Web 2.0: How Social Networking Sites are Impacting Dentistry

Paola Sampaio Gonzales1 , Edgard Michel-Crosato*, Maria Gabriela Haye Biazevic and Ismar Eduardo Martins Filho

Web 2.0: How Social Networking Sites are Impacting Dentistry.

The popularization of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) is changing the behavior of
human society in several ways and very quickly. Applications of Web 2.0 permit new forms
of interaction with others, renew the learning process of Universities, and modify how people
consume products and services.

This phenomenon regularly occurs, making SNSs omnipresent: people can be connected with others all the time and anywhere. Although some health
professionals remain resistant to new internet-based technologies, the reality is that more than
1 billion people have an account on Facebook. This is currently the most popular SNS worldwide, but there are many other examples, such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Second Life,
and Instagram.

In these applications, people can be connected to each other and share thoughts,
creations, opinions, and knowledge. Therefore, to be online on Web 2.0 and SNS is no longer
a business choice for most practitioners and professors.

Students and consumers are on line, specially the younger ones. In order to illustrate the diverse ways that social-media can be used in the dentistry field, this article provides some examples of how health professionals use SNSs as a pedagogical tool in order to enhance their students’ participation in the learning process, promote dental services, and create a communication channel with patients.

We also discuss implications regarding online professionalism and ethics for students and practitioners by referring to some of the topics presented in the polices of dental schools in the United States (US) and in the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Since the first e-mail was sent in 1971,1 it is easy to see how the Internet has deeply
changed society with respect to communication and information exchange. In addition, the

Dent Open J. 2015; 2(1): 38-43. doi: 10.17140/DOJ-2-108