An open door can be interpreted many ways. As relates to teledentistry the door has swung wide welcoming its relevance to dental care.
It’s safe to say that teledentistry is here to stay.
Some dental professionals and industry analysts might say (with some hesitancy), “Perhaps.” But patients returning to dental visits (during and post-COVID-19 pandemic) are growing more and more comfortable with the alternative connection to their dental providers.
Keep teledentistry in context
Teledentistry’s fundamental role is providing patients and providers a safe, secure, and convenient environment to communicate about their dental problems or concerns and dental emergencies.
The dental patient context
Patients have another opportunity to explore dental treatment or get the immediate peace of mind that their condition can be solved. Teledentistry provides a platform for those related discussions outside of a potentially time-consuming or perceived uncomfortable trip to your dental office.
Most understand that a bulk of procedures cannot be provided via a virtual visit. But the initial diagnosis complete with digital technology can accurately reveal the next steps.
The dental provider context
As a dentist, teledentistry gives you another effective patient communication and patient experience layer.
”A recent Consumer Survey by American Well revealed that close to 66% of adults hadn’t been to the dentist in the past 12 months (preceding the month in which the survey was conducted). Teledentistry has helped fill the gap.”
Lack of dental care or related follow-up (as you know) is a problem. The problems multiply when patients feel hesitant (for whatever reason) with returning for a dental exam or dental consult - treatment aside.
Teledentistry opens the door to patients who want to reconnect with you as their care provider. It’s a tangible way to provide your expertise in a perceived safe, secure, and reassuring environment.
Teledentistry going forward
Some dental professionals might merely keep teledentisty in its current context:
- Offer it to patients with specific circumstances such as time constraints, fear/anxiety, hesitancy to return to a dental office.
- Use it as a diagnostic or consultation tool to fill schedule gaps or communicate with patients who have a dental emergency.
Both are worthy and worthwhile applications for the platform.
But there’s more that teledentistry can provide. And many are prepared to ride the present and approaching waves of opportunity.
Safety and convenience are here to stay
Heightened awareness is a hold-over effect from the COVID-19 pandemic. With more narratives being pushed about contagions and their potential you can expect the return to business as usual to remain at a cautious pace (for now).
That means offering a viable solution for care access will give you an advantage over those that choose to keep teledentistry at arms-length or as a secondary option.
The proactive and visionary providers will up their game. Perhaps that’s you.
”In August last year, DentaQuest Partnership surveyed more than 2500 dental providers in close to 20 states about their teledentistry usage. The survey revealed that 75% of dental providers who use teledentistry expect their virtual visit volume to either stay the same or increase during the next twelve months.
A lot of dental health professionals who have leveraged this model now believe that teledentistry represents the next phase of oral healthcare and possesses extraordinary potential when it comes to ameliorating dental treatments of the near future.” 
Smartphone and smart-device technology has shifted how we do everything. A virtual connection is not only convenient, its become a benchmark for how consumers (and patients) connect with services.
A teledentistry option gives you the same advantage as do other online options you can provide like scheduling, payments, information exchange, etc.
And that’s only the beginning of practical uses.
Scalable use will continue to evolve
Day to day dentistry bears the weight of a constantly moving workflow. You and your team perhaps have a standard and systemic way of producing dentistry.
From exams to treatment planning to case presentation and ultimately to appointed procedures you’re on the move. Any interruption to that flow can cost you in lost production.
Teledentistry is capable of scaling across your practice and organization’s workflows.
- Scheduling: consider the time and energy savings of discussing the ins-and-outs of a patient’s treatment virtually - before they arrive and occupy one of your chairs. Patients will welcome the dialogue from the comfort of home or other remote location ahead of the next steps in your office.
- Dental emergencies: the mere avoidance of an emergency room setting or getting relief from pain is ample reason for patient approval of teledentistry. Scalable triage can include prescription submission and determination of a next-step, in-office treatment.
- Synchronized dental services: teledentistry is called a platform for a reason. It’s an online environment that can serve mobile dentistry, remote hygiene services, community dental initiatives in schools, corporations, and local businesses.
The bigger picture is that technology drives innovation. Teledentistry exists within that innovative progress.
Building the service into your dental care model will open more than one door to you and your patients.
Check out these resources for a deeper-dive into expanded patient care using teledentistry and mobile dental solutions:
A scalable solution that streamlines and upgrades your care standards
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.