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Top Applications of IoT in Dentistry

  • Soumalya Bhattacharyya
  • Sep 19, 2022
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The Internet of Things (IoT) will have a significant influence over the next few years, as everybody who is interested in technology is aware of the recent trends. A huge network of linked gadgets that can transmit and receive data is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). The usage of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) in the healthcare industry is expanding.

 

Dentistry is one area of health that might profit from IoT use. IoT equipment is already being used by some dentists in their offices. The Internet of Things is likely to develop into a ground-breaking technology for dentists and patients in the future as more applications become available.

 

The industry was driven to develop novel strategies to lessen discomfort, offer better results, expedite visits, and create an all-around good experience for patients as a result of the widespread mistrust and fears associated with visiting the dentist. It became important for dentists and other specialists in this field to create these advancements by utilizing the most recent technologies.

 

Also Read | What is IoT?


 

IoT in Dentistry:

 

In addition to enhancing patient care, implementing modern technology may increase a dental office's productivity. For instance, facilities that use digital solutions may manage expenditures more effectively, maintain patient information in an electronic file system, and speed up front desk operations. 

 

Modern technology has improved dentistry overall and made it safer for patients. Like many other businesses, it is evolving toward a more data-driven and digital model. The usage of 3D imaging, LED lights, electronic health records (EHRs), and even virtual reality (VR) in dentistry is expanding.

 

Dentists must change if they wish to fulfill the ever-changing requirements and expectations of their patients. To increase productivity, safety, and patient outcomes, they ought to think about embracing and utilizing a new technology.

 

In a world where patient care is increasingly focused on mobility, Internet of Things (IoT) devices play a critical role in empowering patients to manage their own health and easily share this information with their dentists. 

 

IoT could be extremely useful in the collection and monitoring of patient data for oral health care; additionally, this data could be used in future risk assessments and further research as it primarily focuses on preventive care solutions by identifying the root cause of the dental health issue as soon as possible by exchanging data between the patient and the dentist round-the-clock.

 

IoT-related challenges include those with patient privacy, confidentiality, anonymity, data security, online professionalism, concerns with aggressive or deceptive social media, and informed permission, to name a few. There have also been reports of insurance fraud and picture fabrication intended to commit scientific misconduct. But the Internet of Things (IoT) is where dentistry is headed in the future. 

 

With the use of smart gadgets, dentists can take care of their patient's oral health outside of the office, and this method leads to better preventative dental treatment and better health outcomes. Soon, routine dental treatment will be offered both inside and outside of the doctor's office round-the-clock via networked gadgets that combine IoT with other technologies like big data, blockchain, and IoT.


 

IoT-Based Dentistry Sensors:

 

From a background in dentistry, it is evident that the advent of digitalization, which took place about thirty years ago, greatly streamlined the job of dentists. However, with the support of the engineering and information technology disciplines, the world is advancing toward new technologies in an interconnected environment with a mix of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Machine Learning, Data Warehouses, etc. (i.e. IoT in one word). 

 

There are still a lot of fields, particularly in healthcare like dental science or dentistry, that have not benefited from this breakthrough. Therefore, in our proposed work, we'll create anything novel or original. Sensors, notably for monitoring "Calories-Intake," will reveal to both the patient and the average person with the use of a relatively limited number of non-intelligent sensors.

 

Similar to this, sensors have long played an important role in the fields of dentistry and medical science. However, in contrast to medical science, where there are many accessible sensors, dentistry has a relatively limited selection of sensors that do not function in tandem with the internet of things (IoT). Prior to the development of CCD/CMOS, dentists relied solely on X-ray technology and were not big fans of digital imaging. In the present market, CMOS-based sensors are more frequently used in dental sciences than CCD-based ones.

 

Also Read | How is AI integrated with IoT?


 

Applications of IoT in Dentistry:

 

Patients may continually monitor their illnesses with the use of digitalization, cloud technology, and new models of smartphones and other gadgets that include built-in apps. Our lives have been impacted by wearable biosensor technology such as activity trackers, smartwatches, glucose monitors, and other devices. Dentistry has completely changed due to the development of computer-based sophisticated technology, new disease prevention strategies, and enhanced diagnostic procedures in recent years, much like any other area of healthcare.

 

A cutting-edge strategy to prevent and treat oral cancer, periodontal disease, dental caries, and other dental disorders are the Internet of Dental Things (IoDT). In an increasing variety of dental specialties, including prosthodontics, implant dentistry, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, surgery, and oral public health, a "smart" approach to dental health care has a lot of potential for patients.

