The Value of Teledentistry

For better or worse thanks to COVID-19 and all its variants, teledentistry is here to stay in some form or another. What might have been an inevitable transition was only accelerated by the need of the pandemic for both dentists and patients. But we’ve only so far scratched the surface on what it has to offer. Here’s what you can expect from teledentistry in the near future.

What teledentistry can offer

So far, we’ve seen teledentistry remotely evaluate patients and develop recommendations, provide problem-focused and urgent care evaluations, offer pharmacological management, and follow up on emergency care. However, teledentistry hadn’t been previously adopted because of limits on reimbursements, state regulations, and liability when a patient is not physically present. But in its current state, teledentistry improves practice efficiency, enhances patient experience, and increases overall access to dental care.

The path forward for teledentistry

While aftercare and a second opinion have reduced the overhead associated with an in-person visit, teledentistry also has its place when it comes to emergency care for patients without the headache of a trip to the emergency room during the ups and downs of the pandemic. What’s more, teledentistry provides peace of mind to those who have fear and anxiety around going to the dentist. Teledentistry can even be used for kids to check jaw development and the health of the gum tissue without a parent having to take time off from work.

Types of teledentistry

Teledentistry comes in many forms, from synchronous that provides face-to-face, live interaction over a video call during which the dentist can instruct the patient to put their finger in their mouth or shine a light on a tooth, to asynchronous, which involves taking a picture or a video and sending it to the dentist. The dental practice only needs a laptop with a camera and a secure, HIPAA-compliant connection, along with the same documentation as an in-person visit.

How to market teledentistry offerings

It’s one thing to implement teledentistry but it’s another to make your patients aware of your new offerings. Add a section to your website explaining your offerings and its benefits, post the same information to your social media channels, send out announcement cards or simply spread the word next time you have a wellness appointment with a patient. Adopting and promoting the technology now will better prepare you for whatever else may be down the road.

What’s next?

Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to learn more ways to keep your dental practice on top of its game.