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Use of a wireless local area network in an orthodontic clinic

American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2004.11.027
  • Communication
  • Medicine


Radiographic images and other patient records, including medical histories, demographics, and health insurance information, can now be stored digitally and accessed via patient management programs. However, digital image acquisition and diagnosis and treatment planning are independent tasks, and each is time consuming, especially when performed at different computer workstations. Networking or linking the computers in an office enhances access to imaging and treatment planning tools. Access can be further enhanced if the entire network is wireless. Thanks to wireless technology, stand-alone, desk-bound personal computers have been replaced with mobile, hand-held devices that can communicate with each other and the rest of the world via the Internet. As with any emerging technology, some issues should be kept in mind when adapting to the wireless environment. Foremost is network security. Second is the choice of mobile hardware devices that are used by the orthodontist, office staff, and patients. This article details the standards and choices in wireless technology that can be implemented in an orthodontic clinic and suggests how to select suitable mobile hardware for accessing or adding data to a preexisting network. The network security protocols discussed comply with HIPAA regulations and boost the efficiency of a modern orthodontic clinic.

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