Teledentistry is becoming more and more popular every year, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is helping to reserve in-person appointments for people with dental emergencies. It is also a great option for those who live in remote regions of the country or have another reason to not want to visit their dental provider in person. In fact, less than 50% of people visit the dentist regularly because of fear, cost, and other concerns. If you’re interested in virtual appointments and want to learn more about how they work, your dentist in Bloomington can tell you how.
What Does Teledentistry Consist Of?
Teledentistry is the use of information technology and telecommunications for dental care, consultations, education, and public awareness. It can consist of any of the following things:
- Video calls: For consultations and addressing specific concerns, having a live video call with your dentist is sufficient. He or she can tell you the next steps and when it’s necessary to visit the office in-person.
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM): It is possible for data to be collected from a patient living in a remote location and then be sent to a dental provider in another location. This way, the dentist can monitor how a patient is doing without having them come into the office.
- Store-and-forward: This involves the transmission of recorded health information like photographs, digital impressions, videos, or radiographs. Dentists can then evaluate the patient to determine the best treatment option and whether or not they should come to the office physically.
- Mobile health: Mobile devices can support healthcare and health education through remote data collection, diagnostic and treatment support, and chronic disease management.
What Will My Virtual Appointment Be Like?
The camera on your computer, smartphone, or tablet allows you to attend a video call with your dental care provider. Your appointment could be comprised of several different things. Here are a few:
- Assessment: Teledentistry can be used for dental assessments with the use of photos and videos taken by the patient, as well as past dental records.
- Prescriptions: If you are in pain or in need of antibiotics or other medications, your dentist is able to provide you a prescription remotely. This way, you won’t need to go to your regular doctor or have to wait until your next visit to the office.
- Supervision: Teledentistry is also a great way for your dentist to monitor certain treatments without requiring you to come into the office.
While dental emergencies still require an in-person visit, virtual appointments are a viable option for people who want to address other topics, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a service that many different dental practices provide. Your dentist will be happy to talk to you about this convenient option to keep up with your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Martin T. Barco III is a family dentist located in Bloomington, IN. For over a decade, he has focused on providing high quality dental care to his patients. This includes staying up to date on modern innovative dental techniques and technologies. Virtual consultations are one of the many services that his practice offers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (812) 332-8290.