Dental hygiene related apps have been a feature of the medtech world for a few years, but only now are they permeating professional dental care. Forbes has noted the trickle of algorithm-led dentistry into clinics, and is now predicting that digital dentistry will become a key component of everyday practice. For many patients and clinics alike, these new developments will enable greater levels of care.
Involvement in daily habits
The key to healthy teeth is good habits. As noted by clinicians at the experienced Gresham emergency dentist, Main Street, education into how to keep teeth clean and what foods to avoid will do much of the work without individuals needing to visit a professional. When the patient returns home is where the hard work begins. Increasingly, dentists are using apps that combine with smart technology, such as the toothbrush, to gain an all-in picture of patients and their habits. According to the New York Times, these platforms are becoming increasingly common, and will become standard practice within years.
Improving clinic efficiency
With the connection to patients made, startups have found ways in which to further develop technology’s role in the clinic. Most recently, Tech Crunch reported that developers VideaHealth have introduced a software suite that can help dentists to look into key signs of dental disease, and in some cases even cancers, such as misshaping of the mouth and throat. Using sophisticated imaging technology within peripherals or the toothbrush, this is ultimately improving efficiency in the dentist clinic – and keeping costs down.
Using big data
Data sharing has always been a sticky subject in the medical world. Measures like GDPR and HIPAA, while initially causing consternation and some frustration, have ultimately cleared the lines on what can and what can’t be shared, and how. As a result, big data is now there for use in medical applications, including dentistry. According to Dentistry IQ, this will enable dentist clinics to pull data from a staggering range of sources and improve patient outcomes.
With that, dentistry will truly be digital-led. Between smart peripherals and apps that monitor patient usage, and big data sets that can be compared to the raw information received in order to draw conclusions, there is a lot on offer to help dentists and their patients enjoy better care. For dentists, the challenge will be in adapting the business at short notice to these disruptive technologies.