Premier CEO talks AI and dentistry with WSJ

As President and CEO of Premier Dental Products Company, a family business that develops, manufactures and distributes dental products worldwide, Julie Charlestein (shown above) is the first woman and the fourth generation of the Charlestein family to lead the company, which was founded by her great grandfather, Julius Charlestein, in 1913.

In a recent interview with Wall Street Journal’s Agam Shah, Charlestein discussed how she believes Artificial intelligence (AI) will keep the Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania- based business “alive for another century.”

Charlestein, who was voted one of The Top 25 Most Influential Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report, is leading Premier through its next evolutionary phase. Her aim: driving relevance to the marketplace with a customer-driven mindset underpinned by a focus on technology, data, brand strength, and human capital.

From his discussion with Charlestein, Shah explains Premier’s process:

“The company is using machine-learning algorithms to analyze historical sales data, information on dental procedures purchased from a data company, and U.S. dental industry trends to predict which products dentists are likely to need. Premier then uses that insight to determine what to promote. For instance, the company’s analysis spotted a need for a special clay paste for crowns and bridges, prompting it to boost marketing of its Traxodent product.

AI also helped the company identify the best applications for its SmartCap technology. The material provides long-lasting protection from tooth decay through microcapsules filled with fluoride, calcium and phosphate. Premier took information about SmartCap and matched it up with information from dentists on how they would most likely use the technology. The AI helped it figure out that more relevant applications for the product would be in areas such as sealant to protect enamel from decay. The company dedicated more resources in putting SmartCap in the applications recommended by AI, holding back from using it in other products to stave off the risk of dentists not using it.”

“Deciding not to do something in medical device development is as valuable as deciding to do something.”

Julie Charlestein, Premier President and CEO, discusses the value of AI in a recent Wall Street Journal interview.

Read the complete Wall Street Journal interview: https://on.wsj.com/2XormXk (free log-in needed for full text)