By Dr. John White
Smiles by White

These days, there seems to be an app for just about everything. You can check the weather forecast, get traffic updates when driving, split a restaurant bill with friends and even determine when it’s a good time to sprint to the bathroom during a movie without missing a critical plot detail.

With more than two million apps available to download, many are just for fun while others are more useful. Falling into the useful category is a new app from Dental Monitoring that my patients will be able to use so I can better monitor their teeth straightening progress. There are less than 100 orthodontists in the country using it right now, and I am working with the developer to make some adjustments before I introduce it in my practice this spring.

This innovative app allows me to monitor a patient’s progress with incredible accuracy. Using an iPhone or Android, patients can capture their tooth movement and send data to my office so I can remotely monitor their treatment. For many patients, this will result in fewer office visits.

Using the camera on their smartphone, along with a cheek retractor that we supply, patients line up their teeth with the focus frame and move the camera or turn their head with their lips apart so the software can see how well the aligners are fitting. The pictures are analyzed with a unique predictive algorithm and this data is sent to my office. From there, I can determine if the patient is ready to move to the next set of aligners in the series.

This new app will be ideal for my patients who drive more than an hour for a quick checkup in the office, or for those who are extremely busy and looking for more convenience. It will also allow me to closely monitor difficult cases because I can check weekly to make sure patients are on track with their treatment plan. Some of my patients live overseas, some attend universities across the United States, and cannot get to my office regularly. This app will make tracking their progress a breeze.

This latest technology is just a part of what we do to offer the best experience during the process of creating beautiful smiles.