Innovation doesn’t “sleep.” But on occasion the practical expressions of innovation could stay dormant until the timing is right.
Such is the case with teledentistry best practices within the broader context of the projected future of virtual dentistry.
What’s driving the teledentistry growth rate?
For a period of time it was the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary dental office closures, reduced in-person services, and your patient’s desire for a perceived “safer’ dental care alternative were factors.
Post-pandemic trends tip towards those factors that appear to have more innovative longevity.
- Online, digital service preferences and applications
- Smart technology innovations
- A growing senior adult demographic that values alternative care access
- Convenience and cost-effective care solutions
These are helping position virtual dentistry as something more than a passing trend.
A new study published by the the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) focuses on four states use of teledentistry following the COVID-19 pandemic (California, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).
A summary of their discoveries includes:
- ”Regardless of the status of teledentistry in the state, teledentistry was adopted faster due to COVID-19 than it would have been otherwise.
- Emergency regulations expanding telehealth use to dentistry allowed dentists to bill codes D9995 and D9996 for synchronous and asynchronous telehealth service.
- States allowed for more liberal use of teledentistry, such as permitting the use of audio-only visits for certain services.
- Teledentistry was utilized to guide parents in the administration and application of fluoride varnish over video for their children, to triage patients, and to control clinic capacity for emergency care.” 
Study findings create some optimism around the state of teledentistry and virtual dental care strategies.
Now’s the time for implementing teledentistry and expanding your virtual dentistry services
Staying relevant as the market for online care expands is reason enough to proceed. Innovating around teledentistry and telehealth preferences is a practical step for leveraging the negative impact of the pandemic on your dental practice.
”According to a survey done by GoodRx, only 12% of patients plan to stop virtual visits entirely.” 
“75% of dental providers currently using teledentistry expect the number of virtual visits at their practice to either stay the same or increase during the next year.” 
Implement and expand virtual dental care on behalf of your patients
Teledentistry provides your patients an alternative for:
- Asking questions and being educated about their dental care.
- Obtaining and sharing photos and images that can assist with a treatment diagnosis.
- Consultations around treatment plans.
- A preliminary examination or diagnosis prior to an in-office dental visit.
Consider your specific patient demographics. Each have unique needs that virtual dentistry can meet.
- Employed patients have the option to schedule a virtual visit without leaving their office.
- Pediatric patients have a more conducive and comfortable option for a dental visit.
- Disabled patients can receive an examination and/or diagnosis without having to travel to a your dental office.
- Patients in rural areas have full access to your expertise and care.
On the patient-front, keep in mind that teledentistry doesn’t replace in-person dentistry. As earlier stated, it provides your patients a convenient solution for asking questions, seeking a second opinion, and receiving dental emergency triage prior to an in-office appointment.
Those solutions benefit your patient while saving you and your team valuable chair-time.
That leads to another zone of benefits relative to your dental practice.
Invest in teledentistry on behalf your practice operations
A dedicated and equipped teledentistry software platform can streamline practice operations and workflows.
- Enhanced patient communication
- HIPAA compliance
- Education around case acceptance
- New patient appeal
The more specific benefits of teledentistry helps refine your systems.
- Reduce your overhead costs such as PPE, disposables, and team energy for operatory turn-around prep.
- Educate your patients prior to an in-office procedure or about the use of dental products via asynchronous (stored) content.
- Provide more efficient post-treatment follow-up for clinical checks and prescription monitoring.
- Consult with patients who desire a second opinion examination and diagnosis and/or a hand-off to a specialist.
- Enhance the patient experience with additional appointment options that don’t require an in-office visit.
Investing and implementing teledentistry has the potential to deliver a positive return - for your patients and your dental practice.
It’s essential to have an understanding about the basics of virtual dentistry solutions. Invest some time in the following resources for practical insights into how you can implement or improve your teledentistry solutions:
Join the future of virtual dental care on a dedicated, secure, and proven 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.