinicians. She has worked in teledentistry with a primary goal of creating increased access to integrative and preventative healthcare and in continuing education. Currently, she is a Regional Director of Hygiene for a DSO in the U.S. with the main goal of implementing best practices in the hygiene department.______To learn about our AI integration with our cloud-based Apteryx imaging solution, contact us for a free demo.

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