COVID-19 pandemic has made many adjustments to the modern world. People began to take advantage of high technology more, limiting social contacts. Many began to closely monitor health indicators – take tests and medical examinations. However, in this reality, how can you simplify the doctor’s appointment and make it safer for patients?
Telemedicine can help solve these issues. It is used today in various areas of clinical healthcare, including dentistry. And in the new circumstances, when quarantine restrictions are in force around the world, many doctors declare that teledentistry is the future of dental practice.
What is teledentistry?
First of all, teledentistry is not a method of treatment, but a way to maintain the health of teeth and oral cavity using modern technologies. If the patient is physically far from the dentist, the examination can be carried out remotely using computer or mobile devices.
Thanks to this approach, not only those who protect themselves from unnecessary social contacts, but also people living in remote areas can receive high-quality medical services.
Telemedicine can be divided into synchronous and asynchronous. Their differences lie in the form of data transmission.
When using the synchronous method, the consultation takes place in real time and requires the simultaneous presence of the doctor and the patient during the interactive exchange of information, as in the case of video conference.
Asynchronous teledentistry implies the storage and transmission of clinical information. For example, a patient emails a case description or pictures of oral cavity to the dentist. Or independently makes casts using special tools and sends them to a doctor.
When is teledentistry necessary?
Teledentistry cannot cure the existing problem, but it can provide recommendations to prevent it.
Through telemedicine, dentists can offer the following services:
- advice on oral cavity care for an adult or child;
- recommendations related to the elimination of recurrent toothache or the identification of its cause;
- consultations with an orthodontist on dental bite correction, the cost of braces or aligners;
- help in deciding on suitable tooth crowns.
But nevertheless, teledentistry can not ensure that a specialist makes a final diagnosis. If a patient needs complex treatment, then there is still the need to visit a doctor.
The same goes for the condition that dentists define as acute pain. In case of emergency, it is better not to waste time looking for a specialist who provides services remotely and immediately seek for help.
Benefits of teledentistry
The introduction of telemedicine practice is beneficial for both patients and doctors or clinics.
The main advantage for dentists is the optimization of working hours. By means of teleconsultations, the time spent in the chair is reduced, and consequently, the number of patients who can be helped in one working day increases.
Thus, doctors can expand the boundaries of their practice, providing services to people from other cities or even countries. Telemedicine ensures increased coverage and the number of patients.
Benefits for patients include time and cost savings. Remote consultation allows you not to spend extra hours on the road to the clinic and waiting in line. And lower cost of teledentistry makes it possible to choose the right doctor regardless of location. Thanks to this, the patient can always get a second opinion quickly.
In addition, the introduction of telemedicine makes it possible to see doctors more often, which will help to avoid expensive treatment in the future.
Teledentistry is a new approach to the provision of medical care, which is gaining more and more popularity and value every year. If implemented correctly, access to dental services can be obtained even by those who previously did not have such an opportunity.
Thanks to the remote format, teledentistry makes it easier for doctors to exchange experience. Access to more information will lead to better patient care, and the ability to consult with colleagues will lead to a better understanding of treatment goals and better outcomes.
Would you like to know more about the development of digital medicine in Russia and the innovative technologies used in this sphere? Join M-Health Congress 2021 on September 28!