In an app-centric culture such as ours it’s essential to maximize the advantages of technology.
As relates to teledentistry (and various questions surrounding it) you might ask, “can orthodontists use teledentistry?”
From Telemedicine To Teledentistry
Access to care has always been a concern in dentistry. It’s sad to report (according to the American Dental Association/ADA) that…
“…the majority of the U.S. population doesn’t receive dental care at all. In fact, visits to dental offices started to drop in 2003 and have been declining ever since.”
Another issue is the estimation that 40% of Americans lack dental insurance. This contributes to the postponement of oral health care…including orthodontics.
But what about teledentistry?
Teledentistry emerged from the broader category of telemedicine (circa 1993). In 2015, the ADA defined teledentistry a bit more clearly,
”…the use of telehealth systems and methodologies in dentistry. Telehealth refers to a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. Telehealth is not a specific service, but a collection of means to enhance care and education delivery.”
It’s vital that you confirm your state’s regulations regarding the use of teledentistry. Once you’re cleared-for-takeoff you can begin to innovate around its use…including orthodontics.
How Orthodontists Can Use Teledentistry
The patient connection is the foundational aspect of teledentistry - whatever the treatment protocol. Remote and virtual access to dental expertise (emphasis on expertise) creates new opportunities for patients and providers.
Millions could benefit from straighter teeth. Aside from the cosmetic benefits, as you’re aware, properly aligned teeth can reduce oral health issues substantially.
Teledentistry can open the door to patients who typically ignore or postpone orthodontic treatment. Teledentistry:
- Provides direct oversight by a licensed dentist or orthodontist
- Delivers safe and easy access to orthodontic treatment
- Exceeds unqualified DIY orthodontics
A large percentage of patients diagnosed with malocclusion are capable of being treated via teledentistry methods. Some in-office appointments could be necessary but the majority of treatment planned patients can experience healthy results via remote consultations.
The number of states adopting teledentistry is rising. Licensed dentists and orthodontists are using the technology to oversee their cases and increase access to care that many wouldn’t have otherwise.
What Teleorthodontics Looks Like
Like most teledentistry uses the interface with orthodontics will be similar. Again, the core benefit is safe, remote access to your personal dental expertise.
Teledentistry technology allows you to interact in a real-time, virtual appointment with your patient. Your chosen technology makes a significant difference in the scope and ease of your consultations. Utilize technology that’s dedicated specifically to teledentistry (rather than common third-party apps such as Zoom or FaceTime).
Remote access to digital scans or in-home traditional molds
Mobile technology allows for you as the provider or a designated/trained clinical team member to obtain a digital scan remotely. Your patient also has the option of using an at-home impression kit provided by you via mail or another delivery option.
A virtual consult can also be utilized to walk your patient through the step-by-step details of obtaining a traditional mold. And if preferred or due to case related issues they can schedule an in-office scan.
Virtual visits for ongoing clin-checks according to your patient’s ortho treatment plan
The convenience and security of teledentistry gives your patients easy, time-saving access to their orthodontic follow-ups. And there’s no compromising of professional care since the virtual appointments are in real-time with you, the provider. Parents of children being treated with ortho can also take advantage of the virtual option also saving time and reducing absence from school, etc.
How scheduling works for orthodontics and teledentistry
Convenience drives many purchasing decisions. Online appointment booking is one solution that gives your patients access to their health care providers - including dental services like orthodontics.
64% of healthcare appointments were booked online by the end of 2019
77% of patients ranked the ability to book online as a key factor in choosing a healthcare provider
Online solutions also gives your patients preferred control over their healthcare decisions. Their desires include:
- Appointment booking
- Chat capability
- Digital access to forms
- Educational support
- Secure, online access to health records
- Video views
- Ability to review treatment plans
Teledentistry and dedicated platforms such as Teledentix is giving patients access to this new form of care. Organic online scheduling is creating new ways to obtain dental treatment - including orthodontics.
Mobile solutions like Onsite Dental are taking dentistry to busy professionals or those who require remote access to dental services outside of the traditional office. Teledentistry and virtual patient portals like Teledentix are making this possible and increasing innovative care options.
Easier patient access makes the patient experience easier for you as the provider. And Teledentix gives you a variety of virtual patient care solutions to accomplish that.
- Email patients to communicate availability of online booking for teledentistry.
- Patients can begin by completing digital forms or continuing to appointment booking.
- Available appointment types can be configured and accessed noting fees, etc.
- Your patients can create a secure patient portal where they can manage their appointments and much more.
- The patient portal gives them access to appointment specifics and more such as date, time, adding it to their personal calendar, cancellation, etc.
- Chat feature allows your patient to ask questions and send attachments or photos.
- Progress notes can be added by you (the provider) for patients to review. And forms can be accessed and updated by your patient anytime.
- Forms can also be added by your office giving patients access to new required information.
- Educational resources can be applied by you to the patient “education” tab. FAQs or any type of document can be added to their portal for viewing.
- The records tab gives your patient a place to provide any new or updated information relevant to their care. This could include intraoral images or previous x-rays.
- The media center gives you as provider the opportunity to share any educational resources with your patients.
- Treatment plans can also be accessed in their patient portal. Their access gives them hands-on perspective to the status of their treatment and upcoming procedures.
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…also to patients requiring orthodontics.
- 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.
Contact us about Teledentix and discover how it streamlines the interaction between you and your patient around their dental care…even orthodontics.