Sunday, 17 May 2015

Over the last few years, technological advances have revolutionized the dental industry. Social media is one such tool that is rapidly transforming dental practices worldwide. Social media platforms are fast becoming a cost-effective and easily accessible solution for both Dental professional and patients.. In India, it is estimated that there will be around 197 million social network users in India by 2017, up from 86.7 million in 2013. The interesting part is that this phenomenon is no longer restricted to the young. Even the senior population is joining social networking in baffling numbers.

While social media can prove to be a boon for healthcare providers, it can also potentially be a bane to their reputation and credibility. While dentists can take advantage of the several personal and professional benefits that social media offers, it is imperative to be aware of the potential risks involved. Maintaining professional boundaries in all forms of communication is vital to preserving the trust and professional relationships with patients and staff. Dentists need to be aware of the numerous challenges and the consequences related with the use of social media.

Communication between dental professionals and social media users may lead to various legal and ethical issues. Patient privacy violations are a major concern. Plagiarism is another easy threat online. Dental professionals also risk violating regional licensing laws by  providing online medical advice to patients  residing in another country and might be inadvertently subject to legal action.

In conclusion, we are witnessing more and more people interacting on social media websites and healthcare portals with other patients and healthcare providers. This has empowered all, the users, dental professionals, manufacturers and regulatory authorities to move towards a higher overall standard of care while protecting the privacy of patients.

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