Teledentistry offers convenience to patients who cannot physically get to their dentist. Dentists are quickly adopting teledentistry because it is a convenient, cost-effective way of keeping tabs on patients. They also use the technology to consult with colleagues and specialists that work in different locations.
Teledentistry visits have become a safe way for dentists to conduct routine dental checkups. Dentists use teledentistry to monitor patients and screen those who may be candidates for in-office visits. This is one of the ways that dentists are contributing to the community-wide precautions to limit the outbreak of seasonal infections.
A patient who needs the services of a dentist may be drawn to the convenience of seeing a dentist from their home. However, the same patient may wonder if teledentistry takes away from their treatment in any way.
Real-time consultation: The patient’s very first teledentistry appointment
The dentist will start the videoconference by getting input from their patient, including verbal communication of their oral health. They may ask their patient a series of questions and use the answers to form a preliminary diagnosis.
Before the teleconsultation, the dental practice will arrange for a dental assistant or hygienist to join the patient. The dental assistant will perform the visual exam as the dentist watches, asks questions and provides guidance. They may use tools, like an intra-oral scanner, to stream real-time images of patients’ mouths.
Based on these images, the dentist will take one or more of the following actions:
- Give the patient a clean bill of health or something close to it
- Set up a second appointment to monitor the patient
- Prescribe medication or an at-home treatment
- Order medical imaging tests and direct the dental practice to set up the logistics
- If the patient has a dental emergency, the dentist will have the patient go in for an in-person appointment
Store and forward teledentistry
This happens where a dentist recommends an x-ray or CT scan of their patient’s mouth. Once they have the test results on hand, the dentist may interpret the test results and proceed with treatment.
If the case is too complicated, they will forward the test results to a specialist who will craft and implement a treatment plan. In both scenarios, treatment would likely require a combination of in-person dental visits and remote monitoring.
We are here for you at every step
Limited mobility or proximity to one’s dental office can delay some important procedures. If you have a dental problem that is affecting your oral health and quality of life, do not try to power through it. Call our offices right now. We will use our capable teledentistry system to provide the care you need, exactly when you need it.
Request an appointment here: https://www.smilereflections.us/teledentistry-consultation/ or call Smile Reflections at (520) 355-3253 for an appointment in our Tucson office.
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