More than 3.5 billion people around the world suffer from oral health diseases, most of which can be prevented. According to data released by the World Health Organization, the combined global prevalence of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss has plateaued at 45%. Increasingly, experts agree that moving the needle requires better training for oral health professionals and a more diverse workforce that can meet the needs of children and their families where they live, grow, work, play and learn.
Enter My Dental Key (MDK), a women-owned start-up founded at Harvard University that is transforming oral health education by producing top-tier, medical-grade digital training for oral health professionals worldwide and emphasizing oral health promotion and prevention as key to a healthier future for all.
My Dental Key was created by dental students for dental students and other oral health professionals. Recognizing that there was little in the way of validated resources to supplement their education and clinical training, in 2020, the students launched MDK, a digital learning platform that provides expert-verified information, videos, illustrations, and step-by-step procedure modules that enable students and other health professionals across the globe to perform oral health care procedures with a high level of confidence and proficiency. Partnering with Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® (BSBF) – Colgate-Palmolive’s global oral health initiative – MDK is also providing accessible and affordable resources and looking at the broader issues that lead to poor oral health outcomes.
“My Dental Key is on the path to revolutionizing oral health education,” said Dr. Gillian Barclay, Vice President, Global Public Health and Scientific Affairs, Colgate-Palmolive Company. “Its platform is democratizing oral health care, making first-class resources available to every dental student and oral health professional, and it is helping to put the focus on oral health promotion and prevention as opposed to a solely curative approach.”
MDK has unique visitors across more than 130 countries, including students, dental school faculty, and established health professionals that leverage the platform’s resources to improve their understanding of dental procedures and educate children and their families about oral health. The company has won several awards, including grants from the American Dental Education Association, the Harvard University President’s Innovation Challenge, and The Lemann Program on Creativity and Entrepreneurship, which encourages innovation that benefits society.
“As a company, MDK is dedicated to reimagining the way dental students and other health professionals learn,” said Leela Breitman, DMD, the company’s CEO and cofounder. “By harnessing today’s technology to help students and other oral health professionals visualize complicated clinical concepts, we are helping to train better oral health professionals and enabling them to communicate and empower communities in ways that truly promote good oral health.”
To subscribe to MDK or learn more about its resources, visit https://www.mydentalkey.com.