What’s a good jumping-off-point for teledentistry? That’s a good question and one that can be answered by exploring how to use asynchronous teledentistry.
Virtual dental care has continued to gain momentum throughout the pandemic era of dentistry. Early adopters have refined their usage. If you’ve been on-the-fence now’s a good time to understand how one aspect of teledentistry works.
Understanding asynchronous teledentistry
Technically speaking, asynchronous teledentistry is data that is and can be transmitted intermittently rather than in a steady, real-time stream. The American Dental Association (ADA) endorsed what has become known as “store-and-forward” teledentistry in 2015.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, providers adapted asynchronous teledentistry to their patient care.
- Triage and patient evaluations
- Hygiene recall appointments
- Treatment follow-up, post-op communication, and clin-checks
- Case presentations
Each of these patient interactions can take place aside from a real-time, face-to-face appointment. That’s relevant when you consider efficiency improvements.
And perhaps that’s a fundamental appeal of asynchronous teledentistry.
- Plan treatment
- Connect with your referral network
- Expand patient access to care
How to use asynchronous teledentistry
Expand patient care efficiency
As you know - time can equal production! This is ample motivation for maximizing the available time you have with your patients.
Reviewing patient information prior to, during, and following their visits involves an amount of your time. Asynchronous patient data covers the gamut of your patient’s care history.
- Review previous appointment and treatment information
- Review specialist appointment information
- Review current and previous treatment planning information
Asynchronous teledentistry technology connects you with this data outside of valuable chair time with the patient present. A preliminary review prior to their appointment maximizes your time during their in-office visit.
Expand your specialist network connections
Access to patient data within your referral network saves them and you in-office time. Patient records can be accessed and viewed in the asynchronous environment without the need for real-time consultation.
Specialist and relevant health information can include:
- Uploaded treatment plans and relevant patient notes
- Follow-up and post-operative instructions
- Updated health history such as medical treatment and/or surgeries
This segment of patient data helps streamline your in-office schedule and that of your specialist(s). Each of your teams will have access to the same information prior to and following a patient’s office visit.
Expand your patient’s access to care
Some current and potential patients could be among those who lack access to care when it’s needed. There might be geographical or convenience related challenges that prevent them from care.
- Dental hygienists have an advantage with asynchronous teledentistry. The technology allows patient information and diagnostic data to be obtained on location and then shared with you in-office for review and treatment planning.
- Patients benefit from convenient access to dentistry and often at less cost to them.
Each of these scenarios require state dental board approval. In addition to the above mentioned options, hygienists in some states could provide direct access hygiene as an independent hygienist.
Expanded care access also allows for insurance coverage in many locations. CDT codes apply in these instances.
- D9996 for asynchronous teledentistry appointments
- D9995 for synchronous teledentistry appointments
The ADA provides comprehensive guidance on teledentistry documentation. See their guide for more insight.
The following resources are useful for expanding your knowledge about virtual dental care - including asynchronous teledentistry:
What is Asynchronous Teledentistry?
How to Implement Teledentistry in Your Dental Practice
Increase asynchronous teledentistry efficiency using a dedicated and secure teledentistry platform
Teledentix is an innovative, turn-key teledentistry solution created by Virtual Dental Care. The all-in-one platform will enable you to adapt teledentistry to your patient care and extend your services beyond the walls of your dental practice…and improve your patient care in the process.
- Teledentix provides an easy-to-use video conferencing tool that’s secure, HIPAA compliant, and specific to dentistry.
- Teledentix Basic is a perfect starting point. Begin with a free trial and then transition to a very low monthly fee. You and your patients can join unlimited video conferences including screen-share, file-share, video-share, and real-time chat communications.
LEARN MORE about the Teledentix platform.