Curaden has launched Prevention One – a project to support dental professionals in future-proofing their businesses and increasing customer satisfaction and retention. The product currently behind Prevention One is the BOB App.
This behaviour-change tool helps to inform and engage your patients in their own oral health, which in turn motivates them to return more frequently, even for oral prevention focused appointments, and keep them returning for check-ups. Here is what it does and how it helps.
The BOB-App in brief
Aim: To increase patient enjoyment and engagement with their own oral health through quantifiable and easy-to-measure scores and innovative communication.
The app: Supports dental professionals in recording a bleeding index of the interdental space, giving the patient a score of their gingival interdental health in a simple mouth map. In the same map, the recommended size of interdental brush to use for every interdental space is also recorded. The interface is designed to be used by a dental professional, but the overall experience is designed for patients.
The result: Patients go home highly motivated to take better care of their oral health and use interdental brushes daily.
Patients receive an e-mail with a copy of their mouth map, with the recommended interdental brush size to use and their bleeding score, for lasting reference. On follow-ups, patients see a quantifiable improvement of their oral health thanks to an overview chart.
The background: Interproximal inflammation
Many patients make dental appointments when it’s already too late: when they experience pain, persistent bleeding or other symptoms that are hard to ignore. As gingival inflammation often begins silently and interdentally, taking correct daily care of these areas is needed to eliminate inflammation.
Taking care of interdental spaces, which is where the majority of inflammation begins, is needed to cure the inflammation. Unfortunately, patients often do not follow through with interdental brushing because of a low health-consciousness.
Incidentally, the most health-conscious patients are also our best clients: they schedule regular appointments and our clinics can rely on them to repeatedly utilise our services. So how do we increase our patients health-consciousness? How can we create engagement and provide them with an increased sense of ownership of their oral health and its subsequent benefits?
The idea: A method that measures, monitors, motivates and maintains oral health in a patient-friendly way
What if we could offer our patients a customised service that encourages an increased engagement with their own oral hygiene? Here is what it would need to do:
- Guide patients in viewing the reality of their oral health in an easy, relatable and motivating manner
- Empower and guide patients in their own behaviour change towards oral hygiene
- Assist patients in quantifying their oral health and monitoring their progress over time
- Have patients engage with their oral health through unique, customised and easy-to-understand instructions
- Motivate patients to return for regular services
So here is what we came up with:
The product: BOB-App
The product is an app that provides the following elements:
- Builds a visual mouth map of the patient’s oral status – similar to a regular dental chart, but simpler and more attractive on the eye – so the patient can relate more to their mouth.
- Highlights interdental inflammation.
- Scores the current state of interdental inflammation and keeps track of this inflammation over time.
- Gives the patient a definitive and objective score of their oral health, motivating them to improve it.
- Displays a mouth map visualising the information the patient will need at home to continue effective oral hygiene practice, which the dental professional will have suggested. The score and interdental aid chart are shown on the tablet screen and sent by e-mail to the patient, and can also be printed-out.
As a result, patients leave the dental office fully aware of the state of their oral health, empowered to pursue improved oral hygiene and motivated to return for another session.
Overview: How it works
The process is extremely easy and described in-depth in this video, but here are the general guidelines.
You’ll get access after signing up with Prevention One. It is currently free for all dental professionals willing to participate. Once you receive your credentials, you’ll need to download the BOB-App on your tablet and log in, like you would do with any app.
Filling in the mouth map
With the patient in the chair, you create a personal chart for them in the app. Then the interdental brushing index starts: you measure the recommended interdental brush for every interdental space, and at the same time as inserting the interdental brush, record any bleeding present by inputting this information into the same interdental space on the app’s chart. The app is designed so that you can input all data quickly and easily with one hand.
Adding more details
An examination and charting of all interdental spaces takes approximately 5 minutes. You can also input if the patient has any crowns, missing teeth or implants into the chart prior to starting the BOB-Score. This is also done in a simple touch-friendly interface.
Once all the data has been input, the BOB-App will score your patient’s overall interdental oral health status. On the screen, you will view a score expressed as a percentage between 0 and 100, indicating either healthy or inflamed interdental gingiva. The key here is to guide the patient in objectively seeing their true status of oral health.
If it is your first session with this patient, you’ll see just one previous score. However, when the patient returns for another appointment you’ll see an overview displaying the dynamics of their oral health.
During this stage, the professional will further educate, explain and demonstrate to the patient all necessary actions and requirements for oral hygiene and prevention which will aid them in lowering their BOB-Score for the next visit. As the patient has a visual aid of their score which is measurable, they will feel more motivated and empowered to implement your advice and instructions daily.
Once the interdental spaces have been measured, the BOB-App outputs the suggested CPS Prime/Perio sizes so that the patient can purchase their perfect interdental brushes from a pharmacy or online store.
Everything measured, including the areas of inflammation and the recommendations for the interdental brushes, is then summed up in an attractive, printer-friendly and email-ready document.
The patient has automatic access to their chart and scores via an email which can also be printed out in the clinic. With the BOB-App, the patient has a concrete and tangible score in relation to their oral health situation. At home, they have a relatable mouth map which further supports and brings rise to self-awareness. BOB is always a talking point amongst friends and family, which can also positively increase word of mouth referrals.
A visual aid at home for the patient can play a huge role in further motivating the patient to take steps towards their behaviour change. The patient is able to further reflect and be reminded of their scores and why they need to implement daily interdental cleaning.
The mouth map also provides the patient a guide to which size interdental aid they should use where. This can also act as a reference when needing to purchase additional aids, thus eliminating confusion for the patient in trying to remember what aids and sizes are needed.
Key ingredient: quantification
How do most people measure the state of their oral health? Normally it’s quite binary: “Teeth hurt or don’t hurt”, with no consideration to bleeding gums. So from many people’s perspective, they consider that they only need to schedule an appointment when their teeth hurt – and that’s already too late.
This binary approach gives no room for improvement and tracking. How does a patient know if they brush their teeth properly? How do they motivate themselves to use interdental brushes? If teeth don’t hurt yet – why is there a need to schedule a check-up?
This is where quantification comes in. By adding a score system, we can measure oral health which can become more trackable. When the patient views their score of, for example, 70% inflamed, they are triggered into realising that they are far from having perfect oral health, and are subsequently motivated to pay more attention to their oral care. With such visual scores, there is a higher increase of patients returning for oral health sessions within even 1–2 weeks. When the patient returns, and experiences quantifiable progress, they are excited, empowered and feel on track.
The outcome: a more engaged and motivated patient
Typically, most patients have inflammation, giving them a first-time score of between 40% and 100% of inflammation. With this score, and after receiving oral hygiene instructions and deliverables, patients are highly likely to pick up interdental brushes and engage more with their oral hygiene.
Patients will feel more motivated to return to your office for a follow-up within a short time, to find out the results of their increased oral care. You repeat the procedure with the BOB-App, and most likely give them an improved score which they proudly take home, with more room for improvement if necessary.
The result – a happier, more engaged client, with better overall oral health.
What to do now
Would you like to use the BOB-App in your own practice? Please fill in the details in this form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.