The world has changed in the blink of an eye and things we used to take for granted are not available to us in the way they used to be. Nowadays it is really important to do as much as we can remotely so we are able to socially distance and prevent the pandemic from spreading.
People are working remotely, meetings are held by video conferencing and now even health care is being administered remotely. It is called telehealth and even includes dentistry which is called teledentistry.
It isn’t a new concept and has been a trending development in dentistry for quite a while. It’s just that the practice has taken on new urgency during these unique times. It doesn’t matter where you happen to live now, you can access the care that you need. From TRICARE Dentists In Anchorage, Alaska to the Everglades in Florida, you can be sure to get certain standards of care no matter where you find yourself.
In this article, we will cover what it means to use teledentistry and what the benefits are. And even the one challenge to be aware of.
What is teledentistry?
There are a lot of things that are done when you go to the dentist that don’t necessarily need to be done in office. Of course, any procedure done to your actual teeth such as an extraction or teeth cleaning can only be done on site.
A lot of the time spent with a dentist is in gathering information. These days there is little need to do this in person given the technology available with tablets and apps that can give us access in real time to the care providers.
An example would be if you had an urgent matter about your teeth that only a specialist would be able to take care of. In the past you would go to your dentist who would need to take all of your information, do a consultation and then give you a referral to a specialist. Now, you can do all of this through a video call with your primary care dentist.
This can save seats in the dentist’s office, take pressure off of his staff and allow you to do this from the safety of your home.
Benefits for patients
There are a lot of benefits to patients when it comes to teledentistry that certainly makes it worth it to take part.
At this point in time, the biggest benefit is personal safety. With the world in a pandemic right now, it is simply not a good idea to sit in an office with other people. Since there are things that don’t need to be done on premise any possibility to do so offers up a lot of safety for the patients and staff.
Then, there is the convenience. Many people avoid going to the dentist because it can take a whole day to do so. Between work and other responsibilities, it can be difficult to schedule something that isn’t an emergency. The problem with that is some things end up becoming an emergency later since they were not properly dealt with at a time when it could have been prevented.
Also, if you live in a remote area, you can still access good quality services. This frees you up to move to an area that might be beneficial to you in many ways, but previously would have been off limits since you would be too far away to do routine visits.
Benefits for dentists
Since much of the resources in healthcare are dedicated to administration costs, it helps immensely for a professional to be able to lighten the load on their office staff. This frees up their resources to be used for actually treating patients.
Then, there is the fact that a dentist can see more patients over the course of the day so they can actually grow their practice. Not to mention that it can also widen their customer base since they can have patients from remote areas as well.
One of the biggest challenges that dentists face is implementing a system that relies on people having a stable connection and the know-how to use the technology. We take it for granted that everybody has a high speed connection and the ability to use apps that we think are simple.
This means that adoption of the service may not work across the board and they will still have patients coming into the office iunnecessarily.