Technology has improved so much especially when it comes to dealing with healthcare and dentistry. Plenty of dentists nowadays now use a number of apps to make their jobs easier and more effective. Some of these apps allow dentists to organize treatment plans for patients, coordinate future appointments and follow up care, explain complicated clinical information, transmit treatment plans, and even provide educational dental counseling. Dental apps allow dentists to help their patients understand the treatment. Technology has made it possible to avail the services of a Virtual Dentist right at your fingertips.
What’s A Virtual Dentist?
Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible for people to consult their dentists without any invasive procedures through a virtual dentist.
A virtual dentist relies on disruptive technology to improve and increase people’s access to dental care. Through various mobile applications, people who are unable to afford dental care can avail cheaper consultations with a virtual dentist near them. They can get an accurate and detailed diagnosis based primarily on Q&A and photos before they are advised to visit a specialist dentist’s physical office.
Dentists use a social networking app that enables them to network and obtain relevant information about their job, which they can apply into their practice. Other apps keep doctors informed on affiliated trademarks and company brands.
Virtual Dentist and Dental Hygiene Apps for Children
Although professional virtual dentist apps have been proven quite useful, there are also fun apps that can help parents improve their children’s dental habits. Some of these apps play music while children brush their teeth to make sure that they brush their teeth for at least two full minutes. Regardless, some dentist still vouch for the age-old technique of getting children brush their teeth ranging from getting them to choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste to playing games with them while they brush their teeth. Although a music app can be useful when you’re in a pinch, it is observed that the technology used to record children’s brush strokes seems way too advanced in a world where control is necessarily implemented in lieu of social exchanges. The cultural values of learning, after all, take place via direct human contact. This is especially true for young children. There is a need to weigh the value of our social and personal lives before giving up this particular part of our culture to technology.
Although we desire to embrace technology within our personal and professional lives, we need to exercise caution when we use technology as a substitute to our interpersonal communications. When it comes to teaching our children to develop healthy daily dental habits, there is simply nothing more effective than families spending time together to teach their children how to brush their teeth.
Virtual Dentist: Uncomplicated Dental Care
There are plenty of advantages you can get out of virtual dental consultations. Some of these benefits are highlighted below:
- Easily Explore Your Options –when you avail the services of a virtual dentist, you’ll find that exploring all the options available for you becomes quite easy. You’ll be informed on the different methods used before you go in for the procedures. This makes it easier for you to choose what is comfortable for you or not.
- Easy to Choose What You Want –once you get a good understanding of the procedures, you’ll find it easier to choose what you want and what you don’t want. Consultation is necessary as it is the only time you can check in with your virtual dentist on what certain procedures entail. The dentist can provide you with some visuals so you can understand the process better and eventually help in easing your fears and apprehensions.
- Know If You Are Eligible for A Particular Procedure –by doing virtual consultations with a virtual dentist, you’ll be able to see whether or not you are eligible for a certain dental procedure. Everyone responds differently to different dental procedures. Just because a particular treatment worked well for your friend doesn’t mean that it will work well for you too. Evaluating one’s health is necessary since it will guarantee that you are in a position to find out whether there are any health problems or issues that will prevent you from availing a certain dental procedure.
- Get Additional Care Tips –virtual dental consultations also provide you with additional care tips that you can integrate into your daily oral care routine. It will be easy for you to be able to consult with your virtual dentist quickly on certain matters such as what toothpaste to use or what dental care products are right for you. Consulting with a dentist in person might take a long time for you, hence why a virtual consultation is ideal because you can simply get an expert’s opinion with a single tap of your finger.
- Easy To Explore Payment Options –When you consult with a virtual dentist, you also get to explore your options when it comes to payment methods. There are a couple of dental treatments that may not be covered with your dental insurance so it’s important to know this in advance so you can avoid any embarrassing situation in the future. Virtual consultations allows you to consult with your dentist ahead of time so you can get a good idea of how much to expect when it comes to certain dental procedures.
Virtual Dentists Provide A Solution for Unmet Market Needs
According to research, around six million people experience urgent dental care every year. However these people lack access to a regular dentist or are unable to find a dentist who’s willing to see them right away.
Hospital Emergency Department (ED) dental visits exist and they do help to a certain extent. The American Dental Association reveals that there are over 2 million ED visits in the USA every year for non-traumatic dental problems.
The only problem is that EDs lack the proper equipment and are not well-staffed to provide definitive dental solutions to patients. They may be able to fix minor dental issues, but the problems are left to fester.
Fortunately virtual dental consultations provide the solutions you need.
