HOW CAN TELEDENTISTRY HELP YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS?

TELEDENTISTRY THE PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE

Some people may think, teledentistry means searching the Web for information that might help a patient. Others may think, it is partaking of online continuing education courses. These two activities are not Teledentistry, they are actually Web surfing and distance learning.

Teledentistry, on the other hand, is a combination of telecommunications and dentistry, involving the exchange of clinical information and images over remote distances for dental consultation, treatment planning and in some cases certain treatments as will be discussed below.

The term “Teledentistry” was first used as far back as 1997, and was defined as - The practice of using video-conferencing technologies to diagnose and provide advice about treatment over a distance.

METHODS OF TELECONSULTATION IN TELEDENTISTRY

Teleconsultation through teledentistry can be applied in the following ways – “Real-Time Dental Consultation” and “Dental File Store-and Forward Method”

Real-Time Dental Consultation involves a secure videoconference in which dental professionals and their patients, while in different locations, may see, hear, and communicate with one another. Dental File Store-and-Forward Method involves the exchange of clinical dental information, high definition video clips and static images collected and stored by the dental practitioner, who securely forwards them for consultation and treatment planning. The patient is not usually present during the “store and forward consultation. Dentists can share patient information, radiographs, raphical representations of periodontal and hard tissues, therapies applied, lab results, tests, remarks, photographs, video clips, and other information transportable through multiple providers. This data sharing can be very important for patients, especially those in need of specialist consultation. A third method has also been described, known as “Remote Video Monitoring Method”, in which patients are monitored using a secure videoconference platform at a distance and can either be hospital-based or home-based.

Teledentistry could improve access to oral health care, improve the delivery of oral healthcare and in some cases lower its costs. It also has the potential to eliminate the inequalities in oral healthcare between rural and urban populations. Teledentistry may turn out to be the less expensive, as well as the quickest, way to bridge the rural-urban health divide.

 

If the forecasts on the shortages of dentists in the next decade come to pass, teledentistry will be important not only for rural areas but also for our urban and suburban populations. Inter-professional audio-visual communications will improve dentistry's integration into the larger healthcare delivery system. The use of teledentistry for specialist audio-visual consultations, diagnosis, treatment planning and organisation, and continuity of care will provide aspects of decision support and facilitate a sharing of the contextual knowledge of the patient among dentists. Second opinions, pre-authorisation and other insurance requirements will be met almost instantaneously online, with the use of HD video clips and real images of dental problems rather than tooth charts and written descriptions. Teledentistry will also provide an opportunity to supplement traditional teaching methods in dental education, and provide new opportunities for dental students and dentists.

 

ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF TELEDENTISTRY

Teledentistry has been developing since 1994 as a method to allow dental professionals to communicate with one another over long distances. It allows collaboration by multiple practitioners regarding a patient and the necessary treatment for this patient. Teledentistry can be greatly used with rural populations or those of underserved populations. It would increase the accessibility of specialists, besides decreasing time and cost associated with specialty consultations. Real-time secure videoconferencing and dental file store and forward techniques are the mostly commonly used methodologies for teledentistry. Teledentistry is becoming more widely seen and applied by the increase in digital media found in dental practices.

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One method is the more common, dental file store and forward technique and the other method is the real-time secure videoconferencing technique. Dental file store-and-forward technology, which is more commonly used in teledentistry, is less expensive, uses clinical photos, video clips and data that are captured and digitally stored. This can then be transferred to a remote periodontist for review.

Real-time secure videoconferencing allows people at two or more locations to communicate with each other using a digital screen to display a video image of the person or people at either or both locations. A video camera and speaker phones or computer camera and speakers/earphone are used to enhance the visibility and audibility of people at both the ends. Usually, both parties agree upon a meeting time and information that is exchanged in real time is transmitted simultaneously between locations.

Even though the equipment and high-speed network connection required to run secure videoconferencing may cost a little more than simple dental store file and forward, certain peripheral devices can be attached to the computers or the video conferencing systems, which can aid in an interactive example. For example, tele probes can be developed which can allow a remote periodontist to access the patients' periodontal parameters or more recently Intraoral Cameras.

