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The Potential for AI to Transform Dentistry

  • August 26, 2021
  • by Chris Bischoff and Zak Kukoff

Artificial intelligence promises to amplify productivity, improve outcomes, and enhance experiences in healthcare. At General Catalyst, we believe that partnering with the healthcare ecosystem to deploy AI into the clinician workflow is key to our vision of health assurance. This vision extends to the dental industry, a $500B global market with $140B of spend in the US alone – a figure on par with that of cancer. While dentistry has started to digitize, we believe AI used in dentistry can play an important role in helping deliver the triple aim of healthcare.

 

Claims review processes in dentistry still depend on manual clinical and administrative intervention in decisioning. This approach creates tension between insurers and clinicians, manifested in extended processing time, the perception of inconsistency in approvals and denials and ultimately in delayed benefit payment for the patient. The clinical management teams review claims and support reimbursement work diligently but, in a world of increasing claim submission volume, they face a Sisyphean task. Beyond clinical reviews, the entire operational process for claims review is inefficient with scattered data, diverse IT systems, and lengthy turnaround time leading to high administrative costs and slow reimbursement. As importantly, dental care in the clinic isn’t sufficiently data driven, clinically accurate and patient centric.

 

When we first met Overjet, we were impressed by Wardah Inam’s vision to build the intelligence layer for dentistry. Overjet offers AI software platforms for clinicians and insurers that encode dentist-level understanding of disease identification and progression into precise, bias-free, and repeatable tools for better decision-making. Overjet improves patient care by automating much of the clinical review process and by helping clinicians to increase diagnostic quality, consistency, and speed. In so doing, Overjet creates a win for patients as well as insurers and clinicians.

 

The improved transparency on clinical review criteria means fewer surprise denials, unexpected partial reimbursements, and patient appeals. Consistently applied, quantified clinical criteria gives patients confidence that they can get the most out of their dental benefits with their clinicians’ treatment plans. Further, the improved efficiency of reviewing claims speeds reimbursement and lowers administrative costs. In the clinic, Overjet assists with diagnosis, treatment planning, patient acceptance, longitudinal tracking and administration. It helps clinicians to consistently identify all patient care needs and improve patient outcomes. It’s therefore no surprise that Overjet has quickly emerged as a category leader in dental AI, serving 5 of the largest 12 dental insurance companies in the nation and creating numerous partnerships with dental support organizations and large dental practices.

 

Our Health Assurance Fund (HAF) is focused on identifying enduring companies that could help create a more proactive, resilient, and equitable system of care. Overjet is working to improve the quality of care in oral health, and therefore overall health. Whilst dental and health care have not been linked traditionally, there is increasing evidence of a two-way relationship (e.g. the link between periodontitis and diabetes). We couldn’t be prouder to announce we are leading Overjet’s Series A and partner as they enter their next stage of growth. 

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