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Br Dent J. 2008 Mar 22;204(6):313-7. doi: 10.1038/bdj.2008.193.

Better informed in clinical practice - a brief overview of dental informatics.

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Centre of Flexible Learning in Dentistry, King's College London Dental Institute, Floor 3, Strand Bridge House, 138-142 The Strand, London, WC2 1HH, UK.


Uptake of dental informatics has been hampered by technical and user issues. Innovative systems have been developed, but usability issues have affected many. Advances in technology and artificial intelligence are now producing clinically useful systems, although issues still remain with adapting computer interfaces to the dental practice working environment. A dental electronic health record has become a priority in many countries, including the UK. However, experience shows that any dental electronic health record (EHR) system cannot be subordinate to, or a subset of, a medical record. Such a future dental EHR is likely to incorporate integrated care pathways. Future best dental practice will increasingly depend on computer-based support tools, although disagreement remains about the effectiveness of current support tools. Over the longer term, future dental informatics tools will incorporate dynamic, online evidence-based medicine (EBM) tools, and promise more adaptive, patient-focused and efficient dental care with educational advantages in training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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