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 Does Teledentistry Work
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.
How the teledentistry process works
Every orthodontist has their own process for teledentistry, but there are certain things that patients can expect during their visit. In general, it is important to understand the purpose and importance of teledentistry, what concerns it can diagnose and when to schedule a visit to ensure good oral health and hygiene.
The purpose of teledentistry
Each orthodontist may have a slightly different reason for offering teledentistry, but most do so as a way to continue checking on the oral health of their patients. This can be important if the patient has symptoms of an oral health concern that might require prompt and effective treatment in-office. However, orthodontists often also recommend teledentistry to those who are in good oral health but simply need a checkup. Some orthodontists use teledentistry as a way to offer consultations for new patients.
What teledentistry can diagnose
Although the lack of a proper oral examination in-office and dental X-rays may limit how much an orthodontist can diagnose during a teledentistry appointment, there are multiple concerns that an orthodontist can detect through teledentistry. These include but are not limited to:
- Tooth decay
- Damaged teeth
- Worn-down enamel
- Gum disease
- Gum recession
The orthodontist can utilize images taken by the patient, documentation of the patient’s symptoms and their previous dental history to determine a likely diagnosis, which is similar to the same process that a orthodontist might use in the office.
What to expect during the appointment
The first step during a teledentistry appointment is generally to gain an understanding of the oral health symptoms that the patient is experiencing. These may include toothaches, gum pain and swelling and cosmetic concerns. Some orthodontists may request that the patient send pictures of areas of their teeth using a camera either before or during the appointment. Lastly, they will determine the most likely cause of the symptoms and discuss ways that the patient can deal with the concern or recommend in-office treatment if the issue is an emergency.
When to consider a teledentistry visit
Anyone who is concerned with their oral health due to symptoms that affect the teeth, gums, jawbone or other areas of the mouth should consider a teledentistry visit. Teledentistry is also a good idea for those in good oral health who are due for a routine checkup visit with their orthodontist.
Talk to a orthodontist today about teledentistry
Get in touch with our orthodontist's office today to find out more about teledentistry and to set up a visit with a orthodontist. We can help patients deal with their oral health symptoms through teledentistry services from the convenience of one’s home.
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