Tele-dentistry is a way to access dental care and improve access for those all over the world. The number of Americans relying on it increased from 250,000 to 3.2 million patients between 2013 and 2018. It will grow at an even faster rate in the near future. Recent market analyses project that the market for tele-dentistry will increase to $8.2 billion within the next six years. The American Dental Association is supportive of tele-dentistry, as long as proper standards of care are met.
The benefits of this novel form of treatment are very clear. However, you need to understand Tele-health first to know what the ultimate benefits are.
Tele-health is a wide field of medical help that includes telemedicine systems, health care tools, and care delivery ways that allow the provision of education or health care services.
Tele-health includes live video chats, remote patients monitoring, photos, and digital impression, the ability to forward and store video, and provision of mobile health using mobile devices for the education of health care.
What is Tele-dentistry?
Tele-dentistry includes using technology in giving dental care to the patient while the common denominator is the dentist. It is viable for dental health care because the technology is accessible to everyone involved.
Tele-dentistry has synchronous and asynchronous applications.
The synchronous application includes the forwarding and storage of data from a provider to a patient. It involves exams and treatment plans data sent remotely to a patient.
Asynchronous is the live stream or video conferencing of data between a specialist and a patient.
This type of technology has allowed any experienced dentist to give efficient oral health care to patients in places where there is limited dental care.
Who benefits from Tele-dentistry?
The provision of dental care by dentists has been improved widely by Tele-dentistry. Some of the digital benefits of Tele-dentistry include the following — It is accessed by patients living in rural areas, those who postpone or delay dental care, as well as those who do not access a dental provider.
With tele-dentistry, there is:
- interaction of patients with their specialists for referrals or follow-up appointments.
- a provision of offsite preventative care and screenings by dental hygienists.
- a provision of data for follow-up during the diagnosis.
- an improvement in connection with the record of patients associated with pediatricians, physicians, and nursing facilities.
How does Tele-dentistry improve dental care access?
People may not be able to access dental care because they live in rural areas where dental services are not available or due to convenience.
Therefore, the following information describes how Tele-dentistry improves dental care:
- Gives oral health care to rural and urban areas that are underserved.
- Is helpful to underserved communities. It bridges the gap of the oral that is available for those living in some urban and rural areas.
- Helps in the reduction of care costs. It reduces the cost involved with onsite dentistry.
- Improvement of specialty care. Tele-dentistry connects patients who need specialized care to specialists.
- Integration of oral with general health, Tele-dentistry improves dental health that leads to the improvement of health care.
How Tele-dentistry is beneficial for children:
Several benefits make it convenient for children and their parents to manage their oral care:
Tele-dentistry keep kids on a schedule.
The most important is that Tele-dentistry will make kids not miss school because of routine dental appointments. When parents get advice and feedback from the dentist, it will help them to schedule appointments around the schedule of the child.
Tele-dentistry helps in preventing serious issues from happening in the future.
Tele-dentistry encourages more kids to see the dentist with ease. Regular check-ups from a dental specialist will help in correcting and catching any dental condition, thus preventing more problems.
Tele-dentistry is less intimidating for kids.
Visiting a dentist can be more than a little scary for many children. Therefore, this technology provides an alternative for children to receive oral care comfortably and safely from home. It is also a great idea of bringing kids to dentists’ visits.
Tele-dentistry increases the number of children who can get dental care.
This service extends to those who cannot get dental care. It provides an opportunity to underserved communities and also to those parents who are held by their jobs.
The Benefits of Tele-dentistry Can’t Be Overlooked
With great benefit, bringing Tele-dentistry into existing practices will help in enhancing dental care delivery standards to remote communities if the challenges of Tele-dentistry are solved. Tele-dentistry is already making a move in the dental industry by providing kids with the oral care they require. Utilizing Tele-dentistry will help keep our children healthy and happy.
Hopefully, this article has given you enough information on how tele-dentistry has improved care for underserved children.