You Imagine: Dental Apps that Kick

Written by on March 29, 2013 in Research & Technology - No comments

Part 2

Finding an app for that

Dental apps offer a promise for both dentists and patients. They can inform and educate, hold medical records, and they can change dental habits for the young and the old alike. They serve as a bridge between the dentist and the patient. What is being done to enhance this bridge? I have reviewed dozens of dental apps, spoken with dentists and developers about their plans, and I offer the insights of that exploration here. I want to be clear that I am in no way paid or compensated by any of the app developers I will be reviewing.

While iTunes doesn’t offer subcategories in Medical, dental apps came in four varieties. There are (1) apps that motivate kids to brush or visit the dentist. There are (2) apps dentists can use to to communicate with and educate patients about dental health and procedures. There are (3) apps that dentists use to hold medical records or reference data. And there are (4) apps patients can use to learn more on their own. I covered 1 and 2 in last month’s issue. In Part 2 of this issue I’ll focus on 3 and 4.

3. Apps for Dentists

CDT Code Check

Dentist will be looking to make paperwork more streamlined. CDT Code Check 2013 is a $19.99 app put out by the American Dental Association (http://www.ada.org/3827.aspx). It contains the complete listing for the CDT codes, and tracks changes in the codes as they occur. These codes can be searched by keyword, by code number, or by category. It is designed particularly for practitioners who travel between offices without a bulky code book and without internet connectivity. In addition to looking up claim codes, it is good for making claim forms.

The Dental Chart

Smart Dental Chart by Ashley Dental Partners Lite is a free app (limited) or paid app with a tap and drag dental chart that can be exported by email, picture save, or airprint. It includes an anatomy section with pop-our details. The Lite version offers primary teeth and a tooth missing function. The professional version includes the full range and costs $299.99.

These apps may be a beginning step. Are there any features or apps you see a need for that are not yet available?

4. Apps for Patient Self-exploration

Orosphere

Orosphere by Curve Technologies (http://orasphere.com) is a free app with a limited but beautifully didactic set of educational videos to teach about the tooth. The free version includes a segment on tooth anatomy and one on root canals.

Dental Expert and Pediatric Dental Expert

Dental Expert and Pediatric Dental Expert are two free app for patients by Cosmetic Innovations, Inc (http://www.cosmeticinnovations.com). They includes an expansive collection of questions and answers related to dentistry. As a medical illustrator, I see a marked lack of visual interest in this app. And I wondered why the Smile Gallery in the adult app is offered as a section as it does little to explain or inform. But I enjoyed the thoroughly informative explanations offered in the Q & A and Myths v. Facts sections.

Exploring dental apps these past couple months, I was left with a sense that it is an area where some good efforts have been made, and where there is also great potential. These apps should offer a complete range of information, easy to access and navigate, 3D when necessary, and with complete text and narrative explanations. In the meantime, explore as you will and enjoy the many free choices available for mobile devices.

by Laura Maaske
www.medimagery.com

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