Big Data in Your Face — How Data Science is Improving Dentistry

If you have been following the impressive advancements being made by Big Data, then you already know just how much data science is helping the medical field as a whole, but did you know that Big Data is helping your dentist do his or her job better too?


It’s true Dentists from across the country recently gathered in Los Angeles, California for a conference called: “Advances in Big Data: Implications for Dental Research.” This symposium took place at the 45th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research, which is held in conjunction with the Canadian Association for Dental Research. Together, that means dental science is being advanced by Big Data across an entire continent.

You may not know this, but the federal government offers multiple initiatives to support dental, oral and craniofacial research in order to gather information for the betterment of these practices.

In addition, these initiatives gather data included on surveys, claims and health records. Big Data can gather, collate, and extrapolate this data to help practitioners become better dentists.

Think about all the different kinds of data available today. Each dental patient had a specific dental profile including vital statistics, treatment plans, and prognosis. Until recently, a dentist could practice his entire career and his pool of information would be limited to his or her personal experience as well as whatever conferences they could attend or articles they could read. Big Data drastically expands that potential knowledge.

By comparing and contrasting massive amounts of data, dental researchers can review treatments and medical issues across a much wider range while also comparing disparate and otherwise disconnected data sets to help establish a better and more complete context.

Data scientists have already shown how linking these disparate data sets that have not been previously connected can improve medical care, make more accurate predictions, and lead to breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of common ailments. Now just imagine all that power being implemented to benefit dental science. More accurate diagnosis, better prognosis, and treatment options.

Plus, Big Data can help dentists administratively too. From insurance billing to internal record-keeping, data science can help practitioners avoid waste, save money, and increase profits. And the smart ones will also pass some of those savings on to their patients. Think about it: increased customer satisfaction, patient loyalty, and better outcomes. That’s good news all around thanks to amazing advances in Big Data analysis.

Gennady Barsky is a real estate mogul from New York City.