For parents, getting their children to the dentist is vitally important for their oral health. However, families in rural communities often suffer from great amounts of disparity between them and their healthcare providers, as many practitioners often focus on urban and suburban communities due to the necessity of higher incomes. Families needing dental services often face this disparity and suffer from the consequences of these economic factors, resulting in poorer oral health overall. As dentists, caring for families in these rural communities matters, and finding new solutions for providing access to care means taking new leaps into innovation. Teledentistry, a relatively new concept over the past few years, may provide that solution needed.
How Teledentistry Works To Help Families Receive Dental Care
For many low-income, rural communities, the gap between healthcare and its patients appears ever-expanding, but teledentistry may help ease those gaps. Teledentistry, in short, is a method of communication through digital mediums to provide access to care, which includes methods such as emails, phone calls, and video calls rather than in-person visits. This new concept has risen over the last few years due to the presence of the Covid-19 pandemic and has played a significant part in reducing the spread of the virus and providing access to emergency services for those with severe oral issues. Because of its positive results, many healthcare professionals have begun seeing teledentistry in a new light.
Teledentistry has begun changing the way that dentists interact with their patients, and for pediatric dentists, teledentistry has been able to help families through multiple avenues of care, including:
- Immediate Diagnosis: During a teledentistry session, parents can work with their dentists and communicate about problems experienced by their children with their dental health. Through observing medical history, x-rays, and photographs, many dentists can often provide an immediate diagnosis for the condition and offer immediate treatments.
- Prompt Answers During Emergencies: For children prone to accidents, dental trauma can be promptly addressed during these stressful situations and offer advice and recommendation for treatment.
- Removes Extra Expenses: Teledentistry can ultimately help reduce the costs associated with dental appointments and treatments and help relieve the stress of travel and scheduling appointments for parents.
- Establish Treatment Plans: One of the largest benefits teledentistry offers to families is the ability to establish treatments through consistent communication and effective planning. Through teledentistry, it can work together with parents and form a compassionate, professional relationship.
- Provides Long-Term Preventative Measures: Most of all, working through teledentistry can help work in at-home treatments and parenting methods for keeping their children’s teeth healthy long-term.
Through teledentistry, a dentist can bridge the gap between their practice and the rural communities needing dental care. Because of the positive impact, it has created for many so far, teledentistry reduces costs, the risk of spreading diseases and can help grow the healthcare industry and provide access to those who need it most. For more information about teledentistry, the best resource you can go to learn more is through your primary or pediatric dentist!