Teledentistry Prior to COVID-19
Prior to the pandemic, most discussion of teledentistry generated a collective yawn among dentists.
Most envisioned that it could only be used for visual consultations:
“I want the patients in my office to examine them physically.”
Also, understandably, dentists were unsure of its profitability:
“How am I going to get paid for the time I spend. Insurance doesn’t cover it, and billing the patient, if possible, creates all sorts of potential problems.”
Some dentists saw a potential to use teledentistry as a marketing tool:
“Not every question requires a trip to the office – maybe a quick look will do”
They felt that a marketing message of would resonant well to consumers who were becoming aware of the convenience of telemedicine. Actual usage for marketing purposes, however, never significantly materialized.
There was an increasing use of teledentistry involving the remote delivery of preventive and diagnostic services, but even that usage touched only a small fraction of the industry.
Teledentistry After COVID-19
Then came the shutdown, and dentists could only treat emergencies. Suddenly, many dentists started using some form of synchronous (real-time) communication to triage emergencies. Insurance companies started paying for the consultation. Whether it was Zoom, FaceTime or more dental-focused software, teledentistry became top-of-mind.
As with any new technology, increased usage generates innovative ideas for additional uses.
This use-case analysis explores some of the ideas that will ultimately make teledentistry an integral part of every dental practice.
As states begin to allow dental offices to re-open, the reality of the required changes in workflow, equipment, supplies, etc. have caused dentists to re-think how they will run their dental practices. Teledentistry will undoubtedly become an integral part of the future dental practice. One obvious way teledentistry will be used is to help make patient flow more efficient. The article suggests how to maximize your appointment scheduler using teledentistry and how good teledentistry software is a key component.
One of the new realities of post-COVID - 19 dental practices will be the need to move patients into and out of the office as quickly and efficiently as possible. One of the biggest challenges that will be faced is how to do case presentations. Whether done by the dentist or a treatment coordinator, effective case presentation involves components that cannot performed well if under a time limit. New teledentistry technology can not only decrease the in-office time required to get case approval, it can also increase case acceptance and decrease the time spent on poor quality prospects.
Post-COVID - 19, teledentistry use will become widespread. Similarly, the use of teledentistry software by dentists and hygienists will become second nature. Good teledentistry software will allow professionals to communicate securely both synchronously and asynchronously. The ability to securely evaluate a patient and/or patient records remotely by potentially several professionals and to document the results is already a reality. The ease and convenience of the interactions will likely dramatically increase the frequency of professional collaboration and mentoring. The article offers one possible use of teledentistry, and you will also notice a few other side benefits of teledentistry.
The role of Teledentistry software and Teledentix in these use-cases
Teledentix is teledentistry software that opens many doors to the future of dentistry. None of the use cases above would be possible without a solution like Teledentix
As patients and providers continue to adopt this new form of dental care delivery, the use-cases keep expanding. Click below to learn more about Teledentix and how it's helping dental providers broaden their reach while increasing efficiency.