for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
Healthy Volunteers
healthy people welcome
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Elsbeth Kalenderian, DDS, PhD (ucsf)
Headshot of Elsbeth Kalenderian
Elsbeth Kalenderian



The investigators seek to implement a dental patient reported outcomes system using mobile phone and text messaging to target the over-reliance on pre-emptively prescribed opioids by dental providers. If successful, this project will help dentists actively track and manage their patients' pain after hours and enhance the overall care experience.


Pain has been deemed the fifth vital sign and many describe it as an adverse event. The adequate management of pain is the bane of the dental profession and its continuous assessment is crucial to minimizing patients' pain experiences. Due to the duration of action of most commonly-used local anesthetic agents, dental patients are unable to predict their pain following dental procedures until many hours later, when the participants have already returned home and dental offices are closed. This has led to an over-reliance on pre-emptively prescribed opioids by dental providers because the participants have no means to actively track their patients' pain after hours. Innovative mobile applications and connected health technologies that allow real-time tracking of patients' symptoms, functional status and quality of life, provide healthcare professionals with data that were previously unavailable, and have fostered patient engagement, shared decision-making and adherence to treatment plans. The investigators propose an innovative solution to optimize the quality of dental pain monitoring and management by implementing mobile phone technology to monitor patients' pain during the critical acute post-operative phase. The hypothesis is that by actively tracking these symptoms using mobile phones, the investigators modify analgesic prescriptions), thereby eliminating needless suffering, reducing the occurrence and/or severity of post-op complications, and enhancing the overall care experience. The investigators' ultimate goal is to achieve the quadruple aim: improve patient experience, improve patient outcomes, improve physician experience and reduce per capita costs. The investigators will test this hypothesis using a cluster-randomized experimental study design with: (1) an intervention arm where patients receive push notifications through text messages on their mobile phones (FollowApp.Care) at designated time intervals on Days 1, 3, 5 and 7; and (2) a control arm where patients receive the usual care. This project will be conducted at two dental institutions: Willamette Dental Group (WDG) and University of California San Francisco (UCSF). In Aim 1 the investigators will customize the design features of the existing FollowApp.Care at two dental institutions (Willamette Dental Group and University of California San Francisco) and assess its capacity to accurately capture patient-reported outcomes. In Aim 2 the investigators evaluate the impact of using FollowApp.Care on patient post-op experiences and oral health outcomes. And in Aim 3, the investigators evaluate provider acceptance of FollowApp.Care and its impact on provider performance. By collecting patient reported outcomes in a timely and usable way, the investigators expect to help dentists enhance their practice performance and reduce the burden of unnecessary opioid prescriptions on society.


Pain, Postoperative Complication, Postoperative Postoperative Complications Follow-app intervention arm


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Patients who have undergone periodontal procedures.
  • Patients who have undergone endodontic procedures.
  • Patients who have undergone oral surgery procedures.

You CAN'T join if...

  • 3rd year pre-doctoral students
  • 4th year pre-doctoral students
  • dental hygiene students


  • University of California San Francisco accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94143 United States
  • Willamette Dental Group & Skourtes Institute accepting new patients
    Hillsboro Oregon 97124 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Elsbeth Kalenderian, DDS, PhD (ucsf)
    Professor, Preventive & Restor Dent Sci, School of Dentistry. Authored (or co-authored) 71 research publications. Research interests: clinical informatics · electronic health records (EHR) · mobile health (mhealth) · patient-reported outcome measures


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 6214 study participants
Last Updated