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Greetings from your President Paul Boyd, DMD

Hello LDS members and happy spring. 

As I listened to Dr. Gerald Grant speak at our February meeting my mind raced with thoughts of dentistry in the future.  Where will we be in ten years and how will we pay for technology that truly improves the quality of care for our patients.

Let’s consider a few emerging technologies and where they could help us. 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – It is already designing the clubface of my driver so dentistry can’t be far behind.  AI has been suggested to help us in the analysis of images to improve early detection of pathologies. 

3D PRINTING- it is here and in some practices.  Printed denture bases prevent polymerization shrinkage and eliminate the need for a posterior palatal seal.  Better fit and the ability to evaluate prior to completion of the denture is desirable.  That is just one of many applications.

SURGICAL ROBOTICS- the technology is currently used in medicine and seems like a natural fit for implant placement.

VIRUAL REALITY- imagine attending a CE course and performing a dental procedure virtually in conjunction with the presentation.  Also consider the implications for dental schools and their students.

There is little argument that technological innovation can and will improve quality and efficiency of dental care, but how will this additional cost be absorbed and will the pressure of procuring these technologies lead to overtreatment or exorbitant fees?  Improved treatment is of no benefit if patients can’t afford it.

The future of dentistry is exciting and challenging and we do know that the future of oral and related healthcare is best shaped by those directly involved, dentists.  Dentists in organizations like the ADA have the resources and collective thinking abilities to navigate an uncertain future.  Please continue your support of our wonderful profession and ask a friend to join the ADA so together we can keep oral health a priority and keep dentistry an exceptional career choice. 

See you at the spring gala on Saturday, April 13. 

LDS Day at the Races is on June 7th and tickets are already selling.

Paul    

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