Benefits of Virtual Dental Care Solutions
Thanks to technological advancements, dental offices no longer keep yellowed card files and stacks of medical records stapled together. Although these are still used by some dentists today, they can now be replaced with voice transcription and database software. Although some of the more well-known dental offices can easily jump in on the technology bandwagon, the smaller and lesser-known offices are often ill-prepared or unwilling to upgrade their system or install new hardware due to lack of funds.
As technology continues to advance and as compliance requirements get more and more complicated, dentists have paired up with IT service providers to change the game within the dental industry.
Besides making dental offices more organized (because there will be fewer boxes and paper stacks), making the shift to virtual dental care improves the moral boost of dental offices as it makes operations go smoothly and efficiently. These alone are enough reasons for dental offices to consider virtual solutions for their dental offices.
Below are 5 benefits dental offices get when they make the shift to providing virtual solutions.
- Business Stability –dental offices can’t afford to be “down” for prolonged periods of time. It is important to have appointment information and medical history at hand and what better way to have such data organized than to upgrade and switch to technology-driven solutions? Doctors should understand how negatively an antiquated system, faulty hardware, poorly installed servers, or even a power surge can impact and hurt their business, reputation and client satisfaction. Making the shift to a techy solution can help make sure that your business goes on through regular updates and maintenance.
- Data Replication –As the dentistry industry grows more and more complex, the volume of information, imagery, and archives has grown as well. The question now is: Where do dental offices store or keep their data? If you’re still using the old-school style of storing data (files and folders), then you’re at risk. Operating systems and servers are not completely secure and fool-proof. Fortunately there’s software available that can protect your business by automatically collecting, storing, protecting and updating important information.
- Compliance to HIPAA –if your dental practice is a covered entity, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to comply with HIPAA rules. You can start with the appointments of a HIPAA Security Official and a HIPAA Privacy Official. Once you’re done with that you’ll need to:
- Read and understand all the requirements
- Create a HIPAA compliance team
- Delegate tasks
- Perform risk assessments
- Come up with policies and procedures
- Train workforce members
- Maintain compliance regularly
- PHI Security –Whether we’re talking about gaining casual access to classified information or the possibility of your computer being infected with a virus, susceptibility to a security breach is a very sensitive issue that requires your utmost attention. Apart from securing billing and payment, a dental office must also be vigilant in securing its patient’s Personal Health Information because it is shared at so many different times—X-Ray transmissions, insurance claims, consultations with specialists, lab communications, and even via patients who request copies of their medical records whenever they move to a different place. There are plenty of service providers that offer a wide range of solutions and transactional processes including firewall, anti-virus software, password protection, log-in procedures and limited access.
- Encryption of Email –As our world advances and becomes more tech-driven, we are slowly shifting towards going paperless. E-mails have made life easier for everyone to communicate with everyone. However it’s dangerous for dentists, even virtual dentists, to be lax when it comes to email delivery. Plan text that travels over a public network can easily be deciphered so try to make sure that emails containing your client’s social security numbers, credit card info, and/or medical records are only accessible only via a link and log-in.
Why Virtual Dental Care is Necessary
What kind of image does the word “virtual dentistry” conjure up for you? For some, they imagine patients with their heads stuck in computers while a robotic arm cleans, checks and fixes their teeth. This could be possible in the future, but for now, the reality is that virtual dentistry can be used to handle a variety of important tasks other than performing dental surgical procedures on patients.
Virtual dental care as a couple of really cool benefits, which include:
- Improves patient’s access to dental care and pain relief
- Prevents dentists from doing guesswork on what’s wrong
- Helps patients avoid unnecessary, costly trips to the ED or Urgent care clinic
- Promotes healthy dental care nationwide
- Helps improve patient’s oral health
Virtual dentists can devote more of their time performing high-production treatments, and provide convenient services to new and existing patients when they use virtual methods in performing certain non-surgical aspects of their job (such as consultations and diagnoses). Patients can also appreciate being able to meet their dental needs even at the comfort of their own home.
Those looking for a reliable virtual dentistry provider, can easily sift through hundreds of results on Google searches, or recommendations from friends and colleagues. However, there are plenty of companies with established connections and patients can easily interview virtual dentists online with regards to their dental needs so they can choose one based on how satisfied they are with the answers they get from them.
In conclusion, embracing new technology in the world of dentistry means being continuously open to ideas that allow practitioners in this industry to become more efficient, better and provide more convenience to the patients they serve. Dentists who embrace virtual dentistry have an edge over dentists who limit their use of technology to patient care in the office. Virtual dentistry can be a tool dentists can add in their practice armamentarium. It can also be used to enhance patient education and virtual consultations too.