Teledentistry is Going Mainstream
Teledentistry seeks to address a deficiency in oral health. Approximately 40% of US citizens suffer from dental anxiety, which prevents them from scheduling not only routine check-ups but also treatment for persistent or urgent dental problems. The anxiety associated with visiting the dentist for a non-routine issue can be alleviated with a video conference, during which the dentist can build a diagnosis, define a care plan, issue a prescription, and provide the patient with an estimate of any in-person visits required.
Moreover, teledentistry offers oral health maintenance and education to underserved and rural communities, where a visit to the dentist may require a lengthy, preventative commute. Preventive oral health care is becoming increasingly important in the medical field and could reduce overall health care costs in the long run. However, rural areas are especially susceptible to a lack of aid options. Teledentistry programs that aim to improve oral health in rural communities are on the rise nationwide.
Types of Teledentistry
Teleconsultation through teledentistry will manifest itself in either of the following ways:
- They have a specific concern about which they want advice
- They desire a general health evaluation to help them prevent problems
Real-time consultation entails a videoconference through which dental professionals and their patients in different locations can see, hear, and communicate with one another.
Store and forward involves the exchange of clinical data and static images collected and maintained by the dentist, which the World Health Organization sends for consultation and treatment planning. The patient is not present during the "consultation."
Dentists will share patient information, radiographs, graphical representations of periodontium and tough tissues, therapies, tests, applied work results, images, comments, and other data that is transferable between multiple vendors. In the literature, "Near Real Time" consultations have also been associated with low resolution, low frame rate products that resemble jittery television.
Why it’s currently time for the introduction of teledentistry and the way it will remodel dental practice?
Currently, telemedicine is being pondered. Patients are seeing their primary care physicians online. Therefore, it is time for dental offices to offer a paid professional solution. The majority of dental conditions are identified and screened via visual and meter changes. therefore, informed decision-making will transform your practice. Phone calls and emails are already used by practices, so let's examine what's possible with an ascendable platform. There are two primary reasons why patients make dental appointments:
- They have a specific concern for which they seek advice
- They desire a general health evaluation to ensure they can avoid health issues
What are you able to do digitally?
The purpose of a digital dental screening is to provide the patient with advice and direction to help them improve their oral health, identify potential issues early on, and provide guidance on in-clinic options. Typically, this does not replace a physical dental examination with X-rays. It is associated with improvement and expansion.
As five-hundredths of patients do not regularly visit the dentist, this makes it possible to establish trust and start building a dental history through the platform. The benefit for the patient is that their photos, videos, and reports are accessible wherever they travel, allowing them to monitor their dental health and become more involved.
Dental conditions are detected visually, voluminously, and by means of direct questions. Symptoms such as whether hot or cold makes a difference, and whether a tooth is tender to bite or moves to the tongue can be evaluated. Users may transfer videos to similarly verify.
Does healthcare insurance cover teledentistry?
Due to the increased demand for telehealth caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many large dental plans are working to incorporate teledentistry into their healthcare plans. Delta Dental announced that claims for teledentistry would be accepted beginning in March 2020. Cigna introduced Dental Virtual Care in April 2020 with the intention of continuing the service post-pandemic. These expansions are typically for "virtual restricted evaluations and sorting," as opposed to the comprehensive oral health and preventive care methods that teledentistry pioneers provided. Nevertheless, telehealth appears to be here to stay.
What are the opportunities for teledentistry?
Prior to the pandemic, the demand for telehealth was already robust, as a 2017 study by Parks Associates found that hours of U.S. households with broadband were interested in virtual medical visits.
The interest is exclusively adult in relation to the need. In a McKinsey survey, 76% of U.S. citizens indicated that they will continue to use telehealth in the future, in May 2020, when telehealth will have been a daily occurrence for many months. By Apr 2020, a quarter-fifth of dentists, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute, was providing some type of virtual analysis to patients, while nearly eighteen percent of practices were closed entirely due to COVID-19 concerns. Virtual care will circumvent lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, as well as reduce anxiety in waiting areas.
As dental practises continue to explore virtual medicines, it will become standard practice to video call your dentist.