This pandemic has taught people to do things that they would not have considered doing otherwise. Amid the Covid-19 crisis, almost all the businesses have shifted their operations partially or wholly on the cloud. People across the globe have started to use online services for most of their needs.
From medicines to groceries to education, almost everything has now found a cloud-based alternative. The dental care industry, too, has seen a means to cater to people’s needs through tele dentistry. The way it is moving ahead, it exhibits the full potential to be the next big thing in oral health consultation and services.
We comprehend that it is a relatively new term for you, which is why we will discuss it more in the sections below. We will help you understand what teledentistry is and how it works. We will also elaborate on whether it is the future of dentistry that will take the world by a storm. Without further delay, let us move forward to know it better.
What Is Teledentistry?
The non-negotiable necessity of maintaining social distances has led to an increase in demand for telemedicine. Doctors around the world are now providing remote medical attention through various online platforms. Although not popular as their other healthcare counterparts, teledentistry is taking small steps to make its mark in offering their services online. Teledentistry has been encouraged by doctor associations worldwide to sustain their businesses, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. With it, the dental care industry has begun to adapt to the changing times to move forward.
This practice is useful in diagnosing any dental or oral emergencies, such as tissue bleeding or severe pain or infection. Specialists, through online consultations, can prescribe necessary medications if necessary. And can also help you with the future course of your dental problems. Teledentistry is an appropriate option to consider when you do not want or cannot visit a clinic under some circumstances. An online consultation will also cost you less than visiting a dentist in a clinic.
There are several benefits of teledentistry, but some of them have been listed below:
- Going for online consultation is an excellent option to consider if you have a query about an oral issue, which will help in saving time and money.
- Another benefit of teledentistry is that a dentist can monitor your dental surgery or give you a second opinion on your surgery plans.
- It has the potential to be used for oral health check-ups in schools.
- Teledentistry can also be reimagined as a public health tool to detect oral cancer.
However, it would help if you understand that specific issues cannot be addressed during an online consultation. Some of them are tooth extraction, root canal, x-ray, etc. which will require you to go for a clinic visit.
How Teledentistry Works?
Telemedicine has paved the way for online healthcare consultations. Teledentistry has followed its suit and offers primary care, awareness, and education. It forwards it services in the following ways:
Live Video Consultation
Like any other online healthcare consultation, you can refer to a dentist using videoconferencing technology. It is a real-time one-on-one interaction with the specialist. You often have to fill a questionnaire or a form telling about the symptoms and medical history before the live session.
The process of live video consultation is as follows:
- First, you have to choose a dental care platform and select from a range of dentists with years of experience.
- Next, you need to book an appointment.
- The experts list their fee in their columns, according to which you have to make your payment.
- Now, through their video conferencing tool, you can start discussing your problems with the dentist.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
Technology has played a significant role in the rising of teledentistry. With its implementation, oral health, such as checking the pH balance of the patient’s saliva, can be monitored remotely by the dentist.
Mobile Health (mHealth)
By mobile health, it means the support for all the dental care online services that can be put forth through mobile devices- phones, tablets, and laptops. This support can also be provided through voice assistants- Siri and Alexa.
Store And Forward
Teledentistry also provides the facility to send your dental records, x-rays, or other related information to the specialist. In turn, they will evaluate it and offer you a diagnosis. However, it is not a real-time one-on-one interaction.
Does Teledentistry Have The Potential To Rule The World?
Teledentistry is a concept that was first heard of circa 1994. However, its popularity is witnessing a rising trend in utilization amid these COVID-19 restrictions. It has offered people with convenience, accessibility, and affordability amid the crisis. Teledentistry is a means of caring for the patients and also generates revenue for specialists in this profession. It is a win-win situation for people on both sides.
Several dental associations and organizations are now encouraging dentists who have gone out of work due to the pandemic to update themselves and join the world of teledentistry. They also feel that it is a great medium to increase the reach of the subject and the reach of the practitioner. When the restrictions are over, patients will tend to look for the same expert they have consulted online.
Therefore, teledentistry has the potential to take the world by storm in days to come. Online consultations have portrayed the people what it is capable of, and hence, the latter now have become more dependent on teledentistry than they ever had.
Teledentistry is nothing but a virtual appointment with a dentist. There are several advantages of consulting a specialist online. The significant ones among them are that it saves a lot of your time and also your money. You do not have to wait for hours in the practitioner’s clinic for your name to be called.
All you need to do is make an appointment, and start your interaction. You can choose from a wide range of dentists, based on their experience and specialties, available on various dental care online platforms. We hope we have been able to help you understand what teledentistry is and what it holds for the future.