Maybe the only benefit of the COVID-19 outbreak was that it widely opened the telehealth industry’s doors. The whole world is becoming “tele”: telework, telemedicine, telecardiology, telepsychiatry, teledentistry, teleradiology, and now teleorthodontics. Dental Monitoring is a French company aiming at changing how orthodontics works.
Founded in 2013, the startup has already attracted more than $50 million in investment for its remote dental platform. But, what is it all about, and is Dental monitoring rewriting the future of teeth alignment?
In search of the perfect smile
We all wish to show perfectly aligned and healthy teeth. According to a research study conducted by Grand View Research, the clear aligners market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.1% from 2020 to 2027. We are talking billions of dollars in market potential.
In their article published recently in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pablo Garcia-Gamba et al. stressed the need for reducing the number of close contacts with the patients and to favor telemonitoring and virtual assistance.
Orthodontists and patients will adapt to new means to provide dental care and assess your treatment’s evolution. Virtual appointments are a safe way to maintain the link with patients, provide information, and make the most of your smartphone capabilities.
Using a specialized orthodontic app associated with artificial intelligence-powered software and photos taken with a phone is certainly the way to go. It is exactly what Dental Monitoring is offering with its monitoring system. And they did that several years before the pandemics meaning that the trend was already there and that COVID-19 just acted as a catalyst to widen and fasten the technology adoption.
What does Dental Monitoring offer?
The company offers a complete solution to improve patient engagements and deliver quality orthodontic treatments without the need for physical contact. The company’s monitoring solution makes the most of the SmileMate system to connect orthodontists with patients remotely.
What is SmileMate?
SmileMate is a full mobile monitoring system allowing dental professionals to remotely and in real-time check the patient treatment.
Once the braces or aligners are put in place, orthodontists must check the progress. SmileMate is divided into hardware and software components.
A cheek retractor and a specially designed smartphone-holder called the ScanBox. The box will clip magnetically to the retractor, hence ensuring optimal positioning.
The next step is to download the companion app. available for iOS and Android and just to follow the cues to start scanning your smile.
What about the companion dental monitoring app?
This is where the magic comes from. Regularly, the app will remind you that it is time to check the progress of your treatment.
After inserting your smartphone in the Scanbox and properly positioning the retractor, audio cues will guide you in taking a scan of your denture. It takes approximately one minute to complete the whole process.
Taking proper pictures of your teeth will require tilt and moving the ScanBox from one side of the mouth to the other. The pictures will be automatically uploaded to a secured HIPAA compliant server accessible only by your orthodontist.
Leveraging artificial intelligence algorithms, the technology will allow analyzing the scan. The orthodontic specialist will have access to a report and to the photos directly on its secured dashboard. In case an issue is detected or the treatment needs to be adjusted, the doctor will be notified.
In most cases, messages or direct phone contact between the patient and the doctor will be enough for adjusting the treatment.
Is Dental Monitoring the future of teleorthodontics?
The system offered by this company is not only effective, but it is also straightforward to use. It fits perfectly in the trend of empowering the patients and minimizing unnecessary appointments.
Dental Monitoring has certainly developed a solution in line with both the patients and the orthodontists’ needs.
The company also offers additional AI-powered software to boost patient engagement by showing them the treatment results.
The way dental care and medicine are provided is changing dramatically, and Dental Monitoring will, without a doubt, be a technology that will gain enormous traction in the years to come.