The Pros and Cons of Teledentistry

The Pros and Cons of Teledentistry

Aug 01, 2020

The COVID 19 pandemic globally brought with it a wave of transformation. We all had to reexamine and change how we live our lives and perform various tasks that we would otherwise term normal.

People worldwide understand that if we are to survive this trying period in our lives, we need to agree that COVID 19 truly is a worldwide pandemic that needs to be stopped in its tracks.

With this in mind, we can all individually protect our loved ones and us against this pandemic.

To prevent the spread of COVID 19, the government had to issue and implement several guidelines. Some of the guidelines that gained popularity overnight were like, practicing social distancing and wearing face masks in public.

Dental practices also felt the pandemic’s brunt when dentists were asked to suspend performing any elective procedures and prioritize only emergency procedures.

This guideline was issued to ensure that personal protective gear, which is typically used during dental procedures, was reserved for the front line workers who needed it the most.

Like our Dr. Keith Jassop, Dentists had to look for alternative methods of providing their patients with medical assistance without physically being in the same space. This need is what made our dentist, like many others, embrace the use of Teledentistry.

What Is Teledentistry?

It can be defined as the utilization of electronic imaging and communication technology to conduct virtual dental consultation, diagnosis, and treatment or offer any dental services virtually.

The virtual dental appointment is conducted through communication devices like phones, tablets or computers, and technologies such as audio and video platforms. This creates a way for dentists and their patients to communicate, exchange information, and keep up with their appointments despite the COVID 19 restrictions.

Pros and Cons of Teledentistry

Pros

Teledentistry is not a current discovery; however, the pandemic has made it possible for more dentists and their patients to embrace this technological advancement.

Some of the fantastic benefits of Teledentistry include:

    • Ensures People Living In Remote Regions Have Access to Dental Services

Individuals living in remote areas always face challenges when it comes to accessing medical and dental services. This is because they have to travel long distances at times to get to specialists or to undergo dental procedures.

Virtual dental consultation enables individuals in remote areas to have a virtual appointment with our dentist from the comfort of their homes.

This means that they can keep up with their dental appointments in a less strenuous manner, or even get treated without making their way physically to the dentist’s office.

    • Improves Dental Service Accessibility For the Elderly and Disabled

People living with disabilities, the elderly, and special needs patients face a particularly hard time making their way to the dentist for their appointments. Teledentistry allows these individuals to undergo dental consultations and treatments from the comfort of their homes.

This rules out the need for them to make those hectic trips to the dentist for their much needed dental care and improves their dental experience.

    • Cuts Back on Running Costs

Dentists get to treat their patients virtually, which means that patients do not have to show up physically for treatment and appointments. This helps cut back on using gloves, masks, supplies, and any other protective gear necessary during physical consultations and checkups.

    • Helps Patients Keep Up With Appointments Without Altering Their Schedules

Patients do not have to work around their busy schedules to keep up with their appointments. They need to set aside about 15 to 30 minutes in their day to check in with our dentist for their regular checkups.

Cons

Here are some of the disadvantages of Teledentistry:

  • The structures for reimbursement are still not clear during these sessions
  • Some patients face challenges in-network coverage and internet accessibility making Teledentistry a problematic endeavor
  • There are questions regarding the safety of data and information shared within these platforms, which makes some patients and dentists skeptical about utilizing Teledentistry
  • Technological illiteracy among patients

Our dentist in Shawnee, offers all our patients a regular virtual dental consultation, to ensure that their oral health is not compromised despite the stringent guidelines issued against COVID 19.

Contact us today at Dental Care Shawnee for your virtual dental appointment.