I have been using an iPad for dentistry for about 2 years now and keep on finding new ways that it can make dentistry better so I thought I would dedicate one blog entry to this and maybe other people might have found uses that I have not as well.
Some of this information has already been put up here in the form of my "apps thread" etc.
1) Photo management.
I take photos with an SLR using a flashair SD card which has a corresponding app. I know there are other similar apps available. This means that I can take photos and transfer them directly onto the iPad in a few seconds to show to the pt and edit etc.
My photos are stored on the iPad and sorted via google photos. This allows them to be put into pt specific albums which can be shared with technicians etc. Google photos also has basic editing tools for cropping and rotating photos, however I also use adobe photoshop express for flipping shots that were taken with occlusal mirrors.
If you want to get more serious with your photography you can also get Lightroom for the iPad. This allows for storage and manipulation of Raw images which can allow for some pretty impressive tools such as the eLabor_aid protocols to help take the uncertainty out of awkward shade choices.
If you have seen my clinical cases here you may have noticed that they are watermarked with my logo to ensure that others don't claim it as their own work. This is done directly on the iPad with the iWatermark+ app. There are other ways of getting the same effect but I find this very simple to use.
2) Patient demonstration animations.
There are a few different pt demonstration apps available. Some are free, some you have to pay for. I use 3D4M almost every day to help explain dental anatomy, RCT, perio. It has hundreds of other animations that I have not used with quite a lot of implant variations too. I really like using animations to help explain complex procedures as I feel like my pts really understand what is going to be happening.
3) Consent forms.
If you are doing written consent forms then the iPad can really help here. Instead of printing out the form, getting the pt to sign it, then asking your nurse to scan that form onto the computer and shred the form you can instead just do it all via an app such as Adobe Fill & Sign. You import your consent form onto the app and can then directly input the pts details and add/take away sections that are not relevant. The pt then signs on the iPad and the form is then saved as a PDF in iBooks.
4) Document management with Google drive or Dropbox etc.
On a similar vein you may also want to consider file management apps like google drive or Dropbox to allow you to organise documents and have hem easily to hand. This would potentially be useful for clinicians working in multiple practices etc. I also have a folder on my google drive specifically for files I am happy to share with others such as when teaching first year dentists.
You can get CPD in many ways and the iPad can be a very good way of having lots of sources easily to hand so that if a pt doesn't turn up the time can at least be put to good use. I have a section for journals I often read but you can also do things like the quiz app "Dental Anatomy Master".
And when you have done some CPD don't forget to log it via the Dental CPD pro app so that all your CPD records are in one place.
6) Additional monitor for your work computer setup.
By using the Duet app it is possible for you to use an iPad as an additional monitor for your computer. I like this particularly for long appts such as RCT when I want to be able to look at the radiographs but also keep an eye on the daylist.
7) Scanning and milling.
This is a field I have not got into but for those that have there are a few apps that might be useful such as 3Shape communicate and the e.max shade selector apps. These allow you to monitor the workflow of scanned items and help to work out which e.max block is likely to provide the desired shade.
8) Stock management.
Depending on who you do your ordering with you may be able to have an app for that company (I know that dental directory has one) so that you can do ordering directly via the iPad. I have heard of some practices in America where the nurse logs every item used so that it can be centrally monitored and then automatically ordered when stocks hit certain levels.
9) Amazon music.
As I have discussed previously I do have wireless headphones I offer to pts and then they can choose some music from my Amazon music database to stream. Some people love this however personally I don't use it very often as I prefer my pts to be able to hear me explaining each stage of the process as I treat them.
Again something I have not tried but I know that some practices really like to have all MHs etc filled out on the iPad to make paperwork easier.
There are different types of tablets available and they may do many of the same tasks but I have not had a chance to try them out. If you have or if you know of other ways in which tablets have helped your dentistry please add it here or on the apps thread.
Dr Chris Harper