In the last five years, telehealth services have exploded. Triggered worldwide health concerns, patients sought out medical help from a distance whenever possible. Although the pandemic is over, patients recognize that remote health care has its benefits.

Advanced digital tools have allowed medical professionals, including dentists, to be more effective and flexible with patient treatment. This technology has reduced the need for some in-person visits while maintaining the standard of care. Now dentists have also embraced teledentistry to support and enhance in-office visits for routine and specialist care. Orthodontics is one specialty that is implementing teledentistry effectively.

What is Teledentistry?

Teledentistry uses digital advances to provide additional avenues of care. Dentists can hold live consultations with patients via Internet video calls. These consultations are especially helpful for rural patients, elderly patients, and patients with physical disabilities. They cannot replace all in-office visits, but they can limit them.

Teledentistry includes indirect communications such as exchanging videos and photographs via messaging, email, and other digital avenues. Your dentist may use a patient portal to deliver test results, answer questions, or schedule follow-up appointments. This approach allows you to take greater control of your treatment. You have more options and can choose plans that fit your specific situation.

Technology is constantly evolving, making it easier for patients to communicate with their dentist. It also allows the dentist to monitor patient conditions and progress from afar. Some things can be diagnosed virtually, and some remedies can be prescribed the same way. Teledentistry does not replace office visits, but it does improve patient care.

Remote consultations have become important in orthodontics, making the management of appliances much easier for patients. It’s one of the latest developments in the history of orthodontics.

Benefits of Teledentistry in Orthodontics

Traditionally, patients meet with their orthodontist dozens of times over the course of their braces treatment. These visits have been necessary but time-consuming, often causing parents to miss work and patients to miss school or other obligations. Many of these visits are simple: The doctor checks the patient’s progress and answers any concerns. The appointment may last for a few minutes, but it may have consumed a large portion of your day.

Teledentistry has changed this process for the better. Orthodontists and patients can easily exchange information over the Internet, including pictures and videos that help the dentist monitor progress and identify potential problems. Most people have access to a smartphone. They can video their teeth or snap pictures from a phone and send them in. A video chat and other digital tools can replace some of the routine visits, which saves you time and money. Your phone and laptop can get you top-notch dental care.

In the past, some patients passed on orthodontic treatment because of the cost and the frequent visits to the dentist. Teledentistry makes the process more convenient and affordable. Plus, it means patients can get fast answers to their concerns. It streamlines the process for everyone involved.

How Teledentistry Works

Teledentistry can work at all points of the treatment journey. You can use it for an initial consultation at Elara Orthodontics. Our virtual consultation process includes the following steps:

Take six different pictures of your teeth as outlined on our website: front teeth, bottom teeth, right bite, left bite, front smiling, and teeth profile. Using our form, upload these pics to their assigned slot, following the file size limits.

Once you have uploaded the pictures, remember to schedule a Zoom appointment using the website’s Virtual Consult calendar.

In a short time, you can consult with an expert orthodontist and discuss possible treatment options. You get professional convenient advice from the comfort of your home. Virtual dental consultations are revolutionizing dentistry.
Integrating Teledentistry with Traditional Orthodontic Practices

How Teledentistry Complements In-office Visits and Treatment Plans

Orthodontic treatment and technology complement each other. Virtual technology in orthodontic care cannot stand alone, of course. You will have multiple doctor visits, but some of them can be done remotely. Also, teledentistry allows you to access your case information and get fast answers to any concerns.

To get the latest and best treatment, you must research orthodontic practices in Houston and evaluate how they are integrating teledentistry. For instance, do they offer remote orthodontic assessments? If so, does it include just initial consultations or only virtual visits after the process has begun? Can you routinely upload pictures and retrieve evaluations online?

You should visit several practices and converse with multiple orthodontists before choosing one. Their level of teledentistry knowledge should be part of your evaluation.

Challenges and Considerations

The challenges of virtual orthodontics are clear. For instance, handling orthodontic emergencies almost always requires professional, in-person, intervention. Your orthodontist can use a Zoom call or uploaded pictures to help diagnose the problem, but an office visit, or even an emergency room visit, will probably be necessary.

Some common orthodontic emergencies include:

  • Broken Brackets
  • Loose Wire
  • Discomfort or Pain
  • Protruding or Broken Wires
  • Lost or Broken Retainers

If you or your child experience severe pain, excessive bleeding, problems breathing, or any significant allergic reaction, call 911. Serious side effects are rare but do exist. Seek help immediately if a concerning problem arises.

The limitations of teledentistry are clear. In case of a physical issue, the orthodontist will have to see you and address the problem.

The Future of Teledentistry in Orthodontics

Experts in the field eagerly await more developments in teledentistry. At this point, virtual tools enhance and streamline orthodontics. Patient treