Mobile Technologies, AI and the Future of Oral Health
As a society connected to — and somewhat dependent on — our WiFi, iPhones and tablets, it likely comes as no surprise that mobile technologies are continuing to impact all aspects of our lives, including health and wellness. In the area of oral health, the Dr. E Cosmetic and Family Dentistry team is closely monitoring the advent of mobile dentistry (mDentistry). We’re excited by the possibilities it offers when it comes to patient care and education. We want to share the latest developments on what could be the future of oral health with YOU.
What is mDentistry?
This new concept refers to dentistry supported by a wireless infrastructure involving mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. Mobile dentistry (mDentistry) is still emerging, but it offers the possibility of virtual dental visits and exams. It would use digital tools and imagery, treatment planning and interactive patient education to help prevent gum disease and other serious dental issues. The use of AI in dental care is also in its early stages. The ability to use technology to educate individual patients and the mass public about oral hygiene opens up unlimited possibilities when it comes to improving dental care and boosting oral health worldwide!
Digital “disrupters” impacting dentistry:
Thanks to emerging technologies and expanded connectivity, exciting developments are on the horizon that stand to reinvent dental care and treatment as we currently know it. Here are some of the innovations to watch out for and their impact on the practice of dentistry:
- Dentistry at your fingertips. Dental offices will have the ability to text valuable resources to the masses to help improve oral health, or target individual patients with information specific to their treatment.
- Quicker access to oral care. Digital transmission of information about oral hygiene will greatly benefit those living in remote or at-risk areas with limited access to dental care. In general, use of remote diagnostics tools will improve timely treatment and facilitate access to quality dental treatment.
- Earlier diagnosis. The development of sophisticated screening apps will help dentists diagnose and intervene earlier, resulting in better patient outcomes.
- Instilling good habits in children. The proliferation of apps and games promoting oral health will result in healthy behavior changes and habits in children.
- After hours dentistry. When a dental emergency strikes outside of office hours, interventional dental emergency management apps can be used to troubleshoot and help prevent overflow of patients to crowded ERs.
- Tele-dental visits. Aided by the latest integrated imagery, tele-dental visits will become an alternative to in-person dental visits, especially for patients who do not live in close proximity to dental offices.
- AI dentistry. Do not fear; a robot is not about to replace your favorite dentist! However, Artificial Intelligence-powered technology using advanced imagery will help with the detection and treatment of oral diseases in a myriad of exciting ways that are yet to be seen!
Where is dentistry and the future of oral health headed?
As technology keeps expanding along with the lay population’s access to digital tools, dentists will benefit from having patients who are more empowered to monitor and take greater ownership over their oral health. We will see the development of more digital tools and products that integrate the detection, diagnosis and prevention of oral health diseases. Many of these will focus on the ability to produce and share high quality images of the mouth. Therefore, expect to see an influx of patient-friendly smartphone apps, and even AI-powered tools, focused on helping patients and dentists achieve earlier diagnoses and more effective treatment options.
Who is driving these efforts? We can thank the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for their concerted effort to partner and champion the use of mobile technologies for improved healthcare. Their joint initiative, the Be He@lthy Be Mobile (BHBM) program, promotes global collaboration and advances the emergence of technology in dental care and ALL healthcare practices. You can visit HERE if you are interested in learning more.
The Dr. E Cosmetic and Family Dentistry team is committed to bringing patients the latest tools and innovations when it comes to dentistry and enhanced dental care. We look forward to your next visit! Contact us: 480-494-2435.