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Cloud computing examined in ADA-developed technical report

May 21, 2018

By Michelle Manchir

Dentists with questions about cloud computing have an ADA resource published earlier this year to turn to for answers.

Cloud computing is accessing remote computing capabilities and information using computers and mobile devices through a network. Social networking sites like Facebook and web-based email services like Gmail are considered cloud computing services.

Cloud computing graphicCloud computing also has a place in dental practice for issues including health information portability, and that's where ADA Technical Report No. 1091 Cloud Computing: Implications and Recommendations for Dental Practice comes in.

The report, available at no cost for members and developed by the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics, provides an overview of cloud computing specific to the topics relevant for the practicing dentist, said Dr. Terry O'Toole, a member of the workgroup that developed the report.

Many dental software vendors have introduced products in recent years based on cloud storage technology, said Dr. O'Toole.

"As more and more emphasis is being placed on health information portability, cloud solutions can facilitate that exchange," he said.

This report may help dentists understand and implement information technologies that will benefit their everyday practice, Dr. O'Toole said.

Photo of Dr. O'Toole
Cloud control: Dr. Terry O'Toole, a member of the workgroup that developed the technical report on cloud computing in dentistry, said cloud solutions can facilitate health information portability.
The report, available to download online at, provides easy-to-understand summaries of what cloud computing is, what it can do for dental practices, issues such as privacy related to cloud computing and answers to questions including, "Does cloud computing make sense for my practice?"

The ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics regularly seeks to develop resources such as technical reports like this one that help dentists, said Dr. O'Toole.

Dental professionals are regularly needed for committees to review and comment on standards and technical reports proposed and drafted by the ADA Standards Administration Department, which manages the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products and the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics. For more information on this or to get involved, contact Paul Bralower, ADA manager for standards, by email at

The ADA is an American National Standards Institute-accredited standards developing organization. For more information, visit standards.