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Teledentistry 101: Everything you need to know

Teledentistry 101

Table of contents

#1 Telemedicine Examples

#2 What is remote teledentistry?

#3 Role of Telehealth during Covid-19

#4 What can be done with teledentistry?

#5 What research is there about it?

#6 Straight Teeth Direct™ – At home teeth straightening

There’s never been a better time than now to start healthy living! With wearables to track your fitness levels (Apple Watch, Fitbit etc) and telemedicine apps to check all sorts of specific conditions, there’s a clear move towards healthcare being delivered at home and on demand. This is a fact when it comes to medicine and teledentistry in particular.

#1 Telemedicine examples

telemedicine examples

#2 What is remote teledentistry?

Teledentistry is the use of information technology and telecommunications for:

  • Dental care
  • Consultations
  • Education
  • Public awareness

It often involves the use of telehealth systems and methods in dentistry for remote dental care, advice, or treatment. All through information technology and virtual consultations. No need for trips to the dentist. To sum up, teledentistry allows for an efficient way to:

Teledentistry practices

2.1 Types of teledentistry

  • Live (synchronous): Real-time, two-way interaction between the patient and the provider. A telecommunications tool of data or video is used for this purpose.
  • Store-and-forwad (asynchronous): Capture and transmission of the patient’s data. This data can be: images, video, x-rays, etc.

This is done through a secure electronic system. The provider will either use the information to provide a diagnosis or a treatment.

 

#3 Role of Teledentistry during Covid-19

With the Covid-19 outbreak and consequent lockdowns there was an undisputable need for a rapid evolution of telemedicine and teledentistry services.

woman having teledentistry at home consultation

The pandemic forced the implementation of remote dental practices around the world and what once was an innovative way of going to the doctor – without actually having to physically go there – became a key factor and primary practice amongst dentists all around the world.

Now that life as usual is slowly coming back, teledentistry practices continue to thrive. Many of the elderly population in care homes aren’t able to travel to access a dentist easily, and there are children in schools that can’t access the care they need either. In some parts of the world, many people who live in rural areas cannot visit a dental office because it’s too far to travel.

For these reasons and many more, teledentistry is taking off and Covid-19 may have been one of it’s biggest promoters!

#4 What can be done with teledentistry?

telemedicine prescriptions

Assessments

Teledentistry makes dental assessments very accessible. The patients themselves take the photos and videos used to complete it. Dentists can also take dental records in person and examine them remotely. Finally, it’s also useful for treatment planning as well.

Prescriptions 

When patients are in pain and need antibiotics they need prescriptions. Dentists can provide them remotely through virtual visits. There’s no need to send the patients to their GP. The worst scenario is doing nothing and having someone in terrible pain until they can have a physical appointment.

Supervision

Teledentistry is a cost effective way to track dental treatments, particularly in the case of orthodontics. It’s a great way to supervise and check the progress of teeth movement remotely. No need to call the patient every month.

As you can see, remote dentistry is a great tool for interaction and patient care. There’s no need for expensive, inconvenient in person visits.

#5 What research is there about it?

In the United States, teledentistry treatments are now included in insurance coverage. They’re also included in Current Dental Terminology (CDT) 2018.

Dr. Ronald D. Riggins, Chair of the CMC and the Council on Dental Benefit Programs, has said that:

“Teledentistry is a rising trend in our profession that is here to stay.”

Areas including California and Arizona began focusing on remote dentistry specifically. There are now programs for children to access dental care through this method. A six year California Study shows “virtual dental homes” are proven to be safe and effective. And a 2016 New York study highlighted the benefits of teledentistry. This way dentists can deliver oral care for the underserved patients, particularly in rural areas.

In Australia, teledentistry is used to provide patient care to remote and rural communities. It helps teledentists save time and money and prevent hospital admissions too. Another piece of research conducted in Brazil. concluded that telediagnosis in dental medicine, using email to send images, is perfectly acceptable.

A piece of British research also came to similar conclusions – the majority of UK-based orthodontic consultants support the concept of using teledentistry. They think virtual visits make their advice more accessible to other dentists and patients – according to The Seeking Care study (2017), every week, 7,500 adults in the UK go to their GP for dentistry issues (pain, inflammation, etc.). They don’t go to a dentist mainly because they consider it inaccessible.

Finally, the Arctic University of Norway conducted a massive piece of remote dentistry research. For this they analysed around 53 relevant articles, even though this only represents a small percentage actively discussing telemedicine applications it is a sign that it is in fact a growing industry, with numbers of research rising by the day.

#6 Straight Teeth Direct™ – At home teeth straightening

Straight Teeth Direct™ is a teledentistry platform. It uses a mobile teledentistry app to connect you with a registered digitally trained dentist. Therefore making orthodontic treatment more accessible, convenient and affordable.

Over 70% of adults have crooked teeth. And at least half of them would consider improving their smile. But less than 2% actually seek a form of orthodontic treatment.

How it works

The whole process is done remotely, so you don’t need to visit a dentist in person, provided you saw one for an exam in the last 6 months. You’ll be assigned to a remote dentist who reviews your dental records, prescribes your treatment, and monitors your progress remotely. It’s super convenient because all the reviews are done through our revolutionary app on your computer, or your iPhone / Android smartphone.

teeth straightening app

You receive a SmileBox™ at home impression kit to take moulds of your teeth, so that your custom clear aligners can be produced and shipped straight to your door. Your assigned dentist will then be there every step of the way until you get the desired results.

With this teleorthodontic process, no corners are cut. The results are just as good, and all without breaking the bank or visiting your dentist every month.

The price is on average 50-70% cheaper than other brands of aligners. Treatment cost is fixed at £1550 (for both top and bottom teeth) depending on the position of your teeth. This includes a set of removable retainers at the end of the treatment, too. By breaking down the cost and paying £169 a month, it’s not going to affect your lifestyle.

If you’re ready to get started, head over to your free e-consultation. All you have to do is submit a few photos of your teeth and answer some simple questions. This stage of the process is free and you can ask all your questions when you’ve got the results. It’s just like a consultation, but virtual and free!

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