A Dentist's View Through the Google Glass

At this point, most of us have seen the wearable computer Google Glass. Like many new inventions, it is an interesting technology platform with an unknown amount of applications.

Right now it’s something of a novelty full of untapped potential. But think about when the iPhone first came out. It hardly did anything compared to the newer versions today. Google Glass is likely to see a similar path as more people gain access to the device and developers find new ways to use it.

This is already starting in dentistry as some dental students out of Michigan found a use for Google Glass. Creating a company called Dentyzion, they partnered with Surgitel to create an insert that attaches to the Google Glass frame. The insert has through the lens loupes attached to it, giving you the benefit of the Google Glass wearable computer technology, along with magnification. The primary application here is dental education. As mentioned in their corporate video, the idea is that you can see what the instructor is seeing while working on your own typodont.

I love the idea of enhancing education, but the application here has so much more potential than just the few semesters in a lab at dental school. As a clinician in private practice, it would be great to visualize digital radiographs or other imaging without having to bend around to look at the screen. Case documentation could involve everything from still pictures to actual video recordings of the procedure. It would even be nice to have an integrated timer to make sure you know when your material will set or to make sure you are cleaning up resin cement in the proper working time.

New surgical drilling systems such as the iChiroPro have enabled you to have your drilling protocols preprogrammed based on the implant you are placing. A Google Glass connection to the iPad control on this motor could allow you to visualize your entire protocol and procedure, and even move to the next step without taking your hand off the handpiece.

Another application could be in-office communication. Currently we only have the option of using things such as the dated wall lighting systems, or the anti-social earpieces you might find the staff at the Gap using. What if you could receive a message in your Google Glass that your hygienist is ready for an exam, and quick notes on what to look for when you get there?

Have an idea of what this could be used for? Drop a comment below. For the guys at Dentyzion, keep up the good work. I love to see innovation in our industry. Contact me if you have any questions or ideas as well.