The digital transformation in dental medicine, based on electronic health data information, is recognized as one of the major game-changers of the 21st century to tackle present and upcoming challenges in dental and oral healthcare. This opinion letter focuses on the estimated top five trends and innovations of this new digital era, with potential to decisively influence the direction of dental research: (1) rapid prototyping (RP), (2) augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), (3) artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), (4) personalized (dental) medicine, and (5) tele-healthcare. Digital dentistry requires managing expectations pragmatically and ensuring transparency for all stakeholders: patients, healthcare providers, university and research institutions, the medtech industry, insurance, public media, and state policy. It should not be claimed or implied that digital smart data technologies will replace humans providing dental expertise and the capacity for patient empathy. The dental team that controls digital applications remains the key and will continue to play the central role in treating patients. In this context, the latest trend word is created: augmented intelligence, e.g., the meaningful combination of digital applications paired with human qualities and abilities in order to achieve improved dental and oral healthcare, ensuring quality of life.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited