With the worst of the coronavirus pandemic (hopefully) in the past, dentists might be considering abandoning teledentistry options and again requiring their patients to return to the office for all their dental needs.
That might not be the best choice for the dentist or the patient.
ADA Support for Teledentistry
The American Dental Association acknowledges that teledentristy can be a viable option for both dentists and their patients.
The association urges dentists to mirror the in-office experience for their patients so that the quality of care does not suffer.
The ADA also indicated its strong support for a 2020 California law that gives dental patients a clear set of rights and expectations whenever teledentistry is used.
The law requires dentists
- Provide their name, license number and dental board contact information,
- Review of a patient’s most recent dental x-rays prior to beginning orthodontic treatment,
- Deliver a thorough dental examination, including completion of a medical and dental history, diagnosis and treatment plan and,
- Offer recourse for the patient to report to the dental board incidents of treatment that fall below the standard of care, even if the patient has signed an arbitration clause or nondisclosure agreement.
Benefits to Teledentristy
There are several benefits for patients, dentists and dental office staff when considering teledentistry.
Finally, telework has been shown to be a job saver during the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring that many people who might have lost their jobs instead kept them.
Spear Education reminded the dental community that dentists can also “integrate the telemedicine platform with a dedicated cloud server to store patient data and retrieve it remotely at any given point in time. An integrated platform helps … check a particular patient’s medical history before an appointment with greater ease.”
“The incorporation of technology is just beginning to transform the field of dentistry. From artificial intelligence in diagnosis of oral conditions to smart device integration reminding patients to brush and floss their teeth, the applications are multifold. The field of teledentistry is just starting out, and is definitely here to stay.”
Public Support for Teledentistry
At the end of the day, if the patient is happy, the dentist will be happy.
And at least one significant survey has shown that the public has a favorable view of teledentistry. mHealthIntelligence.com reported in 2019 — months before coronavirus pandemic upended our lives — that patients are “optimistic about the use of virtual dental care through telehealth services, with 78 percent of patients believing they are likely to use it within the next five years, a new survey by DentaVox showed.”
That endorsement by the public might be the strongest reason why dentists ought to maintain a viable teledentistry plan.
So, is teledentistry right for you? That all depends on you, your patients, and your business.
Moving forward, including a hybrid model of in-person and teledentistry could diversify your practice in a way that increases your patient intake, as well as their overall satisfaction!
About First Choice Dental Lab®
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We manufacture & customize quality dental restorations for general dentists. We create smiles based on your needs and budget. We’re here to help you give your patients a reason to smile!
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