What do dentists of the future look like? You might imagine robots with mechanical arms that take care of all your toothache woes, or dentists and nurses armed with special lenses that can zoom in 200 times into your teeth. Even though we might not see these futuristic wonders just yet, there are still lots of other modern medical marvels that we can enjoy.
Virtual dental care is one of the most convenient and cutting edge services offered today. Instead of running to a dental office for urgent care, patients can now meet with qualified dentists at home using the internet. If patients aren’t sure of findings from an in-person check-up, they can also easily get second opinions from qualified practitioners online.
In this age of long working hours, traffic, and expensive medical bills, virtual dentistry has indeed become one of the most important and effective medical marvels for families and professionals.
What is Teledentistry?
The American Dental Association (ADA) defines Teledentistry as “a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services”.
In other words, teledentistry doesn’t merely refer to a specific service, nor does it refer to health practice as a whole. Instead, it refers to many different ways of providing crucial dental care, assistance, and education to people through technology.
Outside of check-ups and procedures, dentists use teledentistry services to exchange crucial health information (such as radiographs, videos, and digital impressions) with other practitioners who need to properly evaluate a patient’s condition. This ensures efficient and up-to-date care for patients regardless of time, location, or distance.
In recent years more and more dentists have also begun using teledentistry to expand their services and provide patients with better care at a lower cost. Various websites offer unique services that can help dentists diagnose dental problems and come up with effective treatment plans for patients that are far away. For instance, Irish teledentistry website Oral Eye offers patients the chance to make comprehensive records using bright, clear images of their teeth and gums taken with a special iPhone app.
Teledentistry also serves as an easy and effective way to educate people on the importance of oral health. Many dentists have begun using video websites like YouTube, blogs, and other social networking services to help people learn more about how procedures work and how they can better care for their teeth. If you’d rather use one consistent service for your dental education needs, you can rely on apps like DCStory, which helps dentists inform patients about complex procedures and other clinical information using high-quality 3D images.
Some might have doubts about the safety and authenticity of teledentistry services, especially in the case of websites and smartphone apps. After all, how do you know your fancy app isn’t run by random people masquerading as dentists? How sure are you that your dentist can really diagnose problems without seeing you in-person? Rest assured, many reputable teledentistry services are run by qualified dentists properly licensed by the ADA and specially trained in the use of virtual dentistry technology.
The Benefits of Teledentistry
Teledentistry isn’t just a brand new fad or sci-fi trend. It’s an effective, efficient, and convenient service that ensures dentists can provide the best services for their clients. With teledentistry, obstacles like expensive treatments and distance no longer stand in the way of better oral health and treatment.
1. Lower Costs
Many patients are often unable to get the dental care they need due to expensive fees. Thankfully, teledentistry helps patients gain access to high-quality dental care at a much more reasonable cost. Since you’re mainly communicating with your dentist using websites and smartphone apps, you don’t have to pay any expensive treatment fees or shell out cash for long drives to faraway clinics.
“The TeleDentists” provides virtual dental consultations 24/7 at a fraction of what you would normally pay at a traditional brick-and-mortar clinic. Qualified dentists don’t only diagnose problems, but they can also provide e-scripts for non-narcotic pain medication and suggest proper treatment plans.
2. Inexpensive Emergency Care
Getting dental emergencies like cracked teeth and heavy gingivitis treated isn’t always easy. Long lines and long distances can often get in the way of receiving urgent dental care. Teledentistry helps patients in need of emergency dental care by allowing them to connect with dentists right away. Instead of driving to a clinic or waiting for your turn, you can discuss your issues with a qualified dentist online and get prescriptions for the medication you need.
3. No More Long Travels
Teledentistry helps people in remote areas get the proper treatment they need right away. People can now consult dentists on oral health issues, become educated on proper oral hygiene practices, and get prescriptions for essential medication from the comfort of their own home. Dentists who are interested in providing proper care for those in poor or rural areas can also use various teledentistry services to help those who need their services the most.
4. More Accessible Dental Care
Dental care shouldn’t have to be reserved for only an elite few. Teledentistry provides families all over the world with better access to urgent care, education, and information regarding their oral health. Many teledentistry websites offer consultations with dentists who are available 24/7 to assist you with your needs, so time zones and distance are never an issue. No matter how late it is or where you are, you and your family are always sure to have access to the proper dental care you deserve.
5. More Options
It isn’t impossible to have doubts over the diagnosis, treatment, or services provided by your dentist. Simply changing dentists isn’t that easy either since it can be quite overwhelming to find qualified and affordable dental practitioners in your area. Teledentistry helps patients get second opinions regarding treatments and diagnoses. It also provides a more diverse pool of professionals to choose from. Rather than enduring could-be-better treatment, you can simply have all your woes and concerns taken care of at home.
6. More Efficient Treatments
With teledentistry, you can save time and money on emergency consultations. Since you don’t have to be seen in-person by the dentist, you don’t have to spend too much time on the dentist’s chair or pay for appointments. Dentists can also save time and see more patients daily by doing consultations through the internet. When it’s time to get emergency treatment in-person, you’re sure to have an easier time paying the bills.
7. Easier Check-Ups
It can be hard to maintain proper post-op care for your teeth. Work commitments, a lack of time, and expensive fees often prevent patients from receiving proper check-ups and post-treatment care. Teledentistry makes check-ups much easier for both patients and dentists by allowing people to exchange reports, images, and other important information online rather than in-person. People who are busy with work and school can also have all their questions and concerns addressed by qualified dentists from their own homes and workplaces.