Teledentistry – what can you really do?

Aalok Shukla explains why it’s now time for the introduction of teledentistry and how it can transform your practice.

Telemedicine is mainstream now. Patients are seeing their GPs online. So it’s time for dental practices to offer a paid professional solution. Dental conditions are mainly detected and screened through visual and volumetric changes. So a professional solution can transform your practice. Phone calls and emails are already used by practices so let’s look at what is possible through a scalable platform.

There are two main reasons patients seek dentist appointments:

  1. They have a specific concern that they want advice on
  2. They want a general health assessment to ensure they can prevent problems.

This is no different when looking at the digital model of teledentistry. The only difference is that the patient is at home, but they still have the same questions and concerns.

Common scenarios include:

  • They just noticed their gums are bleeding more
  • They just chipped a tooth
  • They just lost a filling
  • Their wisdom tooth is painful
  • They have noticed their teeth are getting more sensitive
  • They are concerned about grinding their teeth
  • They haven’t been to the dentist for a while and wanted to understand how their overall mouth health was and what they could do to improve it
  • They are thinking about straightening/whitening/improving their smile and want to know their options.

There are also whole groups of patients who find it traditionally difficult to access your practice that the digital model helps.

What can you do digitally?

The objective is to do a digital dental screening to offer the patient advice and guidance to help them improve their oral health, detect potential problems early, and therefore offer guidance on in-clinic options. This is not a replacement for a physical dental examination with X-rays. It is an addition and enhancement.

As we know 50% of patients don’t regularly visit the dentist, this makes it possible to establish trust and start to build a dental history through the platform. The advantage for the patient is their photos, videos and reports are accessible to them wherever they travel so they can monitor their dental health and be more engaged.

Dental conditions are detected visually and volumetrically, and through clear questions. Symptoms can be clarified such as whether hot or cold makes a difference, if a tooth is tender to bite on or moves to the tongue. Users can also upload videos to verify as well.

Here are some examples of digital consultations and an excerpt from two reports.

Consult one: general health assessment

Outcome: patient didn’t realise extent of grinding issue and scheduled for treatment.

Users can also incorporate patient finance application links into the report.

Consult two

Outcome: patient didn’t realise extent of cracks and broken fillings and scheduled for quadrant treatment to treat the weakened teeth.

Users can also incorporate patient finance application links into the report.

By providing detailed reports to patients you can help them impartially understand their needs, provide help when they can’t physically visit your office and track their oral health over time.


To learn more about incorporating teledentistry into your practice, get your copy of our Teledentistry Growth guide here.

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