Dental Guide

Understanding The Value Of Tele-Dentistry In The Post-COVID World

The world was changed forever as a result of COVID-19. Quickly, uncharted waters were sailed right through by professionals in the medical industry – dentists included. With the technology available in the dental industry, professionals were able to reach out proactively to help those in need of care.

Tele-dentistry is proving profoundly advantageous from triaging patients who need care on an emergency basis to preventing disturbances in the orthodontic treatment flow. Throughout the United States, oral health professionals have given positive feedback where tele-dentistry is concerned. However, with the coronavirus being managed far more impressively than during its initial outbreak, what lies ahead for tele-dentistry? In the pandemic’s aftermath, as the world recovers, what will become of this technology?

The Field of Dentistry and COVID-19

During our latest healthcare crisis, namely COVID-19, there was a considerable increase in the use of tele-dentistry. From the comfort of their homes, patients were able to safely discuss dental concerns or problems with their dentists. In spite of global lockdowns, access to care was better ensured by this technology.

What's more, at the federal level, relaxations in telemedicine requirements were taking place. As a result, something that wasn't standard in the past became far more accepted. The benefits of telemedicine were soon acknowledged by numerous major insurance carriers. For integrated care delivery models, support grew as the benefits became more and more obvious.

In order to adequately care for their patients, effective mediums - which can be used to connect in a better manner - are constantly being sought after by dentists.

Tele-Dentistry, COVID, And Care

Particularly during the coronavirus, families and patients needed to be kept safe. This was a huge concern for dentists. Safe dental care and consultations were made possible courtesy of tele-dentistry. People, who may have waited for treatment until a later date, were able to receive attention (sooner).

Emergencies could be evaluated thanks to live video, so care instructions could be provided, and patients reassured. The capabilities and reach of dental practices once considered traditional will be expanded because of this technology. That will mean healthier communities being built by dental professionals, as a result.

The Value of Tele-Dentistry

To your patients and your dental practice, tele-dentistry can bring much value, including in the following areas:

Children's Visits

By one year of age, it's important for kids to see a dentist for the following reasons:

  • Check gum tissue health
  • Examine jaw development
  • Give oral care advice
  • Check the health of their teeth

Tele-dentistry makes this easier because kids don't have to be taken out of school or their home; parents don't have to take time off from work, etc.

Stress and Fear Related Conditions

The fear of dentists is a very real one. In a dental office, there are odors, drill sounds, and more that can trigger high anxiety. For those who fear a visit to the dentist, tele-dentistry is a better option than no visit at all.

Emergency Care

By triaging dental problems through tele-dentistry, emergency room visits may be decreased exponentially.

Care Access

Even in today's advanced world, dental care deserts do exist where dental care access is severely limited (if it exists at all). When dental care access in rural geographic areas is slim to none, an excellent option is that of tele-dentistry.

A Second Opinion

A good understanding of the needs of a patient can be gathered through videos and pictures. These – in addition to x-rays, images, notes, etc. – can be used through tele-dentistry for an easily accessible second opinion.

Aftercare

Where tele-dentistry is concerned, aftercare is a valuable aspect. For a follow-up, to make sure everything's healing properly, a tele-dentistry visit can be participated in rather than returning to the office.

Being in Touch with Their Provider

Today, a connection with their clinical provider is desired by more and more patients. A personal touch is craved by many. In addition to what dentists already offer, adding tele-dentistry helps patients experience the feeling of reassurance. This was particularly crucial during the latest health crisis. People were searching for that kind of reassurance and comfort.

Frequently, after just the first virtual consultation, the obvious relief on the faces of patients was a welcome sign to dentists that telemedicine was working. Forward thinking doctors are needed by patients today. They need dentists who are willing, as situations evolve, to reach out in new ways to their patients.

Innovation in oral healthcare is imperative, even now. An oral healthcare model needs to be impartial, cost-effective, and efficient for everyone. The telehealth adoption being witnessed by the industry is undeniable. Dentists are able to better provide care through the instrumental application – care based on the whole person with regard to health and disease prevention.

The Future of Tele-Dentistry

A survey regarding the use of tele-dentistry was conducted last year. It involved 20 states and more than 2500 dental providers. (This study came courtesy of DentaQuest Partnership.) The results? Approximately three quarters of dental providers currently using tele-dentistry fully anticipated the volume of virtual visits – during the next year – to either increase or stay the same.

Professionals in the industry of dental health who have used tele-dentistry are of the opinion, for the most part, that it possesses extraordinary potential for ameliorating future dental treatments. Oral healthcare’s next phase of growth is represented by the technology of tele-dentistry.

The Use of Telemedicine

As value-based care is embraced by the industry, additional revenue may be provided by telehealth while augmenting access to dental care by both existing and new patients. Costs can be mitigated by this trend, providing access to primary and preventative care. It can also help keep nonemergency dental cases out of emergency departments.

Today's organizations, particularly those who consider themselves progressive, should be constantly watching new solutions and technologies to help make the delivery of care more efficient and streamline their workflows. As an example: You can make data management far less bothersome if you integrate dental software with your tele-dentistry platform.

Policies and Changes

Oral health providers and state policymakers, to make sure that policies are formulated adequately, must act right away. While delivering telehealth services, dental workforce members also must be permitted to update policies for reimbursement. In this manner, public and private insurers can cover remote interactions between providers and patients using store-and-forward or conventional mechanisms.

While the pandemic is in effect, as a limited time solution, telehealth continues to be leveraged. However, it is crucial that it remain durable enough to play an essential role, moving forward, in the dental ecosystem. To stay fresh, innovations and adoptions in telehealth must constantly be sought after.

Telemedicine is changing the world we once knew. The fact that dentistry, in particular, can take advantage of this incredible high-tech revelation will increase the convenience and safety of both patients and dental professionals now and in the future.

 
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