DAIC publishes its first study; Findings show glaring inconsistency in dental diagnosis and treatment

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LOS ANGELES, December 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Dental AI Council (CIAD), a non-profit organization defining the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in dentistry through research and education, today announced the results of its first major study since its training earlier this year.

Title Inconsistency in radiographic dental diagnoses and treatment planning, the study involved 136 licensed practicing dentists in 14 countries. Dentists were asked to examine and diagnose the pathologies presented in a series of full-mouth X-ray images. As each dentist diagnosed pathology, they then recommended a corresponding standardized cost treatment plan, allowing the study authors to accurately compare full mouth treatment plan costs for each dentist. participant.

In the study results, diagnoses and treatment plans varied widely among dentists. Consensus was infrequent. There were no instances where all respondents unanimously agreed that dental caries existed. Where dentists agreed on the existence of a cavity, the determination of its severity, level of penetration and whether or not it was recurrent varied widely. Findings from the diagnostic study also included:

  • In no case did more than 81% of respondents agree with a diagnosis.
  • The highest levels of agreement were observed in identifying the presence of non-metallic fillings (81%), impacted molars (65%) and recurrent caries (63%).
  • Tooth 16 was identified by 89 respondents as affected, but only one respondent outside the United States offered to extract it, while 51 of 66 American respondents did so.

Perhaps most striking among the results of the studies was the variability in whole-mouth treatment costs. For example, the most expensive whole mouth treatment plan ($36,000) was 20 times higher than the cheapest plan (a few hundred dollars). Five dentists determined that treatment costs exceeded $18,000.

“There have been anecdotal inconsistencies in diagnosis and treatment planning between dentists, but the magnitude of the problem is difficult to quantify or understand on a large scale,” said the DAIC founding member. Ron Bolden, Vice President of Dental Market Insight at Cigna. “Practicing dentists certainly want to make the most accurate diagnosis using all available resources and tools, but broad awareness of how technologies like AI can improve the quality and consistency of care is yet to be achieved. take root. This study is helpful because anyone who sees the numbers can’t help but want to find ways to be better.”

While it is reasonable for different dentists to select different treatments for a given condition, the extent of variability is troubling, especially considering that treatment inconsistencies directly impact what patients and insurers pay. for the treatment. When treatment variability leads to overtreatment or excessive treatment cost – which itself is a common barrier to patients accepting essential treatment – ​​loss of patient confidence becomes a concern, with significant implications for the oral health of patients and the financial health of the dental industry.

“For a study related to standardized costs to show cost differentials of $30,000 or more is disconcerting,” said Dr. Sanjay Mallya, a founding member of the DAIC and chair of oral and maxillofacial radiology at the UCLA School of Dentistry. “I hope this study provides a little gut check for the industry, and that as the DAIC rolls out additional research in 2021 and beyond, we will come up with more evidence like this that will inspire efforts to establish more consistent standards of dental care.

For those interested in participating in future DAIC research projects or otherwise contributing to the organization’s efforts, DAIC is now accepting members.

The full study is available here. To learn more or join the DAIC, please visit: www.dentalaicouncil.org/membership.

About the Dental AI Council
The Dental AI Council (DAIC) is a professional organization helping to define the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in dentistry. It brings together leaders from across the dental category to advance research, education and thought leadership on AI and its dental applications. Organized by the artificial intelligence company Pearl, its members represent all parts of the dental industry, including practitioners, DSOs, insurance companies, OEMs, PMS vendors, laboratories and universities. For more information, please visit www.dentalaicouncil.org

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Nate Hermes Where Mariah Borthwick
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SOURCE Dental AI Council

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https://www.dentalaicouncil.org

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