Body language takes on new meaning at high-tech dental facility

Dentists may have a chance to be more intuitive than Netflix and Google combined, all thanks to innovative dental chair technology.

Among the enhancements at Columbia University’s new Center for Precision Dental Medicine in Washington Heights: Chairs that will record patient stress levels.

Vital signs create an accurate picture

From July to January, 2019, according to Laura Parker’s report in The Outline, the center was set to install biofeedback capabilities into each dental chair, which will measure patients’ pulse and oxygenation levels “to produce a real-time picture of their stress levels during each visit.”

Parker conveyed it best:

“By monitoring a patient’s vital signs, practitioners will be able to figure out when a patient is in distress, without them having to flail or issue some kind of guttural squeal. Two cameras installed in the chair — one in the main spine of the chair, and another in the overhead light will record procedures for analysis, and might soon use facial recognition software to more accurately detect stress levels, or when a patient is in pain.”

 

How can the technology standardize dentistry?

Parker’s discussion with Columbia’s College of Dental Medicine’s Chief Information Officer Steven Erde outlines their hope.

Use knowledge they gain to make individual patients more comfortable then analyze the information to standardize certain dental procedures.

“In both teaching and practice, minute but potentially important variations can impact outcomes. For example, if your root canal performed by an endodontist fails, you fall into the 10-20 percent of similar patients with that experience. But why did that happen to you? Was it the way an instrument was held, the pressure used, or even the size of a provider’s hands?”

Learn more about their plan to integrate patients’ dental records with their medical records: Read the full story in The Outline.

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