Twitter inspires dental graduate’s app

Yatisha Patel, a 2013 dental graduate from the University of Birmingham, originally came up with the idea after researching the amount of people complaining of dental pain on social networking site, Twitter.

Realising there was no specific dental application to help patients in pain, she dreamed up Dentify, an evidence-based application that allows users to search for common symptoms that dentists would normally look for, and then goes on to offer temporary advice on what the patient can do next before being prompted to find a local dentist.

The app was released late in 2012 and has already won accolades from within the profession – it has won three awards, including runner-up in the British Dental Association/DENTSPLY Student Clinician Research Programme Award earlier this year and Yatisha has won praise from chief dental officer for England, Barry Cockcroft.

Yatisha said: ‘As a dentist, I combined my clinical knowledge with research on coding of applications to develop a new application- aimed at patients experiencing a range of different types of dental pain. The application stresses that it does not replace the need to visit a dental healthcare professional.

‘As well as giving advice on dental pain, the app has a section dedicated to preventative advice, to help users to improve their oral health in order to prevent problems from arising in the future.’

With 51% of the population accessing the internet on mobile phones (Office of National Statistics), the application is an ideal media platform to promote oral health.

For iOS users, there is also an interactive quiz to test simple dental knowledge for patients.

The app was created for patient use but can also be recommended by dentists as it is a peer reviewed information source, based on evidence based documents.

Dentify has also recently been approved by the NHS Health Apps Library, where patients are pointed towards apps to manage any health problems:

Of her research, she said: ‘When I looked into an actual patient aimed application there wasn’t anything available. So I was trying to implement what we, as dentists, are doing in terms of giving preventative advice to our patients.’

App features

• The app will try to help you to identify possible causes of your dental problem

• It will provide information on what you should do next

• You can try the advice given for some temporary relief before you can get to a dentist

• There are also oral health care guides giving the best advice about taking care of teeth and gums

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