Teledentistry ConsultationTucson, AZ
When tooth pain strikes and a trip to the dentist’s office just doesn’t fit into your schedule, teledentistry is an option. Teledentistry allows you to use your computer or mobile device to have a virtual, one-on-one consultation with our dental team. It’s a convenient and innovative choice that allows you to get the dental care you need without leaving the comfort of your home or office.
Teledentistry is available at Smile Reflections in Tucson and the surrounding area. Recent studies show that a majority of patients are comfortable communicating with their health care providers remotely, and 76 percent of patients prioritize easy access to care compared to seeing a provider in person.
When to Use Teledentistry
Maybe patients think they might have broken a tooth while at work, they’re experiencing problems with pain or swelling, or they just have an oral health question. Teledentistry is a real-time diagnostic and monitoring tool that allows the patient and the dental professional to have a conversation about the patient’s needs or concerns. The patient can receive immediate help, and, should it be deemed necessary, schedule an in-office appointment.
Teledentistry is a great option if a patient is suffering from tooth pain or an abscess, or for a follow-up appointment after a procedure. If the patient is experiencing pain, the dental team can diagnose the problem and prescribe antibiotics or pain medication if necessary. For post-procedure appointments, the patient can be monitored for complications and to check on the healing process.
If a patient is scheduled for a major dental procedure, a teledentistry appointment can also save the time and expense of a preoperative, in-office visit.
Appointments that only last 30 minutes or less in the dentist’s office can often take hours out of an employee’s workday, along with the additional travel expenses. Teledentistry is an important tool to easily connect providers and patients, and it helps reduce the amount of time a patient needs to take away from work or home for an in-office visit. It is also a convenient way for people who have mobility and transportation issues to see a dental professional.
See Doctors in Your Network
Finding and then scheduling with an in-network dentist can be a time-consuming process, especially if the patient doesn’t live nearby. Teledentistry eliminates the need to travel long distances to see a specific provider. It also prevents a potential out-of-network visit when a patient is suffering from tooth pain and needs to speak to a dental professional immediately.
Teledentistry and the Patient
Teledentistry allows patients to get advice about any conditions that may be causing pain or discomfort. This virtual visit can include a secure chat, an online form, or email. When a patient reaches out for a virtual session, our team can instruct them on what information is needed to ensure a successful appointment.
During the consultation, the team will look at any photos provided by the patient, listen to a detailed description of the problem, ask the patient questions, and, if needed, request more information on a specific area of concern. Existing dental records may also be used.
If the patient is in pain, or an abscess or other issue that needs medication is diagnosed, the dental team can immediately call in a prescription. When follow-up care is required, an appointment for an in-office visit can be scheduled. Teledentistry can also assist with preventive treatment and the early diagnosis of oral health issues, potentially catching significant problems before they get worse. The earlier a problem is caught, the sooner the treatment process can begin.
According to the American Dental Association, patients who use teledentistry have certain rights. These specific patient-centric standards must be met when care is provided virtually.
- That the services delivered through teledentistry will follow accepted practices to ensure safety and quality;
- That the patient will be given the name of the person providing treatment and told before treatment begins about any costs that may be incurred;
- That all necessary information will be obtained before services are performed;
- That the services provided will be documented and records provided upon request;
- That the patient can work with the provider to determine the treatment plan and how service will be received, taking into account urgency, convenience, satisfaction, and insurance costs; and
- That the delivery of services is consistent with privacy laws.
Explore the Benefits of Teledentistry
A dental emergency is often a stressful experience. Using teledentistry to talk with a dental professional can help eliminate a lot of anxiety and confusion and get the patient on the right track to treatment. Call Smile Reflections at 520-355-3253 to find out more about all teledentistry has to offer.
Q. Will I need any special equipment?
A. You’ll need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a reliable internet connection to have a successful virtual appointment. Be prepared to take photos of the problem to send for evaluation through an online form or email.
Q. Will a teledentistry visit be as effective as an in-person one?
A. Not every dental condition is the right fit for a teledentistry appointment. During the visit, if our dental team feels an in-person visit is needed, we will immediately schedule one. However, remote visits have been shown to be as effective as in-office visits.
Q. Should I use teledentistry instead of going to the ER for tooth pain?
A. Most emergency rooms do not have the proper equipment needed to treat a dental emergency. Often, a patient will go only to be told to contact their dentist. A teledentistry appointment will allow our team to evaluate the patient quickly and determine the best course of treatment.
Q. How will my personal health information be protected?
A. Each teledentistry patient is afforded the same privacy protections as an in-person visit. In fact, an actual patient bill of rights is dedicated to just teledentistry. Your virtual appointment will be documented the same as it would be if you were in the office, and all necessary information will be gathered before any services are performed.
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