Denti.AI is a dental business automation company with the mission to solve the problem of people losing so many teeth (12 on average by 50 years of age). We develop diagnostic, treatment planning and EMR automation technologies for dentistry utilizing proprietary Deep Learning and Robotic Process Automation technologies. We have a proven PMF with total revenue of over $1M.
Tell us about yourself?
I love developing software, especially machine learning or AI, and building companies that do this. Denti.AI is my third company. It started after I chose to do a Ph.D. research project in deep learning on medical imaging in 2016. The project coincided with my losing a tooth due to a couple of mistakes from different dentists, and I looked around and found that there was no activity on AI in dentistry back then. The research was successful, so I invited a couple of co-founders to join me. We went through the Creative Destruction Lab programme in Toronto, and here’s how we raised the first money and started a company.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Don’t stress out too much. Building a company is challenging, but you’ve got to keep believing and stay positive. Eventually, opportunities appear and many things go your way.
What problem does your business solve?
We help dental professionals be more productive, and dentistry be more affordable, with standardized quality. This is applied especially well to the Dental Support Organisations and large networks of dental offices that grow fast on exactly the same premise and are natural early adopters of our technology.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
People losing so many teeth is something that people don’t like to talk about for many reasons, but it’s a huge problem in terms of quality of life, general health and longevity. We believe AI is able to help here.
What is your magic sauce?
We develop AI for dental diagnostics, as the competition does, but we know from the early feedback that without automation of clinical processes in dentistry it will have very limited use. So our first research paper was published on the subject of detecting and numbering teeth on an image, not detecting pathology. This is needed to automatically generate medical records, suggest treatment or help insurers determine if a claim should be reimbursed. The paper has been cited over 150 times and is the single most-cited article on AI in dentistry coming from a North American organization, which helps illustrate how important this problem is. We were granted the US patent for this technology as well.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
There is a lot of room for growth: even though we’ve generated about $2M in revenue, the penetration of AI in dentistry is still below 1%. There’s a rich roadmap in R&D, many ongoing commercial projects, regulatory activities, and entering new markets (currently, we only sell in the US and Canada). A startup is a company that is continuously changing and reinventing itself, so growth is the only measure of success.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Obviously, as in any medical field, dentistry is a heavily regulated industry. We had a few setbacks with the tightened regulatory environment for the AI, which we successfully overcame.
Fundraising is also challenging for a team who just immigrated to Canada in 2018, but we managed to raise capital, mostly from US-based investors, with the company valued just recently at over $40M.
How can people get involved?
People can visit our website, www.denti.ai, and either fill out a form to buy or test the software or just write to the management team directly at email@example.com. We are based in Toronto and will always be happy to meet with potential business partners or investors in new funding rounds.