Meet the Expert

A professional interview with key opinion leaders in dentistry

Esteemed researcher in the fields of oral implantology, management and training in dentistry, e-learning, digital dentistry and the application of artificial intelligence in dentistry. Dental expert, appointed Fellow of the International College of Dentists for his outstanding contributions to his profession and to the wider dental community.

Leader of digital transformation and innovation of dental management and marketing processes in Israel.

Consultant for numerous companies, including Dentsply Sirona and GSK and many other startups in the dental sector.

 

Interview

What is your profession and how many years of experience do you have in the dental field?

In general terms I am a dentist. I am a general dentist with 12 years of practical experience, but in the last decade I have found myself on the scene between dentistry and the digital world. I combine clinical practices with research and development in the fields of digital dentistry.

Where does it carry out its business?

My business is mainly in Israel. Before 2020, I was traveling to different places in both the United States and Western Europe, as well as Russia, China and other Eastern countries. Of course, less has happened in the last two years. I am trying to compensate with lessons via Zoom but it is not the same thing.

How and why did you undertake this professional path?

I come from a family of doctors. I am the fourth generation. The generations before me were all family doctors, and when at the age of 18 I was looking for something interesting to do, I immediately felt connected to the field of medicine. One thing after another pushed me towards dentistry. Then, after graduation, I joined the military as a dentist.

What are the most difficult and interesting aspects of your work?

The hardest part of my job is discovering new things and finding ways to integrate them with everything else. Integration is probably the most complex and time-consuming process.

What are the most complex cases to diagnose?

In my experience, the most difficult cases to diagnose are cases of maxillofacial pain because many times it is impossible to accurately localize the pain or discover its cause. In these cases, the origin may be a neurological disorder that is even more difficult to treat. Patients with maxillofacial pain are often left untreated or partially treated.

Can you recommend some scientific articles that dental professionals should read?

There is a great misconception among dental implantologists that it is unfavorable to connect implants with natural teeth under the same prosthesis. But, in reality, this is not true and there are many cases in which dental implants can be connected to natural teeth under the same prosthesis if certain conditions are met. A specific type of prosthesis is needed to accommodate the tooth with the implant. But if you can do this, you can straighten some teeth instead of pulling them out, which is a drastic and sometimes not recommended solution. There is an interesting article published in 2009 that talks about when it is possible to connect implants to natural teeth and is entitled “Connecting teeth to implants: a critical review of the literature and presentation of practical guidelines”.

What advice would you give to your students or young professionals?

When you graduate from medical school, you often end up feeling like you’re not competent enough. This is because universities convince you that you are not ready yet. My advice is “Don’t forget what you have learned but forget how they made you feel”.

What channels do you use to keep up to date? (Courses, readings, seminars, digital channels)

I am a member of the ICOI, so I mainly attend their conferences. I also read a lot of scientific literature both online and in print. I also follow many courses in areas not strictly related to my profession, because I want to learn and understand the technological aspects that lie behind the different things.

What upcoming changes do you see approaching in the dental industry?

The first change we already see happening is that many treatment procedures that used to be considered expert level procedures are now more accessible to general dentists even at the beginner level. The best example is orthodontics: when Invisalign entered the market, suddenly orthodontics became accessible to any professional. The second thing is the advent of AI in dentistry. In a way, technological help and assistance in the form of machine learning are what enable less experienced dentists to perform expert-level procedures in the first place.
I see major future developments coming from the use of AI and robots not only in the diagnosis phase, but also in treatment planning and treatment execution. It is already happening in some surgical procedures, but in dentistry we have the problem that the patient is awake.

Which technologies or developments will shape the future of dental imaging the most?

Apart from the aforementioned Artificial Intelligence, we can see the development of automation in computer-aided design and this will simplify the work of dentists and dental technicians.