ENSURES CONTINUITY OF DENTAL CARE AND KEEPS PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS SAFE
With stay-at-home orders and dental clinics closures, 35% of people say they’ve already missed a dental appointment due to the pandemic. With telemedicine adoption in hyper-drive – telehealth visits surged 50% and virtual health interactions are on pace to exceed one billion by the end of2020. Teledentistry is being thrust into the spotlight, emerging not only as a solution during the era of social distancing, but also as a growing health trend. The American Dental Association says teledentistry includes a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health and education services which include:
Live video or synchronous communication
• A two-way, secure “real-time” interaction between patients and dentists using a live video, web-based connection to link a patient and a dental provider.
Store-and-forward or asynchronous communication
o A two-way, secure “non-live” exchange of health information between the patient and dentist, such as a patient’s X-rays, photographs, and health symptoms.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM)
• Allows medical data to be collected from an individual in a different location, allowing a health provider to monitor a condition.
Mobile health (MHealth)
• Use of smartphones or other mobile devices to help people lead healthier lifestyles.
Some of the benefits of teledentistry include:
• Convenience and Time savings for patient
• Dentist can reach more patients, especially those in rural areas
• Patient can reach health care provider quickly in emergency to relieve severe pain and/or risk of infection
While the COVID-19 crisis may have focused more attention on teledentistry, it can also serve as a turning point to help people maintain dental health beyond the pandemic and connect millions of people with the care they need. Right now, more than 56 million Americans live in areas with a shortage of dental professionals and 74 million don’t have dental insurance. With more than 90% of all systemic diseases having an oral manifestation, teledentistry can also be a tool to transform the healthcare industry by aligning dental and medical providers to care for the whole person, not individual parts.
Dr. Sean Boynes, Vice President, Health Improvement for the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement, discuss the rise of teledentistry, its benefits and what patients can expect when using this innovative solution, now and in the future.
Interview courtesy: DentaQuest
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