The use of IoT for dental care is paving the way for smart dental care by enhancing the preventive care procedures and putting a big smile on the face of dentists and patients alike.
Dental issues are a common problem faced by people globally. However, most of the people are hesitant to visit a dentist or just don’t give their dental health much importance. Also, when patients do visit, the screening and diagnosis processes prove to be costly. This further restricts people from continuing with prescribed follow-ups. This ultimately results in people ignoring their dental health until an issue becomes too severe to ignore. Dentistry has been a technologically driven healthcare domain and thus it comes as no surprise that professionals in the field are looking for new approaches to provide a more comfortable experience to patients during the entire dental care procedure. IoT for dental care mainly focuses on preventive care solutions by identifying the cause of the dental health issue at the earliest by exchanging data between the dentist and the patient round the clock.
Applications of IoT for Dental Care
With the progress in the IoT, a smart dental health care approach shows great potential in making the dental care approach less obtrusive. Some of the applications of IoT for dental care include:
A very useful application of IoT for dental care comes in the form of tooth-mounted implants. These implants can be placed on the surface of the tooth or embedded inside the tooth cavity. The implants can be used to monitor the food intake of individuals. The data collected is then shared with the doctor in real-time. The smart implants help dentists keep track of the diet of the patient. It proves the most useful after a dental procedure and dietary restrictions are levied on the individual. People usually cheat on diets recommended by dentists after a dental procedure after a few days, which results in an increase in the recovery time or creates other complications. The smart implants, however, ensures that the patients follow the diet prescribed by the dentist strictly. It eventually leads to a better outcome of the dental procedure and results in recovery as intended.
Smart toothbrushes can be used to gather patient data regarding their brushing activities. These toothbrushes come embedded with a plethora of technologies such as cameras, pressure sensors, and much more. The inbuilt camera is used to track the brushing activity. It can replicate an oral examination procedure during the routine brushing procedure. The dentist can examine the teeth of the individual from the data captured by the camera during the brushing activity. Additionally, pressure sensors attached can be utilized to determine if the brushing process is carried out properly. It can measure whether the right intensity or force is applied and can alert the user in case of any deviations. All the data can be shared with the dentist in real-time and thus increases the preventive care process. Most of the dental issues are caused due to improper brushing and thus with the help of smart toothbrushes, the problem can be easily solved.
With the help of IoT devices, the dentists can look after the dental health of their patients outside the clinic and this approach results in better preventive dental care with improved health outcomes. This is just the first wave of the use of IoT for dental care which is restricted to just a few applications. However, we can imagine a future of interconnected devices with the inclusion of other technologies like big data, IoT, and blockchain coupled with IoT to provide better dental care inside and outside the doctor’s office round the clock.