International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Review Article

Year: 2018 | Month: June | Volume: 8 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 278-284

Current and Potential Use of WhatsApp in Oral Health Care - A Narrative Review

Dr. Shweta Somasundara Yale1, Dr. Santosh Kumar C2, Dr. Vasudha Sharma1

1Reader, 2Senior Lecturer,
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Rajarajeswari Dental College and Hospital, No.14, Ramohalli Cross, Mysore Road, Kumbalgodu, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560074

Corresponding Author: Dr. Shweta Somasundara Yale


Smartphones, internet and instant messaging applications have changed the telecommunication scenario since their advent, with immense benefits for healthcare providers and recipients across the globe. WhatsApp is one such instant messaging tool that has found favour with health care professionals working in diverse settings. Although WhatsApp has been extensively used in health care, the literature on its use in oral health care is sparse. This review explored the current and potential use of WhatsApp in the field of oral health care. The PUBMED database was searched for English language articles reporting the use of WhatsApp in dentistry, oral health care, dental education. Snowballing to find additional relevant articles was done by also using Google Scholar and grey literature. Tele-consultation, appointment booking, addressing queries from patients, treatment planning, referral, obtaining second opinions, emergency help in dealing with maxillofacial trauma be it in routine practice or sites of disasters and conflicts, oral health promotion, tobacco cessation, facilitating dental education through innovative teaching approaches, online follow up of patients, data collection for research are some of the possible uses of WhatsApp in oral health care. Addressing the concerns of privacy issues, by appropriate usage of smartphones and WhatsApp, oral health care professionals can expand the delivery of oral health care to remote and underserved areas as well as improve the quality of oral health care.

Key words: WhatsApp, oral health care, dentistry, mouth, smartphone.

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