THEY say there’s an app for everything. These days anyone with the right kind of smartphone or tablet computer – and the know-how – can access applications offering everything from an onscreen medical x-ray, a programme tracking your alcohol intake and a set of virtual bongo drums that can be played by banging on your screen.
And never ones to be left out of the technological revolution, the dental industry has created a diverse range of weird and wonderful apps for sale.
So what exactly is on offer for trainee dentists? At the top of the range is the DDS GP app which costs a mere $399 to download. It boasts the latest technology to help “increase case acceptance through better patient understanding of their dental health.” It includes more than 160 diagnoses and procedures and some fancy colour images illustrating decay, cracks and periodontal disease. The programme conveniently pledges not to scare patients by not “showing blood, needles or drills.”
If that sounds too much, then why not start small with the Teeth Whitening app for $0.99? It displays a handy list of whitening tips and helpfully explains: “Everyone wants to get a best teeth whitener to make teeth cleaner... To achieve it they consume lots of money on teeth whitening products.”
Another bargain is the Tooth Brushing Motivator which, for just $2.99, could help “guide and motivate” those reluctant patients. An image of a mouth full of teeth appears, with each tooth changing colour as you brush. The encouraging promotional blurb promises: “It is fun and not as strange as it sounds.”
Treating those nervous patients could become a breeze if you download the Overcome Fear of The Dentist app. Created by Darren Marks, “one of the UK’s leading hypnotherapists”, the app claims to “help you begin to reprogram your mind to react in an appropriate way when you visit the dentist.” All that for $4.99. And for those who find prescribing a challenge, there’s The Little Dental Drug Booklet, which bills itself as “everyone’s favourite pocket prescription guide”. For $9.99 the app offers a quick reference resource for medications most commonly used in dental practice. Who needs seven years of training when you have all these?
Joanne Curran is associate editor of SoundBite