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Three Things for Dentists to Consider as AI Continues to Transform Business in 2018

January 24, 2018 by AACD Executive Office

By Dana Murn-Kohal, Membership Manager

On January 11th, 2018, the Harvard Business Review posted and article titled “How Automation Will Change Work, Purpose and Meaning” that discusses the promise of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation and how these innovations raise new questions about the role of work in our lives.
 
The article “Find Out if a Robot Will Take Your Job,” posted by Time Magazine in Spring 2017, quotes a report conducted by McKinsey&Company, which suggests less than 5% of jobs can be replaced by technology. When inputting Dentist into a search engine built by McKinsey&Company, it notes that 30.1% of a dentist’s job can be performed by a machine. Based on this percentage, a dentist’s job is considered “safe” from becoming automated.

Even though a dentist’s job is considered “safe,” this doesn’t mean you should dismiss AI and automation as irrelevant to your profession and your future.

Even though a dentist’s job is considered “safe,” this doesn’t mean you should dismiss AI and automation as irrelevant to your profession and your future. In fact, it is more important than ever for AACD members to be thinking futuristically about how AI will transform business going forward.  Below are three skills to consider focusing on in 2018:

  1. Mastering critical cosmetic dentistry skills – while AI can take over some functions of dentistry, specific interdisciplinary skills will continue to create job security within the industry. Consider taking a course in the Virtual Campus or starting the Accreditation process.

  2. Interacting and treating patients – AI cannot replace human to human interaction. A way to combat automation is to focus on how you interact and treat patients. Each patient is unique, and being able to understand that and treat each case is a key differentiator to be touted. Preferred pricing partner All-Star Dental Academy can help hone your customer-service skills, and keynote speaker Ashley Latter will be discussing case acceptance at AACD 2018  in Chicago.

  3. Advising communities about responsible cosmetic dentistry – a possible new patient might be able to Google different cosmetic dentistry practices, but chances are they don’t understand how serious it can be to have an inexperienced individual practicing dentistry on them. As AI continues to have an impact in dentistry, it won’t be able to express the importance of choosing a highly skilled cosmetic dentist. This can be achieved by using existing content on www.yoursmilebecomesyou.com to educate consumers on anything from what cosmetic dentistry is to cosmetic procedures, concerns and common questions.

It sounds like something out of a movie, doesn’t it? Having to differentiate ourselves from robots and automation? The reality is that while technology has its place in our lives, (“Hey Alexa, can you order me new toothbrush heads?”), it can also be a scary unknown when you start to talk about job security. On September 22nd, 2017, TIME posted an article titled “A Chinese Robot Has Performed the World’s First Automated Dental Implant.” It was reported that a robot dentist installed two dental implants for a woman. They also noted that human doctors supervised the whole procedure, but did not actively intervene. While a machine might be able to fill a cavity, could it mimic nature and create a seamless direct composite restoration? Technology allows dentists to do amazing things for their patients, but what truly sets dentists apart from machines are the complex cosmetic cases, the interaction with and treatment of patients and educating the consumer on the art and science of comprehensive cosmetic dentistry.

Technology allows dentists to do amazing things for their patients, but what truly sets dentists apart from machines are the complex cosmetic cases, the interaction with and treatment of patients and educating the consumer on the art and science of comprehensive cosmetic dentistry.



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