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Friday Dental Download: June 6, 2014

This week, we check out smartphone apps that can improve your oral health knowledge, learn about the ADA’s new guide to soft-tissue oral diseases, and talk about why you might receive an oral examination from your medical doctor. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

Want to learn more about dental anatomy, such as veneers or crowns? There’s an app for that! DrBicuspidcreated a list of useful smartphone apps for dentists and dental students, one of which lets users perform dental procedures on virtual patients. There are also dental apps for kids, like the 2Min2X Toothsavers app which teaches children proper oral health techniques by practicing on animated characters.

Scleroderma, a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases according to the Scleroderma Foundation, often causes patients to have shrunken mouths that do not open wide enough to brush and floss, making it difficult for dentists and dental professionals to provide care. A new study found that 28% of dental professionals reported that they did not feel qualified to treat patients with scleroderma, and the study’s author, Dr. David Leader, DMD, MPH, of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, suggests that dentists should take the time to learn the basics of treating these patients.

The American Dental Association published a new guide on identifying, diagnosing, and treating soft-tissue oral disease. The 247-page book includes details on screenings, differential diagnosis, descriptions of more than 40 types of soft tissue lesions, as well as more than 60 diagnostic practice exercises. To check your risk for oral diseases, take our Oral Health Quiz.

It’s no secret that oral health affects overall health, but did you now that physicians are being trained to conduct oral examinations to help identify oral health problems that could potentially lead to great health issues? The Massachusetts Dental Society is training pediatricians through its “Connect the Dots” program to examine the mouth and encourage parents to bring their children to see a dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by age one. It’s so important to remember that oral health directly affects overall health, so we applaud programs like this.