Teledentistry 101: Everything you need to know to get started.

As COVID continues to challenge day-to-day operations and resources in your practice, you may be considering teledentistry solutions to reduce your team’s exposure; to reserve PPE use for those who need it most; and to connect with patients to better understand what they need. 

With that in mind, we’ve organized some information and tips that can help you integrate teledentistry easily into your practice workflow.

What is Teledentistry?

Teledentistry is the use of electronic information, imaging and communication technologies, including interactive audio, video, data communications as well as store-and-forward technologies, to provide and support dental care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of dental information and education.

It can include virtual consultations and high-tech monitoring of patients which offer less expensive and more convenient care options for patients. The range of currently available teledentistry solutions reflects a broader, changing healthcare landscape that is moving toward innovation, integration and convenient care. Companies that are seeing success in the teledentistry landscape, like Dental Monitoring, are proof that the dental industry is embracing innovation, too.

How can it benefit your practice?

Teledentistry opens up a world of potential for practices seeking to reach a wider audience and attract new patients.

In general, teledentistry can: 

  • widen the circle of dental care to historically underserved populations, and to people who have been otherwise unable to visit the dentist
  • create solutions for care during challenging times and beyond
  • allow for continued care of patients in need
  • help seniors get better care
  • provide care to potential new patients that would have been reluctant to standard options
  • reduce overhead costs

Tips for Success

1. Train your staff and set clear expectations.

It starts with your team. It’s important that you decide how you want to implement teledentistry in your practice and then encourage its consistent use. It’s important to form good, consistent habits within your team to nurture the integration of new solutions and workflows. 

2. Have patient resources ready.  

If you are still seeing patients in-office for follow-ups, be sure to have instructions ready for how they can use your teledentistry solutions for their next visit. Many solutions will provide you with resources you can print easily to share for future virtual follow-ups.

3. Inform potential new patients about the availability of teledentistry. 

Shout it from the rooftops. Be sure to post it on your website and social media accounts to attract possible new patients. For patients that may be anxious about an in-office appointment, it could be a powerful tool for creating loyalty.  

4. Make a plan for how you will record e-visits in your EHR/EDR/PMS.

It’s important to establish a plan early on for how your office workflow will incorporate documentation and communication for all virtual consultations, communication and monitoring. This will also help you and your team retain patients later by better understanding the full scope of care you have provided them. 

The benefits of teledentistry indicate that it will become an even more important tool as we enter new phases of the pandemic. Chances are that at least one of your competitors is already offering teledentistry.

If you don’t yet use a solution in your practice and you would like to learn more about Dental Monitoring’s easy-to-use, HIPAA-compliant tools, please visit www.dental-monitoring.com/virtual-practice.

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