Dental practices have come a long way in terms of embracing and using technology. From the times when everything, from scheduling appointments to making invoices, was done manually to the present time where even the first point of contact with the clinic is digital – dentistry has come a long way. An integral part of dentistry is dental charting. Like everything else in the dental practice, dental charting is also about to see a sea-change with the following upcoming trends.
1. The move from chronological order to the necessity order
Modern day clinical records come in several parts – radiographic records, medication and health status, photographic records, graphical representations, text progress notes, and so on.
Conventionally, a written paper chart can be organized only in a chronological format as dental care was observed or administered. Most of the information needed reentering a couple of times to get all the records completely accessible at all times.
The advanced charting technology of the current dental software has ensured that information can be accessed on a need-basis and not chronologically, with a focus on faster services delivered to the patients.
2. Placing clinical records directly in patient’s records
Dental clinics are directly placing clinical records in the electronic records of the patients. They are choosing the kind of software that lets them update the treatment plan, calculate and file the insurance coverage, and get accounts receivable details remotely with only one click before the patient leaves the treatment room.
Variable notes and predefined forms are preferred to ensure that all the required and necessary details are recorded for each procedure performed in the clinic. In fact, the modern-day software needs one mouse-click to record the entries in longhand.
So, within the next five years, you can expect a lot of guesswork to go out of dentistry in terms of charting and recording.
3. Syncing treatment plans with latest medical findings
Nowadays, high-end dental software is available as web-based programs that can be updated on a regular basis to make sure that it remains updated with the current medical research. Network versions of the software make it possible to let the information be available at every computerized workstation in a dental office.
The people working at the dental clinics can access different patient records on their separate workstations at the same time. When referencing the latest medical research, the software will also suggest a possible course of treatment, probable side effects, present and long-term complications, and so on.
4. Embracing voice recognition tech in dentistry
Advanced computerized voice-recognition programs let a dentist efficiently input data in the patient records. After the data is computerized, you can view it in different formats – line graph, bar graph, numerical, different color coding, and so on to educate patients about areas of improvement and problem areas. Digital periodontal probing offers another viable method to efficiently acquire periodontal data without an assistant.
5. The era of direct digital radiography
Direct digital radiography – panoramic and intraoral – offers an instant view of the image. In case the position of the sensor or patient has to be adjusted, the dentist can note it before the X-ray head, sensor, or patient has been moved. It lets the dentist use the reference points while doing any kind of repositioning.
When the image exposure isn’t precise, the dentist can easily fix the situation by modifying the display settings. The instant viewing of that image leads to exposure adjustments right before subsequent exposures. It saves time, minimizes retakes, and ensures less radiation exposure to any patient.
Current dental software is all set to change the world of dentistry for good. So, have you hopped on to the digital bandwagon yet for your clinic?
Published by Divya Gandotra