Enhancing the patient experience with AI

By Sinead McEnhill

20th December 2023

4 minute read

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Sinead McEnhill talks about AI in dentistry and how it’s rapid integration is reshaping patient care, enhancing treatment planning and empowering patients. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of dentistry, technology has taken centre stage. Among the array of advancements, artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a game-changer, revolutionising the way dental professionals approach patient care. Born from a concept dating back to 1950, AI has recently emerged as a powerful tool, reshaping the patient experience and redefining treatment planning.

The marriage of AI and dentistry might seem like an unconventional match, but the synergy is undeniable. Over the past two decades, a trio of factors – vast data availability, formidable computational power, and sophisticated AI algorithms – has propelled AI into the realm of the dental practice. These advancements have led to a remarkable transformation, enhancing patient outcomes, and boosting efficiency. 

Recent research underscores this shift, revealing that more than a third of dentists have embraced AI, integrating it seamlessly into their practices. Even more promising, a staggering 77% of these dental professionals have reported positive outcomes from their AI implementations. These statistics unveiled through a survey by Dentaly.org in July 2023, highlight the burgeoning role of AI in shaping the future of dentistry.i 

AI in dentistry: From stats to smiles.

The scope of AI’s impact extends beyond mere statistics. The integration of AI has given rise to novel approaches to multidisciplinary implant dentistry. For instance, digital platforms now enable practitioners to visualise treatment outcomes, allowing patients to actively engage in the decision-making process. The fusion of AI-driven risk assessment and treatment planning equips dentists with invaluable tools to navigate complex cases and make informed decisions.

Consider a case where dental anxiety posed a significant hurdle. AI-guided treatment planning made a once uncertain outcome predictable, effectively mitigating the patient’s stress and leading to a successful procedure. Similarly, AI’s prowess is harnessed in addressing asymmetrical smiles, employing visual representations to guide patients toward comprehensive treatments that yield harmonious results.

Standardisation is also crucial in achieving successful results with AI and digital tools. Dental teams can adhere to standardised data sets and protocols, facilitating smoother communication and seamless exchanges between practices and surgeries. Comprehensive assessments with high-quality digital records enabled more accurate treatment planning and analysis.

One valuable tool in our practice is the 3D scanning system, which enables facial scanning and 3D printing of smile designs at an affordable price. Dental monitoring platforms with AI capabilities also provide patients with valuable information, ensuring a positive treatment experience.

AI in dentistry: Beyond treatment planning.

AI champions the cause of sustainability in dentistry. By optimising treatment efficiency and minimising patient visits, AI contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of dental practices – but it is more than just the clinical aspect. Digital monitoring platforms with AI capabilities empower patients to participate actively in their treatment journeys. Real-time feedback ensures patients diligently adhere to their treatment plans, culminating in better compliance and more favourable outcomes.

It is also vital to seek mentorship and engage with study clubs to stay updated on the latest developments in dentistry. Combining AI with multidisciplinary treatment planning can achieve successful outcomes and better patient care. The focus should be on providing individualised care, addressing potential risks, and ensuring patients are well-informed and involved in their treatment decisions. Ultimately, embracing AI and continuous learning will improve patient outcomes and sustainable dental practices.


AI in dentistry: It’s not the future, it’s the now.

Integrating AI and digital tools in dentistry has transformed treatment planning and patient care. These technologies have proven valuable assets, from addressing dental anxiety to improving treatment outcomes in complex cases. Standardisation, risk assessment, and patient involvement have emerged as essential factors in harnessing the full potential of AI to deliver exceptional dental care. As dentistry continues to evolve, the collaboration between professionals and technology will undoubtedly lead to further advancements in improving outcomes.


To watch the full webinar with Sinead McEnhill click here. Or to discover the latest digital courses with BioHorizons Camlog click here 



[1] Macdonald, B. (2023) Ai in Dentistry surveyAI In Dentistry: Perceptions, Insights, And Possibilities. Available at: https://www.dentaly.org/us/research/ai-in-dentistry/ (Accessed: 24 November 2023).

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