Teledentistry: The Need Of The Hour
Teledentistry is not a new term, but it has gotten unexpected popularity due to the pandemic in recent months.
It’s an option to ensure the safest dental care delivery in several scenarios. If you haven’t used teledentistry for your oral health requirements, it is high time to learn more about it.
Dentists in Port Melbourne break down the term and help you understand how you can get hassle-free dental care from your home.
Importantly, you should know what all dental issues you can consider getting teledentistry without a clinic visit.
What Is Teledentistry?
If you haven’t heard the term teledentistry, you may want an introduction to it.
Teledentistry is an option in which dentists connect with patients for consultation and administer treatments using online video conferencing tools.
That means the dentists use video chatting platforms like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or more to connect with the patients and understand the exact oral health issue.
The biggest advantage of teledentistry is it avoids dental clinic visits, especially during pandemic days.
Compared to a clinic visit, teledentistry is quick, and you can get immediate relief if you are struggling with emergency dental issues.
It is also a highly convenient option for people who can’t make it to the clinic due to illness, home quarantine regulations, or other issues.
The Guidelines For Teledentistry
Since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, various dental associations and governments around the globe began working around teledentistry options to minimize clinic visits. This includes American Dental Association and Australian Dental Association.
According to the Australian Dental Association, the practitioner can use videoconferencing options and online apps to substitute a face-to-face consultation.
However, the association instructs that it is the duty of the dental practitioner to ensure that the telecommunication way of consulting is meeting the clinical requirements and not infringing the privacy laws.
That means that the dentists are allowed to offer teledentistry where it is safe and clinically appropriate.
It further asks to give teledentistry only to existing patients of a dentist or for people who are referred by other practices.
Most importantly, it is the duty of the dentist to let their patients know the limitations of teledentistry, and the practitioner should be providing the best possible advice in the absence of face-to-face consultation.
Who Can Get Teledentistry?
Teledentistry is a highly convenient option for both patients as well as dentistry. It allows the patients to access dental care from anywhere.
Also, it gives the dentists the option to connect with their patients anytime from their home comfort.
However, not all dental issues can ensure a high-quality treatment experience through digital means.
The limitations of teledentistry suggest only the following dentistry issues ideal for the video mode of consultation:
Getting dental care during odd hours is not practical for many patients. Importantly, some emergency dental issues need the dentist’s interference at the earliest.
If you struggle with a toothache or dental decay with severe pain, you can choose to get immediate care by connecting with your dentist remotely.
However, try to consult with your family dentist or regular dentist to get a quick solution for your oral health issue.
This is mainly because your family dentist knows your oral health condition and has your oral health records handy to give you a more personalized and expert service.
The dentist can prescribe you pain killers and medication and discuss with you regarding the follow-up treatment, including the need for a clinic visit.
If you face dental trauma, broken teeth, or loose dental prosthetics, a teleconsultation can help your dentist evaluate the issue and advise clinic visits only if required.
Patients Who Are Unable To Travel
People above 70 years, pregnant women, children under 12 months, people with compromised immunity, and patients with chronic health issues can conveniently go for teledentistry.
A clinic visit may not be possible for most of them, and an online consultation can help them address some of their oral health issues.
During the online consultation, the dentist can understand the issue better and decide on the dental procedures. This includes an arranged clinic visit based on the specific needs of the patient.
Always a teleconsultation in advance minimizes the average time spend by the patient at the clinic – if the patient needs to visit the clinic for diagnosis or dental procedure.
Follow Up Visits For Dental Procedures
If you have received a dental procedure before and want to make regular follow-up visits, you may consider an online follow-up.
This is mainly due to some orthodontic, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry procedures only require visual monitoring of the treatment progress during a follow-up visit.
If you have received Invisalign and other orthodontic procedures, online consultation can be a more convenient choice for you.
Keep in mind that dentists always have the option to call you for an in-clinic visit if required.
The growth of telemedicine in recent years also weighs on dentistry to go for teleconsultation when possible.
It is an alternative platform for both patients and dentists to meet each other without worrying about the clinical hours, pandemic situation, and locations.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.