Apple TV for the dental office part two – patient demonstrations


In part one of this series, we looked at using Apple TV to set up a wireless second surgery monitor right in front of the patient, in order to show the patient radiographs, photos or anything you want from your primary surgery monitor. This saves laying cables under floors, expensive pole mounts from dental chairs, a second graphics card or video splitter and surgery disruption.

In this second part, I am going to cover the use of Flickr to build a library of patient education photos.

A quick example, I saw a lady yesterday who wanted to know her options for a retainer. I went into AppleTV, clicked on the Flickr button, opened up my library of ortho photos and showed her what fixed and removable retainers look like. It was very quick and easy and appeared on a nice big screen in great detail.

You can build libraries (called “sets”) of different aspects of dentistry and fill with as many photos as you need. The free account on Flickr gives you lots of storage so you aren’t in danger of running out of space.


When you need to explain to the patient what different treatment options there are for replacement of a missing tooth, you can have a set of photos showing bridges, dentures or implants.

You could as well couple this with some PowerPoint or Keynote slides. In both software packages you can export slides as JPG photos.
This is a great idea for a robust consent procedure. If you wanted an implant consent process for yourself or your implant coordinator, you could quickly design a set of slides to run the patient through, in the proper order, safe in the knowledge that you haven’t missed anything. We have so much to remember as dentists, so many things to remember to write down, so many processes to go through, this can really help as an Aide Memoire.

So, firstly create your slides in PowerPoint or Keynote. Export the slides as graphics and upload them to a set in Flickr.

Flickr is really easy to use, you can even do all this on an IPhone or iPad. Apps are available for both to upload your photos to the right sets. You can even create you slides using Keynote for iOS.

The only thing to watch is that other people may be able to see your photos, so watch the confidentially thing.

If you’ve any questions about this great use of AppleTV, or any top tips, just email me at


Apple TV for the dental office – Part one, use as an easy wireless second surgery monitor

If you are gadget driven dentist, please share this!

Sometimes a dental gadget purchase deserves shouting about so I have decided to write a series of articles extolling the usefulness of the AppleTV, one of the best sub £100 gadgets I have ever purchased for my dental surgery.

About 6 months ago I mounted a large flat screen on the opposite wall in my surgery, facing the patient. It was an idea I totally stole from a good friend, Coventry Perio and Implant guru Mr Matthew Perkins. The idea was to take the video signal out of my surgical microscope and have it displayed on the wall, in high definition. Works a treat and I will blog about that more specialised setup soon.


However, I had a spare Apple TV at home so I plugged it in in my office, wondering what it could do for me in my workplace. It’s been so revolutionary that I have been moved to write a series of articles about it.

1 – Airparrot (

Users of Apple TV and iPhones and iPads may well be familiar with Airplay, which allows the user to display the iOS screen remotely onto a television. This means that videos, pictures and music can be wirelessly transmitted from iOS gadget to the telly with ease and speed. With modern versions of iOS, a user can even mirror the whole small screen onto the big screen.


Airparrot is a $9.99 download that allows you to mirror your home or work computer onto another screen. There is a version for PC and Mac and is really easy to install.

What this means for me as a dentist is that at a touch of a button, I can display the patients X-rays or digital images that are on my surgery computer onto the big screen in front of the patient, without the need to run wires everywhere. This is remarkable! Operating over the wifi network, the speed is phenomenal, the mouse moves smoothly and the quality is crystal clear.

Of course if I am mirroring my PC monitor (and audio by the way), I can display anything I want, CAESY patient education stuff, slides, videos etc.

What this means as well is that I have a low cost solution to a second monitor in the surgery. Retrofitting a second screen in a fully working surgery is extremely difficult. Mounting the screen on the chair with the right bracket, getting power to it from the chair, running cables under the floor from the desk. Trust me, I’ve tried it and I wished this had been invented 10 years ago.

With the AppleTV setup, simply mount the flat screen on a suitable wall, plug in the AppleTV with a simple HDMI cable, connect it to your wireless (or wired) network, install the Airparrot software on your PC or Mac (as long as your computer is either wired in to same network via Ethernet like mine, or wifi enabled) and then when you want the patient to see your screen, a simple right click on the icon in the system tray and Voila! Up it comes on the big screen.

I think that’s worth the cost of the AppleTV alone, but we’ve bearly scratched the surface. I need to write up the use of ICloud, IMovie theatre, Radio, Airplay, displaying intraoral images from Memory cards and Flickr. So much more to be done – will keep you posted.

With best techie wishes