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App-Enabled Dentistry – How Dental Monitoring Helps Track Progress

Technology powers dentistry, taking it to greater heights and helping patients achieve a level of oral care that contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle. The onus is always on the clinic to make sure they are investing in the equipment, tools and resources that will benefit their patients the most.

Without technology, appointments would be longer, recovery would be more complicated, and patients would have to live with mouth pain and a greater susceptibility to diseases like oral cancer. With every innovation, patients are that much closer to having the healthy teeth and winning smile everyone’s after.

One of the most impressive recent developments has been app-enabled dentistry. This involves a mobile application that grants a patient the power to turn their smartphone into a remote scanning and monitoring device to track progress and streamline communication.

Let’s explore the role that technology plays in providing dentists with resources to help patients receive the care they need. Then, we’ll take a deep dive into app-enabled dentistry to help you understand how it works and the benefits. Additionally, we’ll look specifically at how remote dental monitoring can impact Invisalign and braces treatments.

Embracing Technology

Patients deserve the best care and should look for a clinic that is constantly investing in technology that improves patient experience and facilitates better treatment outcomes.

The practice of dentistry is always evolving, and it is incumbent on dental professionals to stay abreast of new ways to provide care. This forward-thinking approach helps clinics flourish and ensures that patients don’t spend too much time in the chair or wrestling with pain and discomfort.

As Barrie Dentists, we are always looking to incorporate state-of-the-art dental technology into our practice. Here are some examples:

  • iTero Element Scanner
  • Digital X-rays,
  • Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST)
  • Laser dentistry
  • 3D printing
  • Mercury Rescue
  • All-on-4 Dental Implants 

It is our commitment to the Barrie community to consistently offer advanced dental treatments.

What is App-Enabled Dentistry?

App-enabled dentistry uses artificial intelligence (AI) to track a patient’s progress and to automate and streamline communication. Essentially, a patient can download an app, which transforms their smartphone into an intraoral scanner with the ability to take DM scans. For those unfamiliar, an intraoral scanner captures optical impressions of the inside of a patient’s mouth and is a pivotal part of many dental procedures. It’s like our new iTero Element dental scanner, only you can carry it in your pocket.

A remote scanner means a patient can take and share their scans with a dentist or orthodontist in real-time. Additionally, there has never been a communication tool like this before. Dentists can engage patients on a level that revolutionizes both treatments and the patient experience.

The goal is to optimize treatment schedules and outcomes and to remove some of the murkiness and concern that patients feel while undergoing extensive dental care.

How Does it Work?

App-enabled dental monitoring is simple to use and intuitive enough that a patient—even those who are not tech savvy—can easily manage their way through the process. It is compatible with iOS and Android, and each offers the same suite of features like progress reports and direct messaging.

When first introduced, the only piece of additional equipment that a patient needed was a mouth frame attachment. This opened the mouth so that a scan could be captured. The current generation of this technology uses a scanbox, a simple attachment that mounts to a smartphone. 

The effectiveness of this dental monitoring system is reliant on bringing together three different platforms: the online dashboard and communication centre, protocols and the mobile app.

  • The online dashboard builds monitoring protocols so that a dentist can tailor and automate a patient’s experience.
  • Protocols is the messaging centre that enables communication between the dental professional and their patient. Here, a dental professional will access information and create messages for patients and instructions for their team.
  • Once protocols are established, your dentist activates the mobile app. This allows a patient to take DM scans and access their progress reports and messages

In addition, the app performs the following:

  • It automatically sorts, crops and organizes scans by dates and angulation.
  • All scans are stored and can be accessed at any time by either the patient or dentist.
  • The AI reviews the scans, validates their accuracy and notifies the dentist of what is detected.
  • All DM scans are uploaded to the platform and sent to the dentist and their team.

Your dentist will determine the scanning schedule that you’ll need to adhere to.

Dentist and Patient Relationship

The importance of an open, fluid and honest relationship between dentist and patient can’t be overstated, especially with respect to more complicated procedures.

Technologies like app-enabled dentistry can improve this relationship and open the lines of communication, allowing a dentist to help a patient cross the finish line of their treatment faster. Gone are the days of leaving your dentist’s office with a vague plan and hoping you feel better before the next appointment. Now, it’s on the dentist to provide a thorough and effective course of treatment and to stay connected to their patient throughout the process.

App-enabled dental monitoring ensures that relevant treatments are the way they should be: clear, manageable and patient-centric.

Artificial Intelligence

By using AI, app-enabled dental monitoring offers several benefits, including:

  • Patients and dentist can manage their treatments remotely. This cuts down on the number of appointments without derailing treatment.
  • Information is easily shared and accessed.
  • The protocols provide clear communication and instructions.
  • Patients can also chart their progress, especially useful for those with braces or Invisalign.
  • Dentists can tailor messages to patients so that it is more personalized to their personality or manner of speaking.
  • Scans only take about two minutes to complete.

Furthermore, all data is stored on secure fully encrypted servers to protect patient data. Each server has been accredited for health data storage.

Braces and Invisalign

This is an important piece of technology for patients undergoing orthodontic work like metal or ceramic braces or Invisalign. App-enabled dentistry is particularly advantageous for Invisalign users, as it guides a patient through the steps, including when it’s time to switch to the next set of aligners.

For most, having to wear braces or Invisalign is a significant experience. These treatments can usually span one to two years and take a high level of commitment to experience positive results. Having the means to communicate directly with your dentist and to receive direct instructions and feedback in the form of progress reports is invaluable.

Barrie Dentists

Georgian Dental® is the only clinic north of Toronto offering this advanced treatment option.

Part of our holistic approach to dentistry is to use technology and cutting-edge equipment to treat more than a patient’s mouth. We aim to treat the entire person, including their physical and emotional well being.

Investing in the best technologies can shorten treatment time and create a patient experience that is second to none. We are proud to add dental monitoring to our growing list of clinical innovations.

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