Dentist clients are sincere in their approach to restoring patients to dental health

The comparison between artificial intelligence, and actual intelligence (or human intelligence) is not a challenge but a recognition of change. Introducing artificial intelligence in dentistry emphasizes the evolving nature of the field. The only constant in life is change, so recognize that change is inevitable.

Starting dental school in the seventies, I can remember treating patients with bare hands. I can remember the older doctor I worked with sterilizing needles. It sounds crazy now but there was a time when these were the standards of care.

The real question is how quickly and to what extent do you embrace change? Dental practices have different styles, cultures, and philosophies; there is no one right way. Make no mistake; how human intelligence using artificial intelligence will change the landscape of dentistry and our entire world.

Artificial Intelligence in Dentistry: Balancing Progress with Patient Care

Artificial intelligence in dentistry holds the promise of revolutionizing diagnostics, treatment planning, and patient care. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of medical and dental data with incredible speed and accuracy, aiding clinicians in identifying changes and making more informed decisions. Machine learning models can be trained on diverse datasets to recognize subtle nuances in imaging and radiographs, improving the early detection of disease and facilitating personalized treatment plans.

Applications of AI in Dentistry

  • Administrative task automation

  • Virtual consultations

  • Data-driven treatment recommendations

  • Patient risk assessments

  • Predictive modeling for oral health

  • Treatment outcome prediction

  • EHR integration
  • Preventive care reminders

  • Adaptive treatment protocols

  • At-home monitoring devices

  • Anomaly detection in imaging

  • Patient compliance monitoring
  • AI-assisted surgical procedures

  • Prescription optimization

  • Dental equipment maintenance

  • Inventory management

  • AI-guided education tools

  • VR/AR in dental education

  • Patient engagement platforms


In contrast, actual Intelligence in healthcare is embodied by the expertise and intuition of healthcare professionals — the doctors and team who bring a deep understanding of patient context, empathy, and ethical considerations to the table. Human intelligence excels in interpreting complex social and emotional cues, which is critical in healthcare settings where a patient's well-being is not solely determined by clinical data.

The Collaborative Future of Dental AI

I believe the best practices will develop around a collaborative landscape of artificial and actual intelligence. Integrating AI tools as decision support systems empowers healthcare professionals with additional information and insights, augmenting their clinical expertise. This collaboration between AI and human intelligence can enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery while preserving the personalized and compassionate aspects of patient care.

More important is that AI has the potential to alleviate the burden on healthcare professionals by automating routine tasks, allowing them to focus on more complex and patient-centric aspects of their practices.

“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care!”

The relationship between actual intelligence and artificial intelligence in dentistry is transformative. While AI brings efficiency, speed, and data-driven insights, human intelligence contributes empathy, ethical judgment, and a holistic understanding of patient needs. The future of our profession lies in striking a harmonious balance between these two forms of intelligence, harnessing the strengths of each to provide optimal, patient-centered care in an increasingly technologically advanced world.

Carl E. Steinberg, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., L.L.S.R. ( is a Spear Visiting Faculty member and a Spear Digest contributor.


Commenter's Profile Image Ricardo M.
March 19th, 2024
Amazing article dear Carl!