Better Patient Experience
As a patient, teledentistry saves travel time while preventing unnecessary in-office visits and expensive cost, while also acting as an excellent alternative to emergency room visits and the wait times that are associated with them. Having a dentist provide medical advice and prescribe medication over a live tele-dental video call for emergencies requiring an antibiotic, for example, saves time, money, and patient stress.
Another positive aspect of teledentistry is that it has the potential to decrease dental anxiety for the patient. Dental anxiety often results in the avoidance of necessary dental care and eventually the deterioration of oral health. This is seen especially in young children, and children with special needs. Teledentistry can act as a medium to introduce the patient to the dentist from the comfort of their own home. This can reduce levels of anxiety and make the patient feel more comfortable with the new dentist before they make an in-office appointment. Teledentistry consultations can also familiarize the patient in regard to the treatment or procedure that needs to be performed. If the patient understands what is going to happen on the day of the procedure, they will be more comfortable, and more compliant, which will increase the success of the treatment. The success of the treatment results in more trust in the dentist, lower levels of dental anxiety for the future, and overall a better patient experience.
The Future of Teledentistry
A virtual platform that allows dentists to provide dental care to patients comes with an endless list of benefits that will last much longer than the impact of COVID-19 on the dental community. As such, teledentistry has the potential to completely revolutionize the field of dentistry in the near future.
Maund, J. (2017, January). (Rep.). Retrieved June 30, 2020, from https://www.allianceon.org/sites/default/files/documents/Information-ER-DR-visits-dental-problems_Jan-2017.pdf