Computers in DentistryThe use of computers in dental office and in dental education has become the standard of practice. Mobile and miniature devices have replaced standard textbook, paper databases, even live lectures and redefined the learning process itself.

The digital dental office :

The concept of high tech electronic and fully digitized systems to manage a dental office, dental websites and integrated clinical tasks is becoming the standard model of current practice. A rapidly developing management product is the internet based software provided by an application service provider (ASP). This product exists in two different platforms :

The history of the development of the dental software is brief. For the first time the computers have been used in the dental medicine in the 1960s[1]. Since then computers and information technologies spread progressively in the dental practice. According to Atkinson, J. in the year of 2000 85,1% of all dentists in the United States use computers.

A larger classification based on the specific task shows more types of tasks and software. This classification of dental software is:

  • Dental administration management
  • Dental practitioners records management
  • Dental schedules and dental scheduling
  • Patient dental records management
  • Dental billing
  • Dental imaging processing
  • Dental diagnostics
  • Dental treatment helping
  • Computer aided dental education
  • Software for usage of dental instruments and other techniques used in the dental practice

Free dental software
There are several types of free dental software: shareware, freeware and open source dental software. Most frequently the free dental software is provided as shareware. This means, that the dental software license allows its usage only for evaluation purposes.