People nowadays are fond of doing a lot of things remotely. Among these things is dentistry. In the United States, a dentist visit is no longer necessary to receive diagnosis and treatment for a range of dental and oral issues. In this time and age, an online dentist is ready to give consultations and treatment through advanced technologies and apparatus.
What patients need to have is a computer and a digital camera to communicate with an online dentist. This mode of dentistry is called teledentistry. It allows the dental care provider or professional to offer precautionary, orthodontic, periodontic, endodontic, and oral medical care. Beyond patient care provision, dental students can also continue dentistry education remotely.
Resorting to online dentist appointments has a lot of advantages. This type of remote service is mainly for those who have a hard time leaving their homes probably due to a medical reason or physical disability. Online dentist appointments are also advantageous for people who have fear of dental procedures and those who prefer not to visit a dental clinic directly. Non-direct contact forms of care mean that there is no physical care given to patients. It is important to note though that some treatments will require patients to visit dental clinics and other healthcare facilities and therefore face-to-face contact is not avoided.
Patients who prefer not to go to dental clinics can opt to utilize electronic and digital alternatives. These alternatives offer patients the same quality of dental care as they would face-to-face at the dental clinics. This form of communication stresses the necessity of the use of digital health records and virtual outlets for the provision of consultations, treatment, and diagnoses to dental care patients.
Because this kind of remote care is flexible, online dentists can deliver efficiently and prioritize patients that need urgent care. More significantly, an online dentist means of care warrants dental and even medical health care professionals to give care to underserved communities. These communities do not have access to quality care but through these methods targeted goals in these localities, such as a decrease in the occurrence of both tooth loss, decay, and oral diseases, are achieved.
Online dentist appointments bring patients to a whole new world of possibilities for dental care they are required to receive.
Benefits of Online Dentist Care
Over the past few years, Online Dentist services have grown exponentially. Over 3 million patients have availed of this growing dental service. Here are 6 key benefits that patients offer patients seeking dental care:
- Online Dentist Appointments are Convenient
One of the most significant help that online dentist appointments and services have is their convenience. Most patients find that it saves time to talk to a hometown dentist or another from remote locations. Online dentist professionals address concerns and questions without needing a personal visit to a dental clinic.
An online dentist can provide comments on ongoing oral care routines, answer questions about the pain caused by dental issues, and monitor past treatment’s progress.
Patients do not waste time traveling to the dental clinic and wait for their turn. Also, fewer patients go to the clinic and the clinic is freed up to accommodate more urgent in-person consultations. This accommodation means that patients’ ease of appointment to a time that fits their schedule is increased.
- Online Dentists Have Lower Cost
Overall, online dentist appointments have shown a lower cost of care. Nearly all patients prefer affordable dental care. Online dentist appointments are cheaper than in-person visits to a dental clinic. This also encourages patients with preventive care leading to less serious and expensive procedures.
Dentists themselves notice the savings in cost. This cost reduction can be passed on by online dentists to their patients thereby creating a win-win scenario for both parties. One by one insurance companies has started to cater online dentist procedures coverage.
- Broader Range of Access to an Online Dentist
The emergence of teledentistry has given the possibility of obtaining advice from dental providers and getting second opinions from dental experts ever easier than before. Geography is not an issue with online dentist appointments thus patients can get advice when it was otherwise impossible.
Also, patients who work on non-standard hours can get access to health care professionals as online dentist consultations are not constrained by time.
Americans who live in rural areas and do not have easy access to dental professionals and care can receive essential advice. An important key of overall oral health is preventive care and having easy access to dental advice and care is helping to maintain oral health.
- High-Quality Dental Care by Online Dentists
The great thing about online dentist appointments is that standards of care and safety are equally competitive as those of a physical dental clinic visit, as the degree of safety is one major concern of patients.
To add to this, the Government has been active to put laws regarding online dentist services. New laws not only ensure the safety and quality of services and care but also aims to preserve patients’ privacy through protocols.
It is quite evident that online dentist consultations and services are quite beneficial to patients. More and more people are taking advantage of this platform and it is projected to grow in the coming years.
Online Dentist Appointment Requirements
There are essential things that make online dentist appointments possible. These are:
- High-speed internet: Online dentist appointments are not possible without an internet connection. The online dentist and the patient asking for virtual care must have access to strong internet service to ensure that both parties have clear reception of the online dentist appointment.
- Imaging capabilities: The online dentist must have prerequisite imaging instruments such as an intraoral camera and Nomad x-ray device for him/her to visualize the patient’s mouth. Images can also be sent to the online dentist clinic from the online care facility.
Online Dentist Appointments Compliances
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) standards must be mandatorily complied with by online dentist providers to provide remote patient care. To ensure that teledentistry services are compliant with HIPAA standards, these online dentist clinics must install HIPAA-approved software and automated devices to provide dental care. Therefore, the hardware and software that online dentists use must be HIPAA compliant and approved.
- American Dental Association (ADA) has categorized online dentist appointments to include delivery of patient education and care with, but not limited to, the subsequent:
- Live videos that are two-way interaction between the patient/caregiver and the provider
- Showing and sending recorded health info such as photographs, radiographs, videos of patients, always through a secured virtual communication platform to an online dental practitioner. The online dentist then utilizes the data given to diagnose a patient’s condition or refer an in-person service or treatment.
- RPM or remote patient monitoring same as the transmission of recorded health info, this is the collection of personal medical data from a person in one location via online technologies. These data are then transmitted to a dental provider in a different location to be utilized in patient care and related treatments.
- mHealth or mobile health is the health care practice and education done through various mobile communication devices. These devices may include cellphones, laptops, and PDAs, or personal digital assistants.
Online Dentist Services that May Be Offered
An online dentist may provide services such as:
- Answers to questions asked by patients about overall dental and mouth care
- Prescription for teeth and gum pain
- Comments on radiographic results, cavities, crowns, and other dental services
- Prescriptions for teeth whitening
- Definitive tips to prevent cavities
- Preventive oral health information education (for example, how to properly brush and floss)
Overall, online dentist appointments are convenient, useful, pandemic-friendly and the quality of service is comparable to that of in-clinic dental visits. Look for an online dentist near you today.