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Teledentistry: An Inside Look at Virtual Dental Appointments

July 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — rosenfeld @ 12:59 pm
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When the initial wave of stay-at-home orders hit, many thought social distancing, face coverings, and extensive hand hygiene were simply short-term infection control measures. However, nearly six months later, the world is continuing to battle COVID-19 while states begin to make the transition out of quarantine. While we enter into our “new normal,” it is more important now than ever that we all do our part to limit the spread of this novel virus. With this in mind, dental teams across the U.S. are opting for teledentistry appointments. If you are unsure what to expect from virtual dentistry, then keep reading!

What Is Teledentistry?

Teledentistry, also referred to as virtual dentistry, is a method in which your dentist can use technology and telecommunications to conduct a consultation, provide education, and deliver dental care. By opting for a remote meeting through your computer or phone, you can talk to your dentist one-on-one without risking exposure to the novel COVID-19 virus. This is especially helpful for patients who are at-risk or are self-isolating!

What Does a Virtual Dental Appointment Look Like?

Since teledentistry was rarely used before the pandemic, it is natural to feel some curiosity about what to expect during a virtual appointment. If you have a remote visit coming up, here are three things you can expect:

  • Assessment – Pre-pandemic, this portion of your trip to the dentist could include dental exams, X-rays, and screening questions. During a virtual visit, the dentist will rely on photos and videos taken by the patient, which will then be examined remotely and compared with previous dental records.  
  • Prescription – If you are feeling discomfort stemming from your mouth, connecting with your dentist is a must. Not only will they be able to determine if you need to come in for urgent treatment, but they can also prescribe you antibiotics or pain medication as needed.
  • Supervision – For patients with braces, routine visits play a crucial role in ensuring the teeth are moving properly into the desired location. Fortunately, your dental team can monitor the progress virtually until in-person visits are routine again.

How You Can Prepare For Your Virtual Visit

At your last visit, you may have prepared by brushing your teeth, getting your paperwork together, and loading up your phone with a book to read in the waiting room. While your dental appointment will look different in light of the current pandemic, it is still important to prepare beforehand to set your appointment up for success. Therefore, make sure to:

  • Fully charge your laptop or phone.
  • Get the link, app, or platform set up before your appointment time.
  • Find good lighting so your dentist can get the most accurate look at your teeth and gums.
  • Come to your appointment with a list of questions or concerns you have regarding any symptoms you are experiencing.

The current pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of our lives, including routine visits to the dentist. If you are due for your bi-yearly checkup or have a toothache that needs attention, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about opting for teledentistry!

About the Practice

At East Islip Dental Care, their team goes above and beyond to provide high-quality dental care that truly gives you a reason to smile. Plus, they have nine talented doctors on staff, are open seven days a week, and are taking extensive measures to ensure their patients’ safety during COVID-19. If you have any questions about virtual dentistry or would like to schedule a teledentistry appointment, don’t hesitate to visit their website or give them a call at 631-581-8600.

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