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Teledentistry is not a new term, but it has unexpectedly gained popularity in recent months due to the pandemic.
It is an option to ensure the safest dental care in multiple scenarios. If you have not yet used teledententry for your oral health needs, it is high time you learned more about it.
Dentists in Port Melbourne will break down the term and help you understand how to get hassle-free dental care from the comfort of your own home.
The important thing is that you know what dental problems to consider without going to the clinic.
What is telescopic dentistry?
If you haven't heard of the term teledentistry, you might want an introduction to it.
Teledentistry is an option where dentists connect with patients for advice and deliver treatments using online video conferencing tools.
That means the dentists are using video chat platforms like Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, GoToMeeting or more to get in touch with patients and understand the exact oral health problem.
The biggest benefit of teledententry is that it avoids visits to the dentist, especially on pandemic days.
Compared to going to a clinic, teledententry is fast and you can get immediate relief when faced with emergency dental problems.
It is also a very convenient option for people who cannot get to the clinic due to illness, quarantine at home, or other issues.
The guidelines for tele-dentistry
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, various dentist associations and governments around the world have started working on teledental options to minimize clinic visits. These include the American Dental Association and the Australian Dental Association.
According to the Australian Dental Association, the doctor can use video conferencing options and online apps to replace personal consultation.
The association would like to point out, however, that it is the dentist's duty to ensure that the telecommunication type of consultation meets the clinical requirements and does not violate data protection law.
This means that the dentists are allowed to offer tele-dentistry where it is safe and clinically sensible.
There is also a requirement to offer tele-dentistry only to existing patients of a dentist or to people who have been referred from other practices.
Above all, it is the dentist's duty to educate his patients about the limits of teledentistry, and the practitioner should provide the best possible advice even without personal advice.
Who Can Get Tele-Dentistry?
Teledentistry is a very convenient option for both patients and dentists. It enables patients to access dental care from anywhere.
It also gives dentists the option of being in contact with their patients at any time from the comfort of their own home.
However, not all dental issues can digitally guarantee a high-quality treatment experience.
The limitations of tele-dentistry only suggest the following dental issues, which are ideal for the video mode of consultation:
It is impractical for many patients to receive dental treatment at odd times. Importantly, some emergency dental problems require the dentist's intervention at the earliest.
If you are struggling with a toothache or tooth decay with severe pain, you can opt for immediate treatment by connecting to your dentist remotely.
However, try to consult your family dentist or your regular dentist for a quick solution to your oral health problem.
This is mainly because your family dentist knows your oral health condition and has your oral health records on hand to provide you with more personalized and knowledgeable service.
The dentist can prescribe you pain relievers and medication and discuss the follow-up treatment with you, including the need for a visit to the clinic.
If you're faced with dental trauma, broken teeth, or loose dentures, a teleconsultation can help your dentist assess the problem and recommend clinic visits only when needed.
Patients who cannot travel
People over 70 years of age, pregnant women, children under 12 months of age, people with weakened immunity, and patients with chronic health problems can conveniently access teledententry.
For most of them, a visit to the clinic may not be possible and an online consultation can help them resolve some of their oral health problems.
During the online consultation, the dentist can better understand the topic and make decisions about the dental procedures. This includes an arranged clinic visit based on the specific needs of the patient.
Getting a teleconsultation in advance minimizes the average time the patient spends in the clinic – when the patient has to visit the clinic for a diagnosis or dental procedure.
Follow-up visits for dental procedures
If you've already had a dental procedure and want regular follow-up exams, you can consider online follow-up.
This is mainly due to the fact that some orthodontic, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures only require visual monitoring of treatment progress during a follow-up exam.
If you have received Invisalign and other orthodontic procedures, online consultation may be a more convenient choice for you.
Remember, dentists always have the option to call you for a visit to the clinic if necessary.
The growth in telemedicine in recent years has also placed a burden on dentistry, relying on teleconsultation whenever possible.
It is an alternative platform for patients and dentists to meet without worrying about clinical hours, pandemic situation and locations.
About the author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health journalist. She is passionate about women's health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition, and provides in-depth coverage of the latest health news for medical clinics and health magazines.