Health IT

This startup’s app lets patients get on-demand dental advice

Toothpic, which launched in the United States in late August, lets patients take photos of their mouth and send them to a dentist who can answer questions and recommend next steps.

Dentist Equipment on blue apron

Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York and Dublin, Ireland, Toothpic is aiming to assist individuals with their dental care needs.

The startup launched in the United States in late August.

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Here’s how the Toothpic app works: A patient creates an account, logs in and provides a few details about his or her dental and medical histories. The individual is then instructed to take pictures of certain areas of their mouth. The patient takes six photos if they want a comprehensive report and only a couple if they have a specific dental issue. There are templates and video instructions in the app about how to take the pictures.

Through the app, the patient can also ask questions, such as whether they have any visible cavities.

The photos are then sent to a licensed dentist, who answers the patient’s queries and responds with a report sent within 24 hours. Toothpic has a network of more than 400 dentists throughout all 50 states. All the dentists are contracted employees for Toothpic.

“Probably the most valuable part is the dentist provides their commentary and recommendations for what the patients should do,” Toothpic founder and CEO Mark Moore said in a phone interview in early September. Said suggestions can fall into numerous categories, including home care and professional dental advice.

At the time of the interview, Moore said Toothpic was providing its offerings to consumers free of charge. However, he noted that by the end of the month or in early October, it will begin charging $35 for the comprehensive evaluation and $10 for an evaluation of a specific issue.

Looking ahead, the startup plans to keep developing the continuum of services it delivers.

“What we’re most interested in … is the evolution and innovation of the actual product itself,” Moore said. “We’ve been expanding the services patients can receive through the app and platform.”

For instance, Toothpic has a dentist directory that enables patients to find a dentist in their area so they can make an appointment.

It also provides users with a Toothpic Smile Score, which is essentially a rating of their dental health. Based on their diet, habits and oral care routine, patients are ranked against other individuals in their area. The feature also gives users suggestions on how to improve their score.

Finally, the company created a tool called Toothpic University through which people can learn about common dental conditions as well as tips and treatment options.

Toothpic’s overall aim is to help patients get access to dental information and assistance. But as Moore pointed out, it also strives to help people see the link between dental health and overall health.

Photo: busracavus, Getty Images