Dental Informatics: Integrating Technology into Dentistry

Review Article

Austin Dent Sci. 2020; 5(1): 1025.

Dental Informatics: Integrating Technology into Dentistry

Marya CM, Swati S*, Nagpal R, Sakshi K and Pratibha T

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sudha Rustagi College of Dental Sciences and Research, India

*Corresponding author: Swati Singroha, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sudha Rustagi College of Dental Sciences and Research, Faridabad, Haryana, India

Received: February 06, 2020; Accepted: March 02, 2020; Published: March 09, 2020


Advances in technology have incredibly changed our regular day to day lives by bringing everything within our reach. Healthcare industry has additionally observed major developments such as digitization of health records, virtual patient visits, high resolution digital imaging, etc. These advances have improved the quality of dental care as well as the efficiency and predictability of procedures Health informatics is a combination of information science, computer science and cognitive science to assist in the management of healthcare information. It deals with the resources, devices, and methods, which are required to improve the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine. Health informatics helps doctors with their decisions and actions, and improves patient outcomes by making better use of information making more efficient the way patient data and medical knowledge is captured, processed, communicated, and applied. These challenges have become more important since the internet made access to medical information easier for patients.

Keywords: “Informatics” Health Informatics; Dental Informatics; Public Health Informatics


Informatics is an applied information science that designs the blue prints for the complex data systems that keep information secure, usable and responsive to the user’s needs. Informaticians usually act as a knowledge builder who builds account for function and the needs of the user with local context [1].

Health informatics is a combination of information science, computer science and cognitive science to assist in the management of healthcare information [2]. There are numerous current areas of research within the field of health informatics, including bioinformatics, neuro-informatics, clinical informatics, public health informatics and dental informatics [3]. Bioinformatics uses molecular level data, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. Tissue level data is employed by neuro-informatics and patient level data by Clinical Informatics whereas Public Health Informatics utilizes population data (either from the population or on the population) [4].

The application of informatics in the areas of public health which include surveillance, prevention, preparedness, and health promotion is known as public health informatics. It works on information and technology issues from the perspective of groups of individuals. It is extremely broad and can even touch on the environment, work and living places and more [5].

The main applications of Public Health Informatics is to promote the health of the entire population, which eventually promotes the health of an individual and to prevent diseases and injuries by changing those conditions that expands the risk of diseases in the population [6,7]. Basically, Public Health Informatics is used in public health data collection, analysis and actions [5].

In collaboration with technical and public health skill set, public health informaticians refine data from IT applications within and outside of the health agency into actionable information to improve health of population [8].

The state and territorial health agency depends on the information systems guided by the principles and policies of informatics to make it easy for the people to get the right information at the right time [8].

To manage public health practice and enhancement of the wellbeing of society constructively, multiple resources are required to provide precise, high-grade and timely information [9].

In the development and promotion of computerized information systems and surveillance programs, Public health professionals have stood as pioneers by facilitating strategies to protect public health and enhancement for the quality of life [10].

In the past decade, Modern dental research was becoming more dependent with the development of computer and information technology.

Dental informatics is rationally a new field and is in the budding stage [11]. It may bring a wide range of applications and tools for clinical practice in terms of diagnosis of oral diseases, prescription, indications and contraindication of certain drugs in patients with specific conditions and many more [12]. It is the application of computer and information science to improve dental practice, research, education and management [13], which was derived from an earlier definition that was coined in 1992 [14]. It is difficult to retrace the exact time when Dental Informatics was considered as a relatively independent research field. One of the earliest publications searched in Medline with keywords of “dental informatics” was “Computers in Dentistry” written by Zimmerman et al., [15]. Who discussed including computer courses into the dental curriculum. It combines dentistry and several research disciplines, such as computer science, information science, cognitive science, and telecommunication [13].

Thus the purpose of informatics is to solve practical problems for researchers, practitioners and educators. Hence, available literature was reviewed for a better understanding of goals and methods of dental informatics so that individuals can identify more easily how informatics could potentially help them in their own work and also they must learn about the research issues and problems in the applied areas, so that they can target their work at the resolution of real, fundamental problems.


A literature search was performed in the electronic databases of Google Scholar, PubMed and Science Direct. In order to define the keywords for search in databases, few seminal articles were analysed. Data was retrieved by a member of research team using keywords like “health informatics,” dental health informatics,” “informatics” were entered into Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) controlled vocabulary. The terms like public health, dental informatics, informatics were combined with the MeSH terms by Boolean ‘AND’ or ‘OR and entered in PubMed, Science Direct and Google scholar. We also made a manual search in the key journals available in the library of the institution. Some data was also obtained by cross checking the reference list of the articles accessed. A total of 39 articles were retrieved among those 20 articles were excluded as they were not relevant to this review. Peer reviewed studies which were relevant to the topic and were in English language were included in the present review.

Scientific Methods in Informatics

The scientific methods primarily come from four research areas, which is computer science, cognitive science, information science and telecommunications. However, many other fields such as social sciences, psychology, anthropology and mathematics also contribute to the scientific basis of informatics. Figure 1 illustrates that how a domain area combines with one or more component sciences of informatics to develop solutions in dental practice, research and education [11].

Citation:Marya CM, Swati S, Nagpal R, Sakshi K and Pratibha T. Dental Informatics: Integrating Technology into Dentistry. Austin Dent Sci. 2020; 5(1): 1025.