The pandemic has been the source of numerous changes in how we live our lives. It started with social distancing and the use of masks daily. As time went by, it began to affect how we did our jobs and ultimately how we received medical care. The need for dental patients to receive care while limiting their time in the office has led to the rise of teledentistry. Telehealth has been used nearly as long as the telephone has; the pandemic just pushed it into prominence. Many patients are pleasantly surprised when they discover how many areas of dental care can take advantage of teledentistry. Orthodontics is just one area of the dental industry that can take advantage of telehealth options.
How Teledentistry Is Changing How Dental Care Is Done
It is a fundamental goal of all medical professionals to provide access to appropriate levels of care to its patient. The dental industry is just one of the many involved in this ambition and has been making significant strides through teledentistry. The majority of people often underestimate the impact of poor oral health. Poor oral health can be a mere inconvenience but can also be life-threatening in certain cases. It’s also been shown to have an impact on our mental health due to the appearance of our smile creating poor self-esteem.
The potential consequences of insufficient dental health care don’t stop there. Dental health concerns have been demonstrated to impact academic and job performance. They also are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, stroke, and a number of other health concerns. These risks make it clear that proper access to oral health care is essential for improving public health. With nearly half of all United States residents lacking proper dental insurance, this is a serious concern.
Orthodontic care is needed by millions of Americans all over the country. While the cosmetic benefits are clear, there are greater concerns at stake. Misalignment of the teeth and jaws creates an increased potential for temporomandibular joint disorder and other dental conditions. The presence of misaligned teeth can create an increased risk of tooth decay. This is caused by variations in alignment, creating additional space for debris and plaque to form and cause decay. The uneven wear and tear it causes on the teeth can also be a concern and accelerate tooth decay.
Teledentistry delivers a number of different benefits:
- Less difficulty scheduling appointments
- Reduced need to miss appointments or reschedule
- Better dental care access to remote regions
- More convenient options for treatment and follow-up
- Improved access to care in easier and safer ways
The success of teledentistry has made it of increasing interest to various states and insurances companies. It is beginning to see greater acceptance and a higher rate of coverage from these groups.
Speak To Your Dentist About Teledentistry
Reaching out to your dental provider is the best way to discover their teledental options. They’ll cover the available options and what they’ll make available in the morning. Each year the industry introduces more forms of treatment that can be done via teledentistry services.