Dental apps can be used both within and outside the consultation, so that patients can understand the complexities of a specific procedure. They may provide diagrams, videos, or short and easy-to-read explanations of complex dental work that is to be carried out. There are a number of dental apps in this niche, all with unique strengths and uses.
The first app to take a look at is DCstory. DCstory is an app made for the Apple iPad, and includes a number of videos on various dental procedures, as well as interactive screens for the dentist to illustrate what is going to occur. For example, they can bring up an x-ray screen display, and use a stylus to circle which tooth is going to be removed. This may help the patient more easily visualise the procedure they are about to experience.
Another great app to consider is DDS GP. DDS GP is available on both iPhone and iPad, and is used for educating patients about various procedures. DDS GP offers numerous categories of dental medicine, such as preventative, restorative, cosmetics, endodontics, implants, and oral surgery. Within each category, 3D animations are used to show patients how conditions progress, and how they can be treated. The dentist can highlight for the patient using these models, exactly how far along their condition is (e.g. mild periodontal disease vs severe disease).
My Dentist is primarily a communication-based app, intended to help patients to contact their dentist at any time. They can send through photos, diagrams, and messages to explain their problems, and the dentist can reply with instructions and treatment information.
GC Restorative Dentistry Guide
Finally, another helpful app is the GC Restorative Dentistry Guide. The Guide is for when you are using GC composites and bonding agents, when performing restorative dentistry. It can be used as both a guide for yourself, and for communicating with patients, as the guide includes visual and interactive instructions so you can walk your patient through the procedure.
Getting Proper Consent in Dentistry
Using these apps can be a valuable step towards getting proper patient consent for the procedure you are about to carry out. A dental negligence specialist noted that most dental claims related to infections are due to a failure in the procedure, or a failure to give advice about preventative care and oral hygiene. When getting consent for dental procedures, it’s important to remember that a patient cannot truly consent to something she or he doesn't understand.
Use the above apps to explain procedures to your patients, and make sure that they appreciate and recognise exactly what you are going to do. Ideally you should explain the procedure to your patient at an early appointment, so that they have time to think about what you have said and ask any questions that may arise.