Tools of the Trade review: iPad

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by Dr Ryan Heggie, Nyngan Dental, Nyngan, NSW

I had intended to buy an iPad for my practice but after purchasing a dozen boxes of material from a dental supply company, it came as a free gift. I’ve always liked Apple products and it complements their computers and iPhone beautifully.

What’s good about it

It is the perfect tool for showing patients multimedia. By showing patients intraoral images of their own mouth, it allows me to explain things and helps with aesthetic planning. I do quite a bit of orthodontic work so it’s great for showing patients their problems and what can be done about it. If a patient is about to have a procedure like a frenectomy, I’ll show them the procedure on YouTube so they know exactly what to expect.

When I first pass over an iPad, the patient is invariably impressed. It’s fairly new technology and not everyone has had a chance to hold one yet.

The iPad is also connected wirelessly to our computer network so I can use it to access MIMS online or just use it as an internet reference tool.

It has excellent battery life, it’s lightweight and it’s easy for the patient to hold. The two finger movement to zoom in and out on a photo is very intuitive. I’m quite excited about its future application for dentistry. The sky’s the limit in regard to dental software, treatment planning and education.

What’s not so good

It cannot view Flash content using the standard internet browser. However this can be fixed by downloading a third-party app.

Where did you get it

A free gift [but available from www.apple.com.au].

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