On Demand WebinarShaping the future of oral prevention – myths and truths about chemical plaque control
Tihana Divnić-Resnik MSc, PhD
Sabina, how does the BOB-App emphasise the importance of prevention in the practice?
The BOB-App makes patients more aware of their oral health. After having entered the bleeding sites and correct interdental brush into the app, the mouth map is automatically sent to each patient so that he or she can see exactly where inflammation is located and which size of brush he or she needs to use at home. Patients can track their progress with each recall and, hopefully, see how they have reduced their inflammation scores.
Even if a dental hygienist removes a patient’s calculus in a single sitting, there is often still bleeding on brushing. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense if the patient took care of this at home and came back later for a check-up? The BOB-App motivates patients to brush interdentally and come back for further visits.
How does the app benefit the dental practice?
The app’s main purpose is to motivate patients to brush interdentally daily; however, it also sets the practice apart. Dental hygiene is a practice’s calling card. Usually, a patient’s first experience with a new practice involves dental hygiene, so this offers a glimpse into the practice’s standards. With the use of the BOB-App, patients feel that they have received such good personal advice and attention that it sets the tone for the rest of the practice.
Traditionally, most people go to the dentist or dental hygienist to have a single problem taken care of. Today, more and more people want a full experience. Prevention is essential, but also increasingly important is the emotional experience that your patients take home after an appointment. The BOB-App offers a framework for dental professionals to offer high-quality treatment to patients looking for an all-round experience and engage them in their own health.
How have elderly patients reacted to the app?
Elderly patients in particular love it. What they appreciate most is that a dental professional explains their situation clearly to them. Rather than leaving the practice with a bill and forgetting about their treatment the next day, they leave with a precise overview of their oral health and are motivated to improve their situation. I have also noticed that younger patients like it for a different reason: they appreciate the fact that their dental practice is so up to date.
Isn’t the BOB-App just another app that costs dental professionals precious time?
Dental hygiene is all about prevention, which is more than just removing calculus from your patients’ teeth. Real prevention means improving patients’ oral health in the long term. In order to do so, you have to communicate with patients—motivate and coach them. This is where the BOB-App comes into play.
Dental hygienists need to ask themselves what kind of dental hygienist they want to be, what kind of treatment they want to offer. I always ask what kind of treatment they would want to receive if they were their own patients. Do you just want to have your calculus removed, pay and walk out, or do you want to know what your situation is in detail and get personal advice on how to improve it if necessary?
From a different perspective, the BOB-App can be a motivational tool for dental hygienists too. Sometimes patients do not follow your advice, which can be quite disheartening. The BOB-App can help to make the job exciting and fun again and serve as an aid to encourage dental hygienists to be passionate about motivating patients and about their job.
How has the BOB-App improved your patients’ oral health in the long term?
I have seen that patients have become more aware of what is going on in their mouths and have felt the need to brush interdentally to reduce their inflammation score. If a cardiologist asked patients to come back for a follow-up visit, they would do so in an instant. Yet when it comes to oral health, there is still this feeling that it is not a priority. The BOB-App makes it clear that oral health is something worth following up. The best-case scenario is when your patients are motivated to take care of themselves and they come back with a healthier mouth.
The BOB-App in three steps:
Professionals who wish to try the app in their practice or clinic can sign up here.