Teledentistry has become increasingly popular as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many healthcare providers in the U.S. to limit their services. As a result, teledentistry is becoming a standard first step before an orthodontist is seen for an in-person visit.A growing number of orthodontists now recommend teledentistry, and many are implementing it into their practices. Patients…
How Do Teledentistry Visits Work
Teledentistry offers convenience to patients who cannot physically get to their dentist. Dentists are quickly adopting teledentistry because it is a convenient, cost-effective way of keeping tabs on patients. They also use the technology to consult with colleagues and specialists that work in different locations.
Teledentistry visits have become a safe way for dentists to conduct routine orthodontic checkups. Orthodontists use teledentistry to monitor patients and screen those who may be candidates for in-office visits. This is one of the ways that dentists are contributing to the community-wide precautions to limit the outbreak of seasonal infections.
A patient who needs the services of a dentist may be drawn to the convenience of seeing a dentist from their home. However, the same patient may wonder if teledentistry takes away from their treatment in any way.
Real-time consultation: The patient’s very first teledentistry appointment
The dentist will start the videoconference by getting input from their patient, including verbal communication of their oral health. They may ask their patient a series of questions and use the answers to form a preliminary diagnosis.
Before the teleconsultation, the orthodontic practice will arrange for an assistant to join the patient. The assistant will perform the visual exam as the dentist watches, asks questions and provides guidance. They may use tools, like an intra-oral scanner, to stream real-time images of patients’ mouths.
Based on these images, the dentist will take one or more of the following actions:
- Give the patient a clean bill of health or something close to it
- Set up a second appointment to monitor the patient
- Prescribe medication or an at-home treatment
- Order medical imaging tests and direct the orthodontic practice to set up the logistics
- If the patient has an oral health emergency, the dentist will have the patient go in for an in-person appointment
Store and forward teledentistry
This happens where a dentist recommends an x-ray or CT scan of their patient’s mouth. Once they have the test results on hand, the dentist may interpret the test results and proceed with treatment.
If the case is too complicated, they will forward the test results to a specialist who will craft and implement a treatment plan. In both scenarios, treatment would likely require a combination of in-person visits and remote monitoring.
We are here for you at every step
Limited mobility or proximity to one’s orthodontic office can delay some important procedures. If you have a problem that is affecting your oral health and quality of life, do not try to power through it. Call our offices right now. We will use our capable teledentistry system to provide the care you need, exactly when you need it.
Teledentistry can be helpful for people who need orthodontic care but cannot visit their orthodontist. Although the practice is relatively new and unknown to many, it can be a helpful resource to make use. Following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more medical offices began offering this service. Now that businesses are back open, it’s…
Teledentistry is a way for orthodontists to stay in touch with their patients and continue giving them advice and diagnoses of oral health concerns that they may have. It is encouraged for people to consider teledentistry if they are unable to make it into the orthodontist's office.Every orthodontist has their own process for teledentistry, but…