Restrictions were imposed on primary healthcare providers and dentists in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic made it challenging for everyone to contact each other because of safe distance norms. As a result, dental practices were ordered to shut down and stop providing much-needed dental care to patients. The restrictions have made it essential for dentists to embrace online dental consultation as a modality to offer patients telehealth services using video appointments. Primary healthcare professionals were already providing telehealth with many family physicians and specialists using technology for talks.
Some dental practices have moved online using technology, while many remain on the fence. However, Teledentistry offers many benefits and affordable options for patients and dentists, making it convenient for all to provide and accept services hitherto unavailable over the past 18 months. Therefore it is an essential requirement for all dentists to embrace Teledentistry without delays.
Teledentistry helps dentists use communication technologies to provide and support dental care. Devices like interactive audio, video, and data communications aid dentists when providing the care needed by patients. Teledentistry can support all areas of dental care, including consultation, diagnosis, treatment, education, and exchange of dental information.
The availability of smartphones and high-definition cameras make it possible for dentists to evaluate and diagnose dental conditions using the Internet. In situations where physical treatment is essential, patients can quickly book appointments with help from telehealth software. For emergencies, quick consultations with a 2nd opinion doctor via phone calls or video conferencing clarify the situation to help plan out an instant solution.
Dental healthcare providers benefit from Teledentistry by influencing healthcare decision-making, reducing overhead costs, and maintaining excellent dentist-patient relationships.
The benefits of Teledentistry aren’t available merely for dentists because patients also avail the benefits, especially if they are fearful of dental visits, live in remote areas, or belong to older populations having trouble with mobility.
Patients benefit from Teledentistry because it reduces and eliminates travel time and costs, provides better access to care, lowers the cost of dental treatments, and gives them access to high-quality care.
Teledentistry appointments help patients by preventing them from making unnecessary visits to emergency rooms because a quick virtual meeting with a dentist allows patients to have peace of mind about concerns with their dental health. At the same time, Teledentistry provides patients with guidance on how urgent their dental health concerns are. The benefit is specifically helpful for patients living far off from healthcare facilities or with mobility issues. Best of all, many patients prefer Teledentistry for the experience it provides and perhaps because it eliminates the dental phobia in their mind that prevented them from accessing dental care whenever required.
Besides providing remote treatments to patients, dentists can incorporate marketing tools to enhance their business, retain patients, and refurbish the dental experience. When dentists implement the appropriate Teledentistry software, they simplify their operations, save time, and provide plenty of relief for their highly stressed staff.
Teledentistry platforms bring all patient management systems on one dashboard, helping dentists simplify billing, reviews, booking, marketing initiatives, et cetera.
Dentists also overcome the concerns of maintaining confidentiality when providing telehealth services when they use high-quality HIPAA compliant software by having a method of discreetly communicating with their patients. Software allowing access to discreet email messaging is essential for telehealth services, besides communicating via SMS preferred by many patients. SMS messages are efficient and a time-saving method of contacting patients.
The current situation isn’t likely to improve anytime soon. Therefore, the onus is on dentists to strengthen patient communication by accepting modern communication methods to increase growth and enhance retention.
Teledentistry systems incorporate all the moving parts of dental practices online in a convenient dashboard. Dentists can book online appointments, send patient reminders automatically, and even collect online payments from one platform with suitable Teledentistry services.
Dentists contemplating moving online must search for a suitable Teledentistry platform offering them better features than many Teledentistry platforms currently provide. They must have access to advanced reporting, reviews, ASAP lists, the ability to build standard features with a healthcare API, and syncing abilities with their current practice management software.
Teledentistry allows dentists to provide remote services to patients making dental care accessible to all. They may even encourage fainthearted patients often neglecting dental health for fear of the dentist to contact them using Teledentistry systems because of its ease of use and the convenience of receiving treatment from a professional from the comfort of their home.