The field of general dentistry is one in which technology plays a huge part, and the latest breakthrough is something which will help to empower patients whilst also providing more information for your dentist to work with. Almost all of the hi-tech advances in recent years have taken place within the confines of the dentists’ surgery. Things such as 3D imaging, the use of lasers and, most recently, advances in nanotechnology, have meant that dentists are able to do things which would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago. Whole new treatments have been developed, whilst existing treatments are made easier, quicker and more likely to be successful. This new breakthrough, however, is one which takes place in the bathroom of the user. Indeed, it happens in the patient’s own hand….
Imagine if your toothbrush could offer advice to let you know whether you’re cleaning your teeth properly, and could then go on to pass information to your dentist which could then be used to formulate a treatment plan. You no longer have to imagine it because the latest toothbrush comes complete with sensors and a blue tooth transmitter which passes information on to your smartphone. It looks just like a normal electric toothbrush but it is actually capable of so much more. Not everybody knows, for example, that they should spend a solid two minutes cleaning their teeth every single time, and even those who do know this might not make certain that they actually do so. Two minutes is probably a lot longer than most people imagine, but the toothbrush in question will time you and will give you awards via an app on your smart phone when you hit the mark. To make things even easier, it will even play you a piece of music to pass the time whilst you’re brushing, something which will be particularly advantageous when it comes to instilling the right habits in young children or adolescents. So far, so convenient, but the brush can also gather information, store it and send it, via your smartphone, to your dentist. As with many areas of life, when it comes to looking after your teeth properly, knowledge is power, and the more knowledge your dentist has of what is happening when you leave the surgery, the more they will be able to exactly calibrate the treatment programme they draw up to meet your needs. The smart toothbrush will let your dentist know how long you spend cleaning your teeth, how many times a day you clean them, what time of the day it is when you clean them and how long it has been since you changed the head of your toothbrush. Until now, a dentist was reliant on the evidence of their own eyes and on the questions which they asked their patients, but the problem with this was that patients might not remember correctly all the details of their diet and oral health regime and, in many cases, they may feel reluctant to admit the truth, for fear of getting told off by the dentist or hygienist. The use of this technology means that there’s no way your dentist can think anything other than the truth, and this is something which will also encourage patients to adopt the very best dental hygiene habits.