“Internet of Things” (IoT) is the accepted term for everyday objects that can connect to the internet. Despite concerns about security and data privacy, the IoT has continued to grow throughout the 21st century. No industry exists in a vacuum, and IoT has extended its reach to industries that impact the everyday health of individuals—physical, mental, and even dental.
Starting small with toothbrushes
One area where dentistry is already being changed by IoT is in the world of toothbrushes. Paul Vigario previously posted about dental tech in toothbrushes, from Bluetooth to augmented reality to even artificial intelligence. In the case of Bluetooth and AI, toothbrushes can scan teeth, synthesize brushing habits, and offer suggestions on more effective brushing techniques. In addition, some brushes can sample saliva to look for acid and other issues that might impact dental health.
This type of data can be transmitted to apps on the user’s phone so they can use that information privately and receive tips from the apps on how to improve their dental health habits. It can also be shared with dentists to provide more information on the patient’s health right at the beginning of an appointment.
Getting smaller with tooth chips
Another area where the Internet of Things is coming to dental is in tooth chips. When a tooth is chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged, small extensions can be added to repair the damaged tooth. Recently, research has been conducted into tooth chips, small digital devices that would potentially track an individual’s eating habits. Whether placed atop a chipped tooth or inserted via a full tooth replacement, these chips would record dietary information and report to healthcare professionals. While they’re still in development for oral sustainability, these chips are yet another example of the unique blend of IoT and dental tech.
Thinking big with 3D printers
Large-scale dental tech such as 3D printers and CAD/CAM devices, which have previously been covered on Paul Vigario’s blog, are capable of connecting to the Internet. Experts suggest that there are limitless capabilities for creating highly-customized 3D-printed products, a sentiment that rings true in the dental industry specifically. University of Washington researchers have enabled 3D-printed devices to communicate with one another without the use of batteries or electronics, but rather radio signals. Enabling this technology throughout the dental industry could lead to customization of oral devices for individual patients, and easier production of such devices for even the smallest of dental practices.
SurfCT.com is a world famous dental information technology company, founded by Mr. Paul Vigario. SurfCT.com specializes in areas such as dental technologies, digital workflow, marketing, dental cloud solutions, and HIPAA compliance. SurfCT.com’s technology solutions are revolutionizing general, cosmetic, and pediatric dentistry, along with oral surgery, endodontics, orthodontics, and other specialized dental practices. At SurfCT.com Everything Is Connected™