Today: The dentist has a room filled with charts, radiographs, correspondence, EOBs and all the other records along with endless little white boxes filled with plaster models. Finding the models and records for a case done six years ago requires an exploratory party and soon bears a striking resemblance to a wilderness expedition. But make no mistake about it the records are there and we will find them eventually.
Ten Years from Now: All the records including forms, histories, treatment notes, radiographs, tracings, photos and 3D images of bones and teeth are stored digitally. Thirty years of patient records don’t take up a room but are stored somewhere in the cloud actually taking up a physical space smaller than a deck of cards. The records can be called up immediately from anywhere in the known universe with a computer and an Internet connection.