Teledentistry isn’t a particularly new concept. The idea emerged in 1994 to assist rural and underserved populations. Even before the emergence of COVID-19, teledentistry helped address the gap in access to oral healthcare across the United States, as nearly 48 million Americans live in areas that have a shortage of dental professionals.
However, in light of this year’s global pandemic, teledentistry is on the rise. Dentists and patients alike are recognizing the benefits that this technology has to offer. There will, of course, be instances in which patients still need to visit your physical office location. But teledentistry helps limit onsite visits to those in need of urgent or emergency dental care.
Benefits of Teledentistry
Teledentistry offers numerous advantages, particularly during the COVID-19 global pandemic. We’ll explore these benefits in more detail below.
Improves Patient Engagement
As a dental professional, you know that patient compliance is essential for optimal outcomes. Teledentistry helps patients stay engaged with self-care, meaning they’ll be more encouraged to practice excellent oral hygiene between visits.
Encourages Patient-Centric Care
Teledentistry can give patients the benefits of extended office hours and more convenient appointments. This gives practice owners the opportunity to provide care outside of their brick-and-mortar facilities.
Increases Practice Efficiency
According to the Medical Group Management Association, some of the best performing practices in the United States routinely utilize telehealth. This form of care can help triage each case and prioritize care, increasing workflow efficiency in the meantime.
Reduces Practice Overhead
As you might imagine, a teledentistry appointment is much more cost-efficient compared to seeing a patient on-site. And this isn’t just occurring in dental offices, either. According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, they save nearly $87 every time an online appointment replaces an onsite visit.
Reduces the Number of No-Shows
When a patient doesn’t show for an onsite consultation, it can quickly cut into revenue. According to trends, individuals are much more likely to show for a teledentistry visit compared to an onsite appointment.
Increases Overall Revenue
In addition to reducing overhead, teledentistry actually helps you make more money on consultations because it is less time-consuming and less expensive. Teledentistry can also help you attract and retain more patients during these uncertain times.
Keeps Patients Safer
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, teledentistry has become a lifeline for seniors, medically compromised, and other at-risk populations. Rather than venturing out, vulnerable patients can stay safely at home and receive the high-quality care they need.
Teledentistry is Here to Stay
COVID-19 may have been the primary catalyst for the rise of teledentistry. But one fact remains – it is here to stay. As more patients become familiarized with teledentistry, they are more likely to demand it in the future. Private insurers have already jumped on board with teledentistry coverage.
The Bottom Line
Admittedly, there are certain things that teledentistry simply cannot deliver. And change, in any form, can be a bit scary. But utilizing the technology that is available to us can only help our industry.
Contact Us for More Information
If you are an Orthosnap provider, you may wish to consider teledentistry for your patients. Perhaps you’ve already incorporated it into your daily routines. If so, how has it turned out for you? What would you recommend to other dentists and practice owners?
To learn more about Orthosnap and the services we offer, check out our Help Center. Our team is available to talk with you anytime.