As a measure of caution during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals decided to halt their regular trips to the dentist. It is easily understandable given the fact that at the time, the medical community was having a hard time combating the virus. However, now that it has been two years since the pandemic began, those same people can no longer put their dental health on the back-burner and expect it to be taken care of by itself – even though the risk of COVID-19 is still there. But thank to the internet, people can now consult a dentist online.
Clinics have been instructed by the relevant authorities to strictly adhere to the dental guidance to protect the health of their patients and the dentists who treat them. In addition, the provision of consultations by an online dentist is a primary recommendation made by industry professionals as a best practice.
The dental industry currently enjoys six advantages thanks to having a consultation with an online dentist anytime, anywhere.
Decreased Probability of Infectious Virus Spread
Direct contact between individuals continues to be one of the most critical factors in COVID-19 transmission. People, however, cannot simply ignore the fact that they require dental care. Because of this, the dental industry has developed virtual consultations, which satisfy both the social distancing requisite and the need for patients to see their dentists.
The patient and the dentist both have a reduced chance of contracting a virus as a result of this practice.
In spite of this, it is still necessary to have a face-to-face consultation, particularly for dental procedures such as teeth whitening, tooth extraction, crown fitting, and other orthodontic treatments. During these procedures, the dental industry adheres to stringent guidelines that the appropriate health agencies have provided in order to reduce the risks of COVID-19 infection. Handwashing that is done correctly, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), regularly disinfecting tools and furniture, and other steps are adhered to very strictly by professionals working in the dental industry. Dentists often advise patients to have their post-procedure checkups done virtually, as this helps to promote social distancing between the patient and the dentist.
Reduced Fees for Dental Care
According to the findings of a recent study, one in ten adults in the working population skips out on dental care because of the high cost. In point of fact, skipping dental visits could reduce costs associated with them right now. However, in the long run, neglecting dental care can lead to higher costs due to the procedures that need to be performed to address the complications that arise from the patient’s failure to visit the dentist regularly. It is hoped that the lower cost of a remote consultation in comparison to an in-person appointment will encourage more patients to maintain consistent communication with their dentists.
Despite the possibility of lower dental fees associated with teledentistry, an online dentist can still generate a decent income from their practice thanks to the increased number of patients they see. Dentists are able to see more patients, even if they so choose to keep their regular clinic hours because it is simpler and more expedient to conduct remote consultations than it is to perform in-person examinations.
Extended Clinic Hours
One of the advantages of providing virtual consultations is the ability to keep the clinic open for longer. An online dentist can see patients either earlier or later than the typical operating hours of their clinics. When dentists work longer clinical hours, it means they can see more patients, which in turn means they make more money. Patients who do not want to take time off from work for their dental appointments can also benefit from it.
Better Accessibility to Services
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, some patients who live in rural areas had limited access to medical and dental care services. The drawn-out journey to the dental clinic presents a significant barrier to maintaining a consistent schedule of checkups and cleanings. For many people, trips to the dentist require significant effort for checkups. Unfortunately, a lack of desire on the part of individuals to maintain good dental hygiene and go to the dentist regularly may lead to less than optimal oral health.
A virtual consultation with an online dentist addresses accessibility issues. As long as the patient has access to the internet, they will be able to schedule an appointment with their online dentist easily.
Distance and travel time are no longer an issue for patients, so if a patient’s preferred dentist is too busy to see them, they can easily schedule virtual consults with other dentists, even if those dentists are located in a different town or city.
Improved Response Times for Time-Dependent Cases and Emergencies
Patients who have serious dental issues, such as swollen gums, locked jaws, or other issues, can gain from remote consultations because they don’t have to wait as long to find a dentist available to look at their condition. In point of fact, they have access to virtual dental care whenever and wherever they want it. It means that patients can get assistance to address their issues more timely.
With the help of virtual consultations, an online dentist can evaluate a patient’s condition and offer prescriptions or suggestions to them even if the patient lives hundreds of miles away. Online dentists can also easily connect with other experts virtually to seek advice regarding how best to treat their patients in the event that a case presents difficulties.
Better Customer Care
Patients experience a greater sense of specialness and care from their dentists as a result of the increased accessibility provided by email and video calls. They are grateful that they can contact their dentists by phone, text message, or message whenever they have questions about their prescribed medications. This is especially true for individuals who have had invasive dental procedures performed in the past.
Dentists also stand to benefit from open communication, particularly in the immediate aftermath of dental surgery. If patients are able to provide the dentist with immediate feedback regarding symptoms or issues, the dentist will be able to resolve them more quickly or, if necessary, provide alternative dental care management. This kind of interaction can prevent otherwise straightforward problems from becoming more complicated.