What is Teledentistry?
Teledentistry essentially refers to virtual dentistry appointments using online imaging, communication technologies, and electronic information. You may use video, audio, and data communication tools to interact with your dentist, pass the necessary information back and forth, and receive your diagnosis. Teledentistry involves diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of dental problems using virtual methods, thus bringing access to dental care to patients in remote locations.
Teledentistry recently saw a major upsurge because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While on lockdown, patients across the globe relied on teledentistry appointments to maintain their regular dental cleanings and checkups. Teledentistry allowed people and continues to allow people to access timely and affordable dental care without driving to the dental clinic. This is a great way to access dental care from the comfort of your own home.
Teledentistry can include virtual consultations with dentists using video calls. The dentist can also use virtual tools to monitor your oral health, run tests, and offer more affordable dental care solutions. Teledentistry, and telehealth in general, represents a broader shift towards increasing access to dental and health care using technological innovations. These days, most aspects of our lives, including banking and work, can be handled online — and now dental care can also be handled online.
What are the benefits of teledentistry?
Improve Dental Hygiene
It’s commonly established that patients must go for regular dental cleanings once every six months to maintain optimal oral health. That’s because the average patient takes approximately six months to develop a volume of plaque and tartar that can threaten their oral health, leading to cavities and gingivitis. However, most patients avoid dental cleanings and checkups until they experience toothaches or signs of gingivitis.
People avoid dental cleanings and checkups because they appear to be non-essential and inconvenient. The prospect of taking time out of your schedule for a dental cleaning, even if it’s covered by insurance, isn’t pleasant. However, teledentistry allows you to access dental care and check-ups from the comfort of your home. If the dentist identifies problems necessitating dental care, they can inform you over the call, so you don’t need to visit the dental clinic.
Teledentistry has made routine dental checkups more accessible and convenient for people, thus improving overall dental hygiene.
More Affordable Dental Care
Teledentistry has proven to be more affordable for patients. That’s because teledentistry appointments are generally less expensive, and they save the patient considerable time and effort because of reduced travel times. Since teledentistry is more affordable for patients, they are more likely to manage dental health and oral hygiene.
Suitable for Modern Patients
Studies have shown that a vast majority of patients prefer online communications. Over 70% of all patients are more comfortable communicating with healthcare providers over text, emails, or video calls, and 76% prioritize easy dental access over in-person communications. Furthermore, most people these days are conversant in online forms of communication, so teledentistry is ideally suited for modern patients.
Improve Dental Access
Over 20% of Americans live in rural regions without access to dental clinics and medical centers in close proximity. Teledentistry allows patients to access dental care and checkups online, so they don’t need to travel long distances for healthcare. Furthermore, teledentistry allows dentists to meet patients from beyond their immediate cities, bringing quality dental care to the masses, which, in turn, improves overall health.
Similar Levels of Care
One of the major concerns people have about teledentistry is if it can be trusted. Can the dentist truly examine the patient’s teeth over a video call? However, studies have shown that teledentistry appointments have the same success rates as in-office dental appointments. As such, you don’t need to worry about weaker standards of dental care.
What is telehealth, generally?
Telehealth is the use of virtual, digital platforms and communication tools, such as smartphones and computers, to provide healthcare services to patients. It allows patients to access health care remotely, including routine appointments, diagnostics, and services. The goal of telehealth is making healthcare accessible to individuals living in rural areas, making services more accessible to people leading busy lives, incentivizing people to consult healthcare professionals when they notice early signs of health problems, and empowering self-management of health care among patients.
What is a teledentistry consultation, and what happens during a consultation?
A teledentistry consultation is a consultation with a dentist without needing to visit their clinic in person. The consultation is handled over the phone or computer using a wide range of text, audio, or video communication tools. During the teledentistry consultation, the dentist will review your health records and medical images, examine your teeth and mouth, record what they note, and discuss possible solutions and treatments. If you’re confirmed to have certain dental problems, you may have to schedule a visit to the dental clinic. But if you don’t have any problems necessitating dental treatments, you are saved a trip to the dentist.
Is my information protected?
Yes, your information is completely protected and kept private during teledentistry consultations. The dentist will never divulge your medical records to third parties.
Are “teledentistry” appointments covered by insurance?
Teledentistry appointments are covered by insurance in several states in the United States. Please send your insurance details to the dental clinic to determine if you can receive coverage for your teledentistry appointment.
Schedule your teledentistry dentist appointment online
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art dental clinic with offices in Midtown and Uptown Houston, TX. Whether you want a routine dental checkup or a consultation to discuss your symptoms and oral health concerns, please schedule your dentist appointment online.