Dental School Graduates Embrace EHR

The changes in dentistry in the past few decades have been enormous and far-reaching. The article summarized here about UCSF’s dental school highlights the changes and the excitement. Dental students now practice on realistic dummies with real human teeth; digital X-rays from real patients are easily transferred for multiple students to diagnose. Simulation labs are available for training, and at the UCSF clinic, digital records are expected:

““There are many, many practitioners out there who are using paper and will go to their graves using paper,” Featherstone said. “But the students graduating today will never know paper records.””

That’s a revolutionary change. Students graduating from these cutting-edge dental schools won’t just expect digital dentistry and electronic records, but will actively promote and gain business using those techniques. Their competitive advantage will lie in their facility and ease with those digital tools, particularly the EHRs.

As one professor at UCSF put it, “It’s a very exciting time to be in dentistry,” said Dorothy Perry, the school’s associate dean of education.

Lessons Learned:

  • EHRs will be expected in the future; all new practices will use them.

Squatriglia, Chuck. (2010) Dentistry goes digital. Wired June 2.