This Digital Dentistry initiative is an excellent illustration of the necessity to bring traditional dentistry to its next natural stage. I agree that advanced dental techniques will improve patient care as well as our understanding of dental health, and to potentially draw connections between overall health and dental health. Our desire to understand the connection between the two is an overarching theme for all of us working on dental research.
There is a growing revolution in dentistry, brought by the growth of multidisciplinary teams pooling their knowledge in discrete fields to advance dental research. Pairing statisticians, machine learning experts, computer engineers, computer scientists and dental sciences professionals has led to advancements in the fields of medical image analysis, big data analysis, big data integration and hardware. This has led to a collection of new strategies to modernize clinical practice, research and education in dentistry.
Specifically, developing and funding computing expertise as well as building on advances in medical computing will provide the tools for advanced imaging-based dental research. At the same time, developing data (imaging, biological, clinical) integration technologies has the unprecedented potential to improve our knowledge as well as enable personalized patient care, both of which have the potential improve patient outcomes in a variety of dental diseases.