What effects will AI have on aesthetic dentistry?

This month, Dr. Manrina Rhode shares how she uses AI in her practice and believes it will change the future of aesthetic dentistry.

AI this, AI that, Chat GPT this, and Chat GPT that are all buzzwords right now. It’s exciting. What makes it intriguing is that there will be a rapid evolution. I was at university when the internet and mobile phones were introduced, and they were life-changing. But that was 26 years ago, and there has been a steady progression since then, with smartphones growing smarter, televisions becoming more brilliant, and the internet, Google, and other things improving, albeit at a reasonable rate. 

AI will accelerate change because it is self-teaching. We’ll start using it, and as we do, it’ll get more competent, and we’ll see a significant change over the next five years or so. 

Marketing for aesthetic dentistry

We currently use AI technology in the clinic for various purposes, including marketing. Chat GPT allows you to build incredibly impressive emails using fairly in-depth suggestions. An example is a Halloween email we sent out that was entirely written by Chat GPT. 

I wanted to send a message about Dracula’s teeth and how he had a smile makeover. So the brief I gave to our marketing person was to find a picture of an actor portraying Dracula and a picture of the same actor not playing Dracula, and then make a joke about it being a smile makeover. Then we typed the following into Chat GPT: ‘As a social media manager for a private dental clinic, compose a newsletter on Dracula’s smile makeover. 

It developed the most beautiful email about all the treatments we offer here. We discussed Dracula getting Botox and fillers to improve his face, contouring his sharp canines, and whitening his teeth so they weren’t yellow anymore. He also received minimally invasive porcelain veneers to improve the contour of his teeth. It even mentioned laser contouring of his gums and how his GPT knew I was one of the few clinics in the country having a Waterlase, which was great. 

The way they wrote about each treatment was excellent, and it just took five minutes. It was a far better newsletter than my marketing guy had written initially; they had created a better version than the human, which was intriguing. 


This is arguably true for X-rays as well. 

We use software to read the X-rays we take. It shows the lesions and how deep they are. It generates an X-ray report to teach our patients how to read. Then, we ran it through the AI and presented what the AI discovered in our dental images. 

I’ll look at X-rays and say, ‘Oh, sure, those look okay.’ Then, we’ll run it through the AI and ask, “What about this interproximal de-mineralization that wasn’t visible to the human eye?” But AI picked it up at the Pixlr level and noticed what was happening.’ 

Imaging aesthetic dentistry

The other way we use AI in the clinic is for imaging. I recently posted on LinkedIn and Instagram using my face, asking AI to give me a flawless smile, which it accomplished. 

Some were incredibly cool, and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, maybe I should do that’. However, some made me appear worse because AI needed to completely understand where the lips should be positioned, how not everyone is the same, facial proportions, etc. 

But as it learns and improves, it will also improve at this. This saves me a lot of time compared to sitting in and visualising my patients’ grins or manually utilising Photoshop like I used to. So that’s been a tremendous and exciting development. 

What further changes will AI bring about? 

AI will also be increasingly used in our dental teams. The other day, I conversed with someone utilising AI to schedule appointments. So, the patient will call, and AI will check through the diary to see what is available and where to block things. 

Employing AI for activities like that, which take up a lot of time and probably don’t need to because they are simple, will allow us to delegate the parts that require human interaction to humans. 

And even performing treatments remotely or assisting us with treatment planning. This will continue as technology improves. I know that with the software I have today, I keep getting emails saying, ‘We’ve got a new AI integration coming’. 

We are at the start of a very significant transition that will occur. So, consider this an introduction, and let’s do it again next year.