How Dentists Can Use AI To Read Radiographs

How Dentists Can Use AI To Read Radiographs

Team RadioGraphs

Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized many industries and disciplines in a short span of time. Sometimes, AI ushers in major changes that members of the general public may not know about.

For instance, it’s become increasingly common in recent years for dentists to leverage this powerful innovation. One specific way general dentists may use AI involves reading radiographs.

Such a development benefits both dentists and their patients. As AI improves, dentists may treat their patients more efficiently and accurately than ever before.

What is a Radiograph?

In dentistry, a radiograph is simply a dental X-ray. When safe amounts of electromagnetic radiation pass through a patient’s body, they generate an image of a patient’s teeth and bones. A dentist can use this image to diagnose conditions requiring treatment.

How Does AI Help Dentists Read Radiographs?

The manner in which AI “learns” can vary somewhat from one AI program to another. Often, however, AI learns in much the same way a human being learns.

For example, perhaps you wanted to teach an AI program how to spot an apple. Perhaps this AI has no conception of what an apple is or that there are many different types of apples when you begin.

You could teach the AI to identify apples by exposing it to numerous pictures of apples. You might also expose it to pictures of other fruits and similar items, explaining that these are not apples due to such factors as their color, size, shape, etc. Over time, the AI program would theoretically learn how to tell whether an apple is or is not present in a given image.

It’s possible to teach AI to diagnose dental and oral health conditions in a similar way. A dentist or researcher could train an AI program by showing it radiographs of patients with and without various conditions, such as cavities, damaged teeth, etc. The AI will then learn what types of common visual characteristics of certain radiographs indicate a patient has a given condition requiring treatment.

The Benefits of Using AI to Read Radiographs in Dentistry

AI doesn’t have the same weaknesses as humans often do. For example, AI never gets tired or needs to take a break. Thus, if an AI program or tool is strong, the learning process described in the above section of this guide shouldn’t take very long. Because AI can constantly analyze radiographs without needing to rest, it can develop the ability to diagnose conditions rather quickly.

Early research also indicates that AI may be remarkably accurate when medical professionals use it in this capacity. According to a recent Stanford study, AI programs have been shown to be as accurate as (if not more accurate than) actual doctors when reading chest X-rays of patients and diagnosing their conditions accordingly. 

AI could likely deliver the same results when reading radiographs in dentistry. Dentists who make the wise choice to embrace this technology may find it helps them identify conditions in patients early, making it easier to treat minor problems before they develop into more substantial issues.

What You Need to Know About the Pearl AI System

Various AI tools, systems, and platforms can serve to help dentists offer improved care to patients. Not all of these innovations are equally effective.

One of the more noteworthy AI tools dentists have begun using is the Pearl AI system’s “Second Opinion” tool. The benefits and features it offers include the following:

  • Serving as a “second set of eyes” to help dentists detect a range of conditions in dental X-rays
  • Analyzing X-rays and producing results in real-time without the need for rest
  • Providing vivid imaging so dentists can explain their findings to patients with greater clarity

Remember, even the most qualified and professional dentist is still a human being, capable of growing tired or potentially overlooking significant details when reading dental X-rays. Pearl AI’s Second Opinion tool helps by objectively analyzing X-rays with a dentist, helping them spot details they might otherwise miss.

Learn More About Using AI to Read Radiographs

At Dentistry of Mendham, in Mendham, NJ, we believe in using the latest tools and technology to deliver the best possible treatment for our patients. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 973-543-5700 to request an appointment.