Dental medical software can be divided into two categories: dental patient management software, which holds patients’ personal information and visit information, and dental treatment software, which is used for documenting and working with the patient’s treatment history and its planning. All programs from the second group can be classified as dental CAD/CAM software. Below, we will describe the most common types of dental software from this group.
Dental design software
This is a form of dental 3d modeling software that helps specialists in clinics and labs design crowns, dentures, bridges, and other restorations. These programs for instance help design restorations like crowns and bridges based on a digital impression. The rise of Artificial Intelligence makes these tools quicker and more accurate in the way they can automate the majority of the manual steps, so that only the finishing touch of a crown design needs the hands and eyes of a human expert. Another type of software that is worth mentioning is digital denture software: over the past couple of years, it has been shown possible to fully digitize the process of designing, planning and fabrication of partial and complete dentures. A third category of design software is digital smile design software. This type of software helps patient communication by combining photographs of the patient’s current teeth with a treatment plan, and in this way it can give a realistic visualization of the patient’s future smile, before treatment has even started.
Dental treatment simulation software
This type of dental 3d software is not a design software, but a simulation tool that helps simulate step-by-step outcomes of orthodontic corrections and predict the position of the teeth after for example aligner treatment. In combination with orthodontic planning software, doctors can much more easily communicate about treatment possibilities, outcomes and give patients a step-by-step overview of what is to happen during their treatment. For patients, the transparency in the communication process and around treatment expectations will make treatment acceptance or rejection significantly easier.
Dental patient monitoring software
Software for monitoring enables dentists to see the changes in oral health over time. It is becoming more and more accepted to digitize patient records with the purpose of tracking the patient’s condition, so that the doctor can intervene before serious treatment is needed. This is also called preventative care. Scanning each patient every time can in this way help to detect early caries, tooth wear, grinding, chipping, and other changes invisible to the naked eye. Another benefit of this type of dental treatment software is how it can help educate patients so they get a better understanding of their oral health.
Dental patient engagement software
If you are a dentist and wondering how to improve patient experience in the dental office, then it might be worth implementing patient engagement software into your everyday practice. These solutions help to build stronger relationships with patients by engaging them in the treatment process. Imagine you can show them a before-after comparison. Or send them a treatment plan directly to their smartphones. Dental patient engagement is not only a trend — it’s a new way of communication that is only natural for younger patients. A generation that plays computer games and communicates via apps day-to-day expects this same level of engagement in every part of their lives.