 

INTRAORAL CAMERAS AND TELEDENTISTRY

The most used tools by dental professionals for clinical documentation, dental intraoral cameras have practically replaced the use of film for operatory photography. Zoom capability rivals that of standard microscopes, and most of these portable, wand-shaped cameras are digital, provide exceptional visibility for diagnosis, treatment planning and monitoring of patient. Instantly captured high-definition dental images enhance patient conformity and education by allowing patients to see what the dental professional or clinician sees.

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Patient dental Images are easily shared and the systems integrate with a variety of imaging and practice management software products. They connect easily to pcs both wirelessly, or docking stations  or via USB. Most intraoral cameras use LED, enabling image capture without exterior lighting.

Dental Professionals choosing a dental intraoral camera should keep in mind that:

-Higher-resolution cameras have a tendency to capture images with better clarity

-User-friendly USB connectivity enables movement from room to room

-The capture button should be positioned to allow snapping of images regardless of positioning in the mouth.

- The software or drivers included should be compatible with existing software “TWAIN compliant” so that different cameras are compatible with different software applications.

 

THE NEXT LEVEL IN TELEDENTISTRY - THE QLMTELEDENT SYSTEM

Intraoral camera can be used in Teledentistry by sending an intraoral camera to the patient by mail/courier service and supervising the patient using The QLMTeledent Secure Video Conferencing platform. These Intraoral cameras can be supplied at low cost by The QLMTeledent Team.

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QLMTELEDENT PLATFORM USES IN TELEDENTISTRY

 

Assessment

The QLMTeledent platform can be used for dental assessments with photos and videos taken by the patient themselves, or through existing dental records taken by a dentist in person and examined remotely.

 

Prescription

The QLMTeledent platform  can be used when a patient is in pain and needs antibiotics to cure an abscess, a prescription can be provided remotely (if the diagnosis is carried out using audio-visual methods) instead of sending the patient to their GP, or doing nothing and having someone in terrible pain until they can have a physical appointment.

 

Supervision

The QLMTeledent platform when used in Teledentistry is a cost-effective way to monitor dental treatments, especially in the case of orthodontics. It’s a fantastic way for a dentist to supervise and monitor the progress of teeth movement remotely, without having to call the patient in every month.

 

Treatments

Apart from oral hygiene routines, other cosmetic dentistry treatments that have been carried out successful using The QLMTeledent platform and Teledentistry are Supervised Teeth Whitening with custom teeth whitening trays and Orthodontics using Invisible Braces and self-impression-kits.

 

Marketing and Sales To Get More Patients

QLMTeledent platform has a front end marketing and sales platform designed to assist the dental practice to acquire new patients using web class training for public awareness and marketing systems that can literally run 24/7/365 days a year to keep new patients booking appointments whether for a physical or audio-visual appointment via the QLMTeledent Secure Videoconferencing platform. Contact The QLMTeledent team for a free no obligation online demo.

Each QLMTeledent platform comes with a high quality, secure video conferencing platform, 24/7/365 Marketing Platform, full training, sales and marketing training, branded marketing materials and …. for a limited time only, 2 free Intraoral Cameras.

QLMTeleDent.com - Growing Community

QLMTeledent at QLMTeleDent.Com, are creating a growing online community of potiential patients that are interested in using a virtual dentist for basic check ups, advice and limited treatments all done remotely via the QLMTeledent platform.
We have a growing community of people form all walks of life, on the QLMTeleDent.Com website, that would like to "see a dentist, without going to a dentist". And this is just the begining ....this is part of a new revolution in dentistry, imagine tapping into a patient base with no geographical location limitations. Don't get left behind to find more request a free online demo.

As you can see, The QLMTeledent platform is a great tool for the dentists and patients to interact without the need for expensive, inconvenient in person visits.

To find out more about how Modern Teledentistry can assist your dental practices during this COVID-19 crisis and beyond, contact us today for a free online no obligation QLMTeledent platform PowerPoint demo.

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