Teledentistry 101: A Guide on Teledental Services

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Did you know that in the US, teledentistry, or the provision of teledental services, began as early as 1994? It started as a military project aimed at improving the dental health of US service members. What’s more, it provided remote oral care services to the troops’ dependents.

Fast forward to 2019, and teledentistry grew into a $667.13 million global market. By 2027, experts project its value to go up by almost four times.

So, what exactly is teledentistry, and why is it set to grow into a multi-billion-dollar sector?

We’ll give you the insider details in this guide, so be sure to read on.

What Is Teledentistry?

Teledentistry is the remote provision of oral health care services. It uses information technology (IT) and telecommunications platforms to administer such services.

Thanks to teledentistry, oral health care experts can “see” patients even from afar. Patients, in turn, can get the dental care they need without physically visiting an office.

How Do Dentists Provide Teledental Services?

Live video is the primary method dentists use to provide teledentistry solutions. It involves real-time video and audio interactions between dentists and patients.

For example, suppose you’d like to know more about the teeth-straightening Invisalign system. In that case, you can schedule a virtual consultation, according to Sandiego-Invisalign.com. The appointment will then occur over a cloud-based video calling app, such as Zoom.

Teledental health services also use the Store-and-Forward method. It involves the virtual exchange and digital transfer of the patient’s health records. Such recorded information can include x-rays, lab results, and photographs.

Remote monitoring is another teledental service patients can get. An example is a virtual follow-up check-up to a completed or ongoing treatment. For instance, if you had a tooth removed, your dentist can check in on you remotely to see how you’re healing.

What Are the Advantages of Teledentistry?

One of the biggest pros of teledentistry is that it expands access to oral health care. That’s especially true for the 61.89 million people in the US who live in areas with a shortage of dentists. With teledental services, they can see a dentist without leaving their home.

For the same reason, teledentistry can also help minimize the need for patients to go out. That can be especially helpful nowadays, what with the current pandemic. As such, teledental services help reduce the risks of exposure.

Moreover, patients don’t have to delay seeing an oral healthcare expert. That’s because they can schedule a virtual check-up as soon as they notice symptoms.

Last but not least, teledental services can help cut oral healthcare costs. Research shows that they’re less pricey than traditional dental services.

Get the Oral Care Services You Need Remotely

Teledentistry isn’t that common yet. So much so that only 2% of surveyed folks experienced it in 2020. However, that’s because many are unaware that they can get teledental services.

So, now that you know you can get remote oral healthcare, it’s time to consider it for yourself. That way, you can receive the dental services you need without delay.

Did you find this guide helpful and informative? If so, then please feel free to read our other health and wellness posts!