Teledentistry – What It Is & What You Should Know

BY Dr. McDowell  |  June 19th, 2020
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

COVID-19 has created a massive need for telehealth and telemedicine. Health care systems have become places that people don’t feel safe, and avoiding people has become something that everyone is trying to do more.

In comes, an innovation that hasn’t been accepted as widely in the past. Teledentistry is a new way for patients to receive dental care from their dental hygienists and doctors without needing to go into the dentist’s office.

While, of course, there isn’t a way for the dentist office to clean your teeth from a distance, there are some needs that can be addressed over the phone.

So what is teledentistry, and what should you know about it? Let’s find out why you should be using teledentistry.

How Does Teledentistry Work?

Like other telehealth practices, teledentistry works through the use of video and other communication technology to allow dentists and their patients to communicate about any health problems they might be experiencing. Dental care can be something that is often neglected until there is pain or another issue that someone is experiencing. Dentists can use two-way video systems like computers or smart-phones to help patients diagnose their pain and other oral health problems.

Dental care isn’t always as available in rural areas, and for some, a dentist visit can be very expensive and not at all in the budget. With teledentistry, dentists are able to improve access to oral health care and dental care. By using teledentistry, patients will be able to work with dental experts to diagnose their pain or other concerns. Then if there is a need for an operation or other patient care, the patient can go into the office. Telemedicine as a whole has helped to increase public health throughout all of the US and other countries as well.

Doctor and patient talking over telehealth communication system.

Advantages of Teledentistry

Some of the advantages of teledentistry dental care include.

Lower Costs for the Patients

While many telehealth visits are covered under insurance, some are not. According to a study done by HighPoint, an average telehealth visit costs $79 while an average in-person visit is double that, and an emergency room visit can cost on average up to $1734. The significantly lower cost of teledentistry allows for those who have a lower income to still receive the care that they need.

Improved Access to Dental Care

Patients from around the country and those that might have to travel for hours from more rural areas to reach dental offices will no longer need to travel. This allows anyone with wifi or cellular service to reach a healthcare profession and, in this case, a dentist to help them improve their overall oral health.

Improved Quality of Care

Telemedicine can help to keep those who don’t need to be seeing a health professional out and those that need to are able to see a doctor more easily. In this way, dentists are able to provide better medical and dental care to their patients.

Align with Patients’ Needs for Modern Forms of Communication

The world has gone completely digital, and the health care industry is just starting to catch up with that. Teledentistry is a step in the digital direction and allows patients to communicate with their doctors in the ways that they are most comfortable with, such as video calls.

Reduces the Amount of Time that a Patient Needs to be Seen

Most dental and doctor visits take up to an hour. With telehealth visits can be much shorter and often average about 20 minutes in duration. This allows patients to save time and for doctors to be more available for the ever-growing amount of patients.

Makes In-Office Visits More Accessible and Flexible

Because of the reduced cost of teledentistry and the reduced amount of time needed for a visit, in-office visits are more accessible and more flexible for patients. When a patient does need to come in for a dental cleaning, operation, or other routine visits, they’ll be able to schedule an appointment time that works well for them more easily.

Each of these advantages helps to improve the overall experience of anyone who chooses to visit or not visit a dentist’s or doctor’s office. From more affordable care to more available care, teledentistry specifically allows for dental patients to have a better dental experience.

The Need for Seeing a Dentist in Person

There are still plenty of reasons why you’d need to see a dentist in person. Teledentistry in no way can be a complete replacement for traditional dentistry. Often times it’s simply a precursor to the need for seeing a dentist in person. The information that a dentist can gain from a teledentistry appointment is very beneficial in the diagnosis of any dental problems that a patient might be having. Still, it in no way can compare to the amount of information that can be obtained from an in-person appointment.

If you’ve found that you’re in need of an in-person dental visit after a teledentistry appointment, you’ll need to find a dental office close to you that can provide you with the best possible medical and dental care. At Wayzata Dental, we’ve been working hard to satisfy our customers and provide each of them with the best patient care and customer service possible. You can view our over 700, 5-star google reviews from patients just like you, here.

Choose Wayzata Dental for your next dental visit, and you won’t be disappointed. We’ll take care of you in every way! Schedule your appointment today!

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

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