Telemedicine has been on the rise—even before COVID-19—to provide means for more patients to receive care. In 2018, 39% of the population did not see a dentist, and many of them even went to the ER for simple fixes. Whether due to geographic isolation, lack of transportation, or acute provider shortages, there are many reasons that patients may forego a dental visit. Not only does this pose health challenges for the patients, but it also costs dentists millions of dollars each year.
More clinicians are implementing teledentistry in order to offer better access to dental care and to cut costs.
What is teledentistry?
Teledentistry is the dental form of telehealth, or a broad range of solutions that gives dentists the ability to service patients remotely. These virtual visits can be done over the phone or with video conference technology to improve access to care while reducing the cost and time it takes to have an appointment. A teledental visit could involve a clinician or staff member and a patient discussing oral health over a phone, laptop, tablet, or other video device. This helps dentists make decisions regarding oral care, diagnoses, consultations, and treatment. Clinicians and staff can receive the necessary health information and provide accurate diagnosis through thorough interactions with patients.
Is it right for my practice?
Every dental office can benefit from teledentistry. Dentists are the #1 group of professionals most at-risk for contracting coronavirus. By limiting patient interaction whenever possible, you are reducing your office’s risk. The American Dental Association recognizes this methodology in dentistry, and even drafted a policy on telehealth requirements. Teledentistry is an innovative solution facing the industry’s challenges that many dentists are adopting, especially as we face a global pandemic. If your patients have a basic understanding of technology and access to an internet connection, you could benefit from teledentistry today.
What are the benefits of teledentistry?
Embracing this innovation can bring a variety of benefits to your office, including improving the dental health of your patients. You can improve access to care for patients living in rural areas, giving them the education they need, while expanding your patient reach beyond your geographic area. By aligning with patient needs for more modern forms of communication, you are also presenting a wider range of services to give you the edge against your competitors. Additionally, you will be able to save chair time and treat more people each day while saving your patients’ time. A study done by the CDC found that an average of 320.8 million work or school hours were lost annually for dental care. Teledentistry is a great option for follow-up appointments or check-ups after operations that account for many of these lost hours.
How can I get started?
Organizations such as The TeleDentists and The American TeleDentistry Association (ATDA) can give you access to the latest information about teledentistry practice, products, State and Federal legislation, and new technology. Park Dental Research is proud to be partnered with both groups to help transform the landscape of remote dentistry by making quality dental care available to more patients.
One way we are helping doctors meet the ever-changing needs of patients is with Park Dental Aligners. This pandemic-proof revenue stream will help you provide patients with the best care in and out of the office. In addition, Park Dental Aligners allows clinicians to reclaim their patients and compete with the direct to consumer aligner companies. It is the perfect, risk-free way to get started with teledentistry. Our aligners take the guesswork out of treatment planning and provide your patients with the highest quality care in the comfort of their home. Learn more about our quality aligners and start innovating your practice to meet the needs of today.