 

The following are the applications of IoT in dentistry:


Applications of IoT in Dentistry: 1. Smart Toothbrushes 2. Smart Dental Implants 3. Tooth Mounted Diet Sensors 4. Teledentistry 5. Smart Mouth Guard

Applications of IoT in Detistry


  1. Smart Toothbrushes:

 

Most people who visit the dentist for a checkup have a similar experience, in which they are questioned about how frequently they wash their teeth. The dentist will likely reiterate the significance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, even if you have a different response than the individual in the exam room next to you.

 

For dental patients, IoT devices like smart toothbrushes are becoming more and more popular. These toothbrushes keep track of how frequently you brush your teeth, and some of them include sensors that can tell if you're applying enough pressure. Others have built-in cameras that can take pictures of your teeth and maybe send them to your dental office so a dentist can examine them for anomalies like cracks, chipping, or cavities.


 

  1. Smart Dental Implants:

 

In the United States, there are more than 3 million dental implant users. Implants are frequently used to replace teeth that have been lost due to decay, trauma, or gum disease. Compared to dentures and bridges, they are much more sophisticated. They still need to be updated more frequently since some of them have flaws.

 

An advanced sensor that can passively track bone development within a dental implant was created by researchers at Iran's Beheshti University. The implanted Ti-PEEK hybrid sensor is what the researchers are aiming to market in the near future.


 

  1. Tooth-Mounted Diet Sensors:

 

It is well-known that a patient's diet has an effect on their teeth. For instance, drinking and consuming acidic or sugary meals can erode your teeth's enamel over time, causing decay.

 

The Tufts University School of Engineering researchers created a tiny, tooth-mounted sensor that tracks and sends patient diet information to an attached mobile device. The teeny sensor, which is only 2 mm by 2 mm in size, measures glucose, salt, and alcohol intake. It fits and adheres to a patient's teeth, doing away with the necessity for other large, uncomfortably tight wearables.


 

  1. Teledentistry:

 

Teledentistry services provided by businesses like The Teledenists and MouthWatch make it simpler for patients to access oral and dental care, are significantly less expensive for them, shift the focus to more sensible prevention techniques, and enable them to consult medical specialists who would not otherwise be accessible to them. 

 

For instance, the TeleDent service from MouthWatch provides a comprehensive teledentistry platform that enables users to take pictures, convey important information to a dentist remotely, and conduct live consultations. A video chat with the patient and their caregiver may be initiated by the dentist so that the doctor may see and speak with the patient, establish a relationship, and bring them into the clinic (if necessary).

 

The possibility for enhanced dental care and at-home diagnostics has significantly grown with the introduction of smartphones and apps. Through IndieGoGo, ToothScan is one business aiming to improve the effectiveness of this procedure. Their toothbrush-sized gadget, which is paired with an app and made to be examined by dentists, serves as an early detection tool for oral issues. The diary app monitors any problems and can notify the user when an appointment or therapy is necessary.


 

  1. Smart Mouth Guard:

 

The main difficulty in treating bruxism (tooth grinding) is that the patient is frequently unaware that they are doing it because it frequently happens when they are sleeping. For those who grind their teeth under stress, the Smart Mouth Guard is a blessing. They are alerted by alerts sent through "Bluetooth" to their "Smartphones" due to sensors integrated into the mouth guard that detect the vibrations brought on by grinding.

 

However, the use of IoDT in the form of pressure sensors linked to mouthguards may be a more efficient technique to treat the problem. Mouthguards serve as a preventative treatment to treat bruxism. The tool might determine which parts of the teeth are most impacted by the clenching and grinding.

 

Dentists can develop efficient treatment and restoration programs by identifying the tooth surfaces that are under the most strain. The information acquired in this way may aid in the development of bruxism treatment.


 

  1. Plans for customized dental insurance:

 

By accurately predicting the possibility of potential claims in the future, an accurate assessment of the actual treatment that would be needed in the future leads to a reduction in the premiums needed. Depending on the personal information, insurance providers can create dental insurance plans that are specially crafted for each customer, resulting in optimal insurance use and lower premium costs.

 

Beam Dental has moved into dental insurance after starting out in the market for smart toothbrushes. The business offers a distinctive semiannual subscription service that entails the purchase of a Bluetooth-enabled sonic toothbrush called the Beam Brush, together with paste, floss, and replacement heads.

 

Customers may sync with Beam's accompanying smartphone app after every brush, which generates a grade from "A" to "D" according to how regularly they've maintained their oral hygiene practices. The cost reductions on a group's monthly premiums increase with overall performance; top brush scorers receive slightly over 10% off.

 

Conclusion:

 

With the use of IoT devices, dentists may take care of their patient's oral health outside of the clinic, and this method leads to better preventative dental treatment and better health outcomes. The use of IoT for dental care is still in its infancy and currently only has a small number of applications. However, we may see a world of networked gadgets where big data, IoT, and blockchain are combined with IoT to offer superior dental treatment both inside and outside of a doctor's office, around-the-clock.

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