Digital tools

Digitally developing better homecare

Date: April 2021

Author: Mandy Dennis, RDH

It’s incredible all of the digital resources available to us as dental professionals and to our patients. We may find ourselves in a quandary over the best resources and how to conveniently use them, while still staying on time and giving the best experience to our patients. Digital resources can be used efficiently and effectively if we are prepared. Patients need resources that can be easily found, and if products are hard to get or hard to find,  patients are less likely to follow through with your recommendations. We can make it easy for them.

Be ready

One of the biggest struggles I have is using additional new resources in the same amount of time I’ve always had. I want to use new technology and information. I also don’t want to sacrifice the quality of  care I’m providing, to be able to institute a new program or idea.  

Colgate is committed to dental hygienists and patients. Just as not all home care aids are intended to be used by every patient, not every digital resource is meant to be used in every appointment. We have some resources we can easily use in the office, such as Gum Health Physical. I’ve used this by opening the website and logging in at the beginning of the day. I’m then able to quickly pull it up and use the parts which are most applicable for an individual patient when I need to. While there are 3 parts, I may only use one part. Taking care of patients isn’t a one size fits all situation. Having to log in at every appointment wastes valuable time. Make it easier.   

Colgate’s newest resource is Colgate Professional Direct.  In a time where patients are going to the store less, CPD is a great resource. As dental hygienists, we can direct a specific recommendation to our patients. Sending the link to the patient for the recommended product to be purchased takes in-store shopping out of the equation and also solves the problem of a patient not being able to find your specifically  recommended product on the shelf.  CPD takes out the confusion and the possibility of compromising by selecting a different product. Bookmarking CPD on your computer allows for quick access. If you  are part of a practice that doesn’t allow for internet in the operatory, and you don't have your phone in your room, make all of your digital  recommendations at lunchtime. Inform your patients that you will be sending their recommendations at lunchtime, so they know when they can expect that. 

Digital Resources for the Patient

In addition to the convenience CPD provides for patients, Colgate’s newest AI toothbrush is making brushing easier by giving immediate brushing feedback. The hum brush is Bluetooth-connected to an app on any smart device and shows the patient where he/she needs to be brushing differently. The hum also rewards patients for effective brushing by logging points that can then be used to purchase oral health care products. It’s a great reward system. The patient is literally rewarded for good brushing!

As dental professionals, a large part of our care is based on patient education, in and outside of the office.  Bright Smiles  Bright Futures offers many resources for the dental professional, teachers and for parents. The curriculum has been developed by educators and dental professionals from around the world.  The online resources make it easy to use at home and fun for kids in all age groups.  

Using digital resources shouldn’t make the appointment more  difficult.  They are designed to help us be more efficient and make home care easier and better for the patient.