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Have you ever wondered what happens if you never go to the dentist? Specialists recommend to visit your local dentist every six months for a routine dental exam. However, many adults don’t even remember the last time they visited a dentist. The main reason behind this is because people adopt a reactive behavior, and act only if an issue arises. But routine dental visits are a must — to prevent tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, and other oral health concerns which are likely to pass undetected until they reach a serious state.

Problem Statement: While routine dental visits are not an issue in The Netherlands, the country is in need of actual dentists. KNMT is happy to welcome foreign dentists to the Dutch market, however this represents only a temporary solution. Most of foreign dentists leave within 5 years, which makes it difficult for patients to form longer relationships with their dentists.

Scope for Innovation: The dental industry is missing AI-driven innovations. For example, automation can represent a potential solution for tackling the shortage of dentists. If dental care can be performed faster, while having the same or higher quality of services, dentists can receive more patients. Therefore, automation can help filling the gap.

Our Solution of the Week comes from Promaton, a start-up working on the automation of treatment planning and diagnosis in dental care using AI. Established in 2017, the Dutch startup built Promaton Apox, an AI-driven image analysis and diagnostic aid, which can be used for Panoramic x-ray, Periapical or Bitewing x-ray. Their technology provides highly accurate clinical insights, which are reducing diagnostic errors and saves up to 50% of the reporting time by replacing manual filling. In addition, Promaton provides 3D representations of patients. When these presentations are combined with 3D printing and milling, the workflow can be fully automated. Dentists are then able to deliver high quality care by only focussing on fine tuning treatments, in less time. As a result, it saves up to 80% of the time spent on treatment planning — like in the case of an implant planning.