The incorporation of technology in health care services has given us many advantages over the years. Whether it is simple diagnostic practices or an advanced medical procedure, technology has its role to play. One such incorporation is teledentistry that enables dental diagnosis virtually without the need for face to face interaction. With a virtual appointment, the dental practitioners will decide if there is a need for a face to face meeting. In the times of the corona pandemic, teledentistry has a vital role to play, as it can keep the possible exchange of the virus at bay.

We know that communication through online video conferencing is now a common thing, and many professions have adopted it for their operations. Tele-diagnostic will surely see a significant surge in the future among different kinds of medical practices. Let us have a look at the many advantages that teledentistry has to offer for all the involved parties.

Improved Access

Patients who reside in rural areas have internet connectivity but not access to appropriate healthcare facilities. They find it difficult to travel to cities and major towns for getting themselves diagnosed, and if nothing serious comes up, then the travelling will be a waste of time and money. 

The same goes for homebound elderly patients who will find it uncomfortable to travel to a dental facility for diagnosis. Teledentistry has removed the barrier of distance, and patients can now have access to initial diagnosis from the comfort of their homes. In case anything serious comes up during the initial diagnosis, then they can travel to the dentist's location for further treatment. 

Reduces cost

When a dentist has to see a patient at their clinic, they have to use resources like masks, gowns, gloves and other supplies, ultimately leading to depreciation in the value of the resources. It also increases the cost of operating machinery that can be avoided easily. 

The time spent by both the patient and the dentist can also be saved through telediagnosis, and they can use the saved time for other activities. A rural patient might have some important work to do that can fetch him/her economic benefits. A visit to the city dentist will disable him/her from giving the time to such important activities. 

Diagnosing Children

Children in both rural and urban areas are very underdiagnosed when it comes to dental health. The advent of teledentistry has allowed dentists to reach out to children effectively through school computers, personal computers at home and through community dental health programs. They can now easily provide diagnosis and essential advice to parents. This is one of the most significant advantages of teledentistry. 

Access to specialists

Dentists practising in rural areas often need specialist advice for treating their patients. Specialists are more concentrated in urban settings and can be contacted effectively by videoconferencing for better consultation. Rural dentists can send recorded videos of their patients to specialists for seeking treatment advice. This process is quite effective and gives rural patients easy access to specialists. 

Less intimidating

We have always been scared of going to a dentist, and many people avoid it to keep anxiety at bay. Children have always been uncomfortable with the idea of visiting a dentist. Teledentistry can help to sort out this issue by providing the ability to see a dentist from the comfort of their own home. 

Disabled People 

People with disabilities who can't move freely without support can also benefit from teledentistry. It is not always possible to arrange suitable transport and appoint caregivers to visit a dental clinic, so it's better to get them diagnosed without moving them.

Oral Hygiene Education

The use of video conferencing or recorded videos in dentistry can be very effective in educating people about practising oral hygiene. Through these conferences and videos, children can be taught the proper way of brushing and flossing along with giving oral hygiene advice to parents. The scope of dentistry is not limited to diagnosis and treatment but also to spread awareness so that dental issues can be avoided. 

Saving Time

Our dental health is given the least priority. We all try to avoid visiting the dentist due to the lack of time as we dont want to compromise on our work schedule. With the advent of teledentistry, the time of the first visit to the dentist can be saved significantly. Working professionals with 9 to 5 jobs find it hard to make time for appointments, so they should stick to video appointments. 

Dentists Can See More Patients

Not all patients will have major dental problems that need face to face appointments. Those who have minor issues can always look forward to teledentistry for diagnosis. It will enable the dentist to have more time, and he/she will be able to see more patients in a day. 

Early Diagnosis

As discussed earlier, many people avoid a visit to the dental clinic just because of the lack of time. If the issues are non-serious, then it will not affect the patient much. In case serious problems are going on like precancerous developments in the mouth, then an early diagnosis can keep complications at bay. 

Any abnormal development in the mouth should be taken seriously, and one should get it checked by a dental practitioner. Tele dentistry, by removing the time barrier enables the patient to avoid complications. 

Conclusion

These were some of the most important advantages of teledentistry that has enhanced its usage throughout the globe. It's only natural that the practice will see a surge in the near future as technological advancement will take place in the field of telecommunication. 

Presently, the majority of dental clinics have computers, internet connectivity, hard drives, intraoral cameras and webcams. These can be classified as the basic infrastructure needed for practising teledentistry. So if you are facing any kind of dental issues and can't make time for a visit to your dentist, then you can always opt for teledentistry services to see if the issue is serious or not.  

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