The Pros and Cons of Dental Online Consultation
As we enter a new era in terms of technology, there has been an immense change when it comes to patient care and management too. We are all aware that during and post-COVID-19, the approach toward dentistry will totally change. Dental surgeons, dental assistants, and dental receptionists are the people generally working in a dental setup. The risk of contracting COVID-19 through direct transmission secondary to cough, sneezing, droplet infection, contact transmission, and aerosol production while treating a COVID-19-positive patient is very high. Keeping all this in mind, we need to find a better way of dealing with and providing excellent care to patients while ensuring their and our family’s safety as well. This is where dental online consultation enters the picture.
Teledentistry: Online dental consultation
Teledentistry has the ability to improve oral healthcare infrastructure by improving its delivery which can further reduce the cost of oral healthcare. It also has the potential to eliminate the disparities in oral healthcare between rural and urban communities. The consultation is usually carried out through a live video chat or the exchange of photographs. If the dentist finds any discrepancy, they advise the patient to visit a local dentist for further evaluation. Various authors have successfully proved the use of teledentistry in oral medicine in community dental service. They have suggested that telediagnosis is an effective alternative in the diagnosis of oral lesions using the transmission of digital images via email.
To understand teledentistry better, we should first try to understand teleconsultation. Teleconsultation is defined as synchronous or asynchronous consultation using information and communication technology to omit geographical and functional distance.
In today’s fast-paced world, online dental consultations are becoming increasingly popular. With the rise of technology, patients can get dental health care advice virtually from the comfort of their own homes. Although online consultations seem convenient, there are pros and cons that need to be considered before opting for this type of dental care.
One of the main advantages of online dental consultation is convenience. Patients can schedule appointments without leaving their work or home. This is particularly useful for busy people who have a hard time fitting a dental appointment into their schedules. Prescribe antibiotics. After a real-time emergency exam, dentists can provide an initial diagnosis and recommend the right treatment. Analgesics and antibiotics can be prescribed if necessary.
Saves Time and Money
Online dental consultations save time and money. Patients don’t have to spend time driving to the dental office or paying for gas, parking, and other related expenses. Real-time emergency exams with a licensed dentist. Teledentistry offers 24/7 consultations for patients. Licensed dentists can respond to a patient’s request. If necessary, dentists can provide a live video examination. Additionally, online consultations are often less expensive than in-person visits.
Online consultations also offer the advantage of comfort. Patients can sit in the comfort of their own homes while discussing their oral health issues. This eliminates the anxiety and stress that often comes with visiting the dentist’s office. These online consultations also decrease unnecessary emergency room visits. Patients can receive fluoride varnish kits by mail, for instance, and their dentist remotely checks in on them to ensure that they apply the kit correctly in live time.
Deliver dental care to the underserved. Online dental consultation is particularly beneficial for patients who live in rural areas or those who have difficulty traveling to a dentist’s office. With virtual consultation, patients can access dental care wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection. Teledentistry plays a key role in providing delivery of care to the underserved. This technology has substantially increased the roles of professionals in collaborating with their patients.
Limited Physical Examination
One of the biggest disadvantages of online dental consultation is the limited physical examination that can be performed. Often, dental emergencies may require immediate attention that cannot be provided through online consultation. In-person visits are still necessary for a complete evaluation of the oral cavity.
Dentists require appropriate training. Dentists aren’t formally trained to provide dental care remotely. Thus, dentists need to undergo a form of training to help them do their job properly.
Inability to Provide Treatment
In addition, online consultations may not be able to provide full dental treatment. Patients may need to visit the dentist’s office to receive the care they need. Certain treatments, such as root canals, extractions, or orthodontic procedures, are impossible through remote consultation and require in-person visits.
The cost of telecommunications equipment is not a joke. Not all dentists can afford to implement it in their practice. Also, online consultation relies heavily on technology, and technical issues such as poor video quality, internet connection problems, or computer issues can impact the consultation negatively. These issues can cause a delay or hinder proper communication with the dentist.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Finally, patients must be aware of privacy and security concerns with online consultation. With the possibility of data breaches or hackers accessing sensitive information, patients need to ensure the security of their personal information before sharing it online. Patients will send their dental records, which include their personal information. Without the proper technology, teledentistry may violate privacy laws. Hence, there’s a need for dental boards to monitor teledentistry providers as they would any dental provider.
Dental fields that benefit from teledentistry
Online dental consultations are becoming increasingly popular among patients seeking dental care advice. With the advancements in technology, dental professionals can now offer virtual consultations to help evaluate patients’ dental issues, provide advice, and offer treatment options. Online dental consultations can be beneficial in various fields of dentistry, including:
Orthodontic treatment often requires multiple consultations over an extended period. Online dental consultations can help patients save time and money by allowing them to connect with their orthodontists virtually. Using online consultations, orthodontists can evaluate patients’ current treatment progress, offer advice on how to maintain their braces or aligners and plan the next step for the treatment. This can help reduce the number of in-person appointments needed, offering more convenience for patients.
Cosmetic dentistry aims to improve the appearance of teeth and gums. Many cosmetic dental procedures require multiple consultations, and online consultations can be a powerful tool for this purpose. A cosmetic dentist can use online consultations to evaluate patients’ dental issues before recommending treatments such as teeth whitening, veneers, and dental bonding. Cosmetic dental consultations can effectively eliminate travel time and ensure the patient receives the most appropriate treatment.
General dentistry aims to provide comprehensive dental care to patients. Online dental consultations can help dentists evaluate dental conditions, such as gum disease, cavities, or tooth sensitivity, and provide recommendations for proper oral hygiene or necessary dental work. This can help manage dental issues early, preventing more extensive and costly treatments in the future. Online dental consultations also make it easier for patients to communicate with their dentists, allowing them to ask questions and receive prompt advice.
Online dental consultations can also benefit pediatric dentistry. Parents can take advantage of virtual consultations to communicate their child’s oral health issues with pediatric dentists. The pediatric dentist can evaluate the child’s oral health and suggest home care tips, such as proper brushing and flossing techniques or diet recommendations. This can help prevent future dental issues while also providing parents with peace of mind.
Online dental consultations can be used to evaluate patients before oral surgery procedures such as extraction or dental implant placement. A virtual consultation allows the oral surgeon to assess the patient’s condition and determine if any additional tests, such as radiographs, are necessary before the surgery. Online dental consultations can also help patients prepare for surgery by offering post-surgery instructions or advice on pain management before the surgery.
In summary, online dental consultation has its pros and cons, and patients need to weigh them before choosing this type of dental care. While online consultations offer convenience, comfort, and accessibility, they lack the complete physical evaluation and direct treatment that only in-person visits can provide. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a dentist to determine the best course of action for any given dental issue.
- Published On : 8 months ago on April 5, 2023
- Author By : och2202
- Last Updated : April 5, 2023 @ 1:47 am
- In The Categories Of : Dental Care
- Tagged With : dental consultation