Implementing AI in your practice- AI in Dentistry part Deux

Welcome to the realm of dentistry, where the marvels of modern technology harmonize seamlessly with our passion for patient care. In this dynamic landscape, one innovation shines brightly: artificial intelligence (AI). As dental practitioners, we are witnessing the dawn of a new era, where AI acts as our trusted ally, guiding us towards enhanced diagnostics, personalized treatment plans, and superior patient outcomes. Join us as we delve into the transformative power of AI in dentistry, where every pixel, algorithm, and decision is crafted with the precision and dedication of a seasoned dentist.

Full disclosure – I didn’t write that intro. Chat GPT did. I asked it to write an entire article on the impact of AI on dentistry. Then I asked it to put some flair on the introduction. Literally, I said “Please rewrite the intro with more flair.” The rest of the article was actually quite good, but I’m still terrified of my 10th grade AP lit teacher, so I couldn’t in good conscience allow the machines to do my writing for me. I’ll butcher it myself, thank you very much. Oh and another AI program came up with that picture to go along with the article. Now if you have been following our newsletter, you would know that I have already written an article about the impact of AI in dentistry and a few of the technologies that exist. This article will revisit a few of those technologies with a useful twist – how to actually implement them in your practice.

One of the most common mistakes I see in private practice when it comes to software implementation is a “set it and forget it” approach. This is where the doctor does excellent research, makes a well-informed decision to purchase a piece of software for their office, only to hand it off to their office manager and walk away. Good luck, call me when the new patients start flowing in!

Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. AI is like any other software, or even like any new piece of equipment in the office. Think about the steps you would have to take if you purchased, for example, a Solara laser. First and foremost, you as the dentist would become intimately familiar with every aspect of the laser. You would read the manual, watch Youtube videos, attend CE courses, and possibly even demo it on a few cases to make sure it was a fit for you.

Then you would put a business plan together for the shiny new laser. You determine the ROI based on several factors. You consider the impact on your cash flow. You extrapolate the increase in value for your practice that is created with a successful implementation.

Next, you would call in your IT provider and ensure that everything plays nicely with your existing network. There may even be some electrical requirements, and you would certainly need to make the space available for the equipment. Once it was all set up in the office, that’s where the real work begins. You would hold team trainings on the technology – how to use it, when to use it, who uses it, etc. Then you would set up marketing campaigns to let your patients know that you have invested in a piece of technology to improve their comfort and level of care. You would coordinate with your treatment coordinator to see what codes are covered. You would create scripting around case acceptance and educational content for your patients.

Finally, you would constantly analyze the results of the laser, comparing key benchmarks and KPIs that you created in your initial business plan to ensure that the metrics you set out to achieve are accomplished. You visit with your team to see how they have adopted and utilized the technology. You examine patient outcomes to see if true value has been created for them. Based on the results, you retrain, rework the business plan, and start the process all over again.

The same processes and steps for the new laser also hold true for software and AI implementation in the pediatric dental practice. Even something as innocuous as an equipment maintenance software can be a huge undertaking at all levels of the practice. We typically plan on no less than 6 months of training, feedback, revamping processes, and cultural integration for any new software we add to our practices.

AI, like any software, requires active support and input from the team in order to deliver on its promise. It must receive a high level of attention and evaluation in order to truly become adopted. To put it colloquially, it’s gotta be whole-assed in order to see tangible results.

The good news is that software is very sticky, meaning that once your team has a firm grasp on it and has learned that it actually makes their jobs easier, it becomes a habit, and eventually it’s as natural as a good morning huddle routine.


1. Do your research – not all AI is created equal

2. Have a plan – know how you are going to implement it and what the goals are

3. Involve all stakeholders – team, IT, doctors, and even patients

4. Be very involved in the implementation throughout the entire process

5. Don’t keep it a secret! If applicable, make sure to market your investment as a benefit to your patients

6. Track results and tweak as necessary, not just from a financial standpoint, but from a quality of care standpoint as well.


It truly is amazing to think how far technology has come not in the last 10 years, but in the last 1 year. AI promises to have the single greatest impact on the dental industry in the next 20 years. But even AI needs help. Throwing it over the fence and onto your practice manager’s lap is a sure path to failure. If you insist on staying “hands-off” when it comes to the software that runs your practice, just be courteous to the rest of the industry and take the blame. None of us want to see you ranting about how terrible a software is on iPedo when in reality it never had a chance to begin with.