You must constantly follow the innovations in the profession.
This week’s guest of our President’s Guests column is an earthquake-affected dentist, a visionary entrepreneur who applies health and artificial intelligence together, Dr. I am sure you will enjoy reading İlkay Gül’s interview.
Hello, I’m a dental specialist İlkay Gül. I was born in Antakya in March 1988. I continued my education here until the end of my high school life. After graduating from Selim Nevzat Şahin Anatolian High School in 2006, I entered Samsun Ondokuz Mayıs University Faculty of Dentistry. In 2012, I completed my undergraduate education and graduated from the faculty of dentistry.
I started my specialty education in Hatay Mustafa Kemal University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Prosthodontics in 2016 and continued my professional life as a prosthetic dentistry specialist.
While I was working as a clinician in our clinic that I opened with my partners in Antakya in 2022, I came to Ankara and became a part of the Dental Aesthetic Center family, due to the destruction of our city as a result of the earthquake disaster in our country on February 6th.
How did you cross paths with TÜSİAV?
In one of the conversations we had with Ms. Guzin on innovation and digital transformation after coming to Ankara, she explained how you are, some of the good things you have done for the country so far and how important digital transformation is for the country’s future. ‘ said. This meeting was the first step on the way to progress to the position of ‘TUSIAV President Health Advisor’ as a result of our efforts to facilitate the treatment processes of our people in our use of artificial intelligence in health and to contribute to our country’s economy through health tourism.
You are a dentist. What makes you different from other dentists?
I think that the most important thing professionally is not to be content with what we have, but to follow the innovations constantly and include them in our clinical treatment protocol. In order to achieve this, I am a part of many scientific societies operating in our country and internationally, and I take care not to neglect to attend congresses and symposiums held in our country and abroad.
Apart from that, I care very much about developing our social side and having hobbies. I play several instruments with an amateur spirit and professional discipline. I love to be actively involved in theatre. I have an acting background that had to be short-lived due to the earthquake. We have had children’s and adult plays that we have staged many times with an art community in Antakya. I believe that people who try to keep their social aspect strong are more successful professionally.
Where is Türkiye in dentistry education? Are graduating dentists enough?
Unfortunately, all dentists meet on a common point in this regard. The number of dental faculties and dental student quotas in our country are too high compared to physical facilities and the number of teachers. The result of this is a serious disadvantage for the quality of education in the dentistry profession, where practice is very important and education is possible not only with theoretical knowledge but also in the form of master-apprentice relationship. I know that there are initiatives by the Turkish Dental Association and our esteemed faculty deans so that prospective physicians can care for enough patients and receive higher quality education. I hope these initiatives turn out well.
How has artificial intelligence impacted dentistry?
The digital transformation in dentistry, with its innovations, not only prevents the factors in the existing conditions of our patients from being overlooked in this process, but also provides our patients with accurate and detailed information about the treatment. This has led to ways that both increase our quality of treatment and reduce the time required for our treatments. In addition, thanks to the plans made using artificial intelligence, the way for treatments that we could not apply before has been opened. For example, our orthodontic problems such as crowding could only be treated with braces and monthly physician visits. Thanks to the treatments planned using artificial intelligence in the current system, our patients can achieve this treatment in a more aesthetic way with transparent aligners. Moreover, in this treatment plan, the patient can be shown digitally what the result will be at the end of the treatment period. We can successfully complete the long-term treatments of our patients abroad by reducing the number of physician visits by delivering a few of the plaques to be used by the patient in appropriate cases.
Again, thanks to the intraoral scanners, which are very important for dentistry, the measurement time is shortened considerably. Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, restorations can be produced by taking measurements with micron precision. We can take measurements comfortably in patients with nausea reflex. By eliminating the intermediate stages, we can complete our treatments in a very short time. The measurements can be recorded on the computer and it is possible to re-examine when deemed necessary. It eliminates chemical residues that will be formed by using the digital measurement method instead of impression materials and contributes to the protection of the environment.
How do you use artificial intelligence in your clinic?
I can easily say that we are progressing at the same pace as the world in digitally managing every process from the first examination to the end of the treatment in the clinic. We use the most up-to-date imaging techniques available. We were able to realize the concept of ‘dental in one day’, in which we take our measurements with intraoral design and reduce our treatment process, which would have been expressed in weeks before, to hours, thanks to the design program and production devices in our body. Again, thanks to the surgical plates we prepared with the support of tomography, we can make our implants seamlessly.
What are your recommendations and advice to young people who want to become dentists?
My advice to my young friends who are preparing for exams and aiming for dentistry is to observe a few dental clinics and make their decisions accordingly, and to try to keep up with all the innovations that are changing in the world in this field, from the moment they take the first step on this path. They should not forget how important it is to stay away from information pollution and take care to use scientific methods to reach the right information in this age when it is very easy to reach information.
All our potential dentist friends studying dentistry should not be limited to the education they received at school in order to be successful physicians, but should always follow the developments in the world.
I think the most important thing is that, as I told all of our friends whose education life I touched during their specialization process, they should not neglect their personal development while carrying out their professional development, and they should not neglect whatever they like to do in the field of books, sports and art.
Let them make sure that the only thing that university life adds to them is not a diploma and a title.