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Align Technology

May 24, 2024

How artificial intelligence can improve quality of care and patient experience: the orthodontics example

When it comes to the healthcare sector, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, a subset of AI, can help improve the development and effectiveness of medical devices, workflows, treatment planning and doctor–patient interactions. AI in the hands of a doctor enhances patient experience and improves clinical outcomes. In dentistry, AI can help doctors provide faster and more efficient treatment processes and help make orthodontic treatments more engaging for patients.

“In dentistry, AI can help doctors provide faster and more efficient treatment processes and help make orthodontic treatments more engaging for patients.”

Application of AI in Orthodontics

Today, dental professionals are using software to gather detailed information to help inform clinical decisions. The use of advanced solutions, such as digital workflows and CAD/CAM software, provides quantifiable benefits for dentists, orthodontists and laboratories, and, ultimately, patients. Whether by reducing treatment times, increasing the quality of care or automating manual tasks, digital workflows allow dentists and orthodontists to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach in favour of personalised, precise, preventative and patient-driven care – otherwise known as “P4 dentistry”. Align Technology is one of the leading companies that use AI to improve patient care and treatment experiences. At the Align Innovation Day in Milan in February 2024, the company shared some examples of the many solutions that integrate AI algorithms to enable doctors to provide the best care for their patients and make treatment outcomes more predictable. Thus, Invisalign Virtual Care AI, the assisted remote-monitoring solution that automates and streamlines practice workflows “is another great example of how we are using digital technology to connect doctors and their patients to facilitate even greater continuity of care and deliver a streamlined experience,” explained Dr Mitra Derakhshan, Align Senior Vice President, Global Clinical. “Aligner fit and seating are important clinical indicators of treatment progress tracking and compliance. The AI-assisted automatic assessment algorithms measure and highlight aligner spaces, based on doctor-approved settings, and AI-assisted Automated Notifications inform patients on actions such as whether to advance to the next stage, stay on their current stage, or contact their doctor for further instructions. These AI-assisted technologies integrated with human confirmation enable practices to prioritise Invisalign treatment tracking exceptions.” With the benefit of intraoral scanners, patients can better picture tooth wear, movements, treatment improvements and the expected final result. Intraoral scanners, such as iTero™ Element intraoral scanners, create 3D visualisations that can be used for treatment planning and restorative procedures. This unique technology can capture visuals, providing the dentist with clear, detailed images painlessly.

Digital natives, the patients of the future

New generations growing up in a digital world increasingly rely on technology in all aspects of their life. This can extend to health care, where fast treatment options recognise their lifestyle. In fact, 90% of patients surveyed agreed that the My Invisalign™ app – designed to help dental practices support patients in every step of their treatment, from deciding to start treatment to switching to their last set of clear aligners – helped them stay on track [1]. The future of patient care is undeniably digital. When used in the right way, technology can provide a unique experience and workflow that integrates and connects all users, from doctors to dental laboratories and patients. A solid digital and online presence can play a significant role in appealing to this group of patients.

NOTES

[1] Based on an in-app survey from users (n=1344) of the My Invisalign app in the US, Canada, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. Data on file at Align Technology, as of March 23, 2021.
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