American Dental Association Launches New 'Symptom Checker' App
There are apps for everything from purchasing shoes to scheduling restaurant reservations, but how about an app for your toothache? The American Dental Association (ADA) has introduced the ADA Dental Symptom Checker on MouthHealthy.org to provide patients with accurate information about their oral health symptoms as well as help them become better-informed when making decisions about their oral health.
After entering their age and gender in the ADA Dental Symptom Checker, patients can identify the location of the symptom they're having and other factors, such as pain or swelling, and read about various conditions that fit that description. The Symptom Checker is not meant to diagnose or replace the role of the dentist. In fact, many of the conditions emphasize the importance of seeing a dentist or physician.
"Oftentimes a patient will wait until a dental appointment to mention a recent oral health issue such as a bitten tongue or mouth," said Ruchi Nijjar Sahota, D.D.S., an ADA consumer advisor spokesperson who practices general dentistry in Fremont, Calif. "The ADA app is designed to give patients the power to learn more about what's happening in their mouths so that they can make an educated decision on what they might have and what needs to be done to treat it. This information makes it easier for the patient to communicate with their dentist about their oral health."
The ADA designed the app to help build consumer awareness of the importance of oral health and recognize the benefits of regular dental visits.
"As advocates for America's oral health, the ADA strives to educate people about the value of good dental care," Dr. Sahota added. "This app is a teaching tool for today."
In developing the ADA's new consumer-focused MouthHealthy.org, consumers surveyed for the website identified a symptom checker tool as the most requested feature. The ADA Dental Symptom Checker is now available as an interactive Web platform on MouthHealthy.org, as well as a downloadable app on iTunes and Google Play.
The ADA launched the award-winning MouthHealthy.org website in June 2012 to reach the 80 percent of Internet users who seek health information online. Consumers can find oral health concerns organized by life stages, A-Z topics with videos, ADA Seal of Acceptance products, and tips and activities to make oral health care fun for kids.