Patient-Friendly, Practice-Profitable: Voice Technology for Today's Dentist

The traditional manual way of conducting periodontal exams is neither profitable nor patient friendly. Bringing today’s voice-activated technology to the dental practice could simplify and shorten periodontal exams — as well as support other areas of the practice — to benefit both the practice and the patient. But such technology would need to meet an exceedingly high standard, starting with how it impacts perio exams.

Understanding the Importance of Perio Exams

Periodontal disease affects a significant percentage of the population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly five out of every ten people at least 30 years old suffer from some form of periodontal disease. For those 65 years old or older, that number increases to seven out of ten.1 And periodontal disease doesn’t just affect the mouth: Its presence is related to overall health and quality of life.

Despite these facts, dentists may skip periodontal exams because they are time-consuming and labor-intensive. They are forced to choose between one staff member both performing and recording the exam or splitting those duties between two staff members. Neither option provides the best use of their practice’s resources.

From the patients’ perspective, periodontal exams are lengthy; the time involved adds to the inherent discomfort of the exam process. Additionally, having multiple staff members in the room increases chances of infection for the patient, as does one staff member going back and forth between the examination and the computer.

Leveraging Voice-Activated AI in Dentistry

With today’s advances in voice-activated software (think of smart home devices and digital assistants for phones), dental professionals should have a high-quality option for voice recognition software that could streamline periodontal exams, shrinking the labor cost for the practice and reducing the time involved for both patient and dentist. To be effective, it would also need to integrate seamlessly with the practice’s current software. This kind of solution shouldn’t require extensive training and would need to be used from multiple stations simultaneously.

As an always-ready virtual assistant, it would need to be equipped to understand dental terms and automatically record these hands-free on the patient’s electronic chart, eliminating the need for a second staff member. It would need to recognize and interpret speech to a nearly- perfect degree of accuracy, and at a conversational volume and regardless of accent or background noises.

Creating an AI-Powered Reality

Consider also how you could apply this technology to help other areas of your practice. Voice-recognition software that could be effective during periodontal exams could also help the dentist when creating clinical notes. How else could you benefit? Perhaps the front office could use it when communicating with insurance companies and patients, eliminating keystrokes and increasing speed while reducing wrist discomfort. When used throughout the practice, voice recognition could revolutionize operations. The opportunities for improved efficiency are seemingly endless.

Benefitting From a Digital Team Member

Fortunately, an effective solution is not a dental daydream. Dentrix Voice, from Henry Schein One, powered by Bola AI, performs all these functions and more. Programmed with a virtual library of dental terminology and operating to a standard of 99.9 percent accuracy, Dentrix Voice is ready to bring the power of voice recognition to periodontal exams, clinical notes and front office operations.

Learn how Dentrix Voice can bring the efficiencies of voice recognition software to your practice.


Published: 11/03/2022
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