Continuing developments in mobile technology have made teledentistry an option for many patients. With this relatively new approach to oral health, people can connect with a dental professional when visiting in person is not a viable or wise choice. Locations that offer this option can instruct patients on what is needed to perform a virtual session with a dentist.
Reasons for choosing a teledentist
There are several reasons a person may need to utilize a remote connection with a dental professional. In some circumstances, this approach may be a safer option when the need for care or evaluation arises.
Periods of restricted interaction
As the most recent health crisis has shown, there are times when people should limit personal contact with those outside of their household. This can even occur under otherwise normal circumstances if a patient belongs to a high-risk group. If an individual is highly susceptible to illness or would likely transmit something to others, teledentistry can provide access to a professional while reducing some unnecessary risks.
Limited mobility or transportation
For some people, leaving home can be a significant hardship due to
- Limited or no transportation options
- Preexisting conditions
- Recent injuries that impact mobility
In addition, an office may be limited in its ability to make accommodations for atypical situations. When a dental issue needs to be addressed but doesn't necessarily require in-person treatment, a virtual session may be the appropriate course of action.
Understanding the role and function of a teledentist
It is important to note that teledentistry is not a permanent replacement for routine in-office dental cleanings, examinations and treatments. In addition, there are some scenarios that may still require a visit to the office, even if a patient is able to connect remotely first.
When to choose this option
If a patient experiences new or worsening oral discomfort, it may be possible to evaluate the situation without meeting face to face. This is especially true for patients who have developed sores or inflammation, which can sometimes be diagnosed with a simple photograph. Dentists can prescribe medication or recommend home care until an office visit is possible. Teledentistry can sometimes be used to replace routine follow-up appointments and to help determine if a person should consult a medical doctor instead.
Connecting with a dentist
Because most mobile phones come with a host of connective capabilities, there are several ways dentists can conduct virtual sessions with patients. Through the use of online forms, patients can provide important medical and dental background information to expedite important processes. By utilizing email and secure chat applications, dentists can communicate clearly and effectively with patients without setting foot in the same location. Patients can also send high-definition images of the affected area for evaluation by using a computer or smartphone.
While teledentistry cannot take the place of most regular dental procedures, it does offer an alternative for those who are unable to visit the office. When a patient needs care without the risks or inconvenience of leaving home, a teledentist can help explore possible solutions to some common dental issues.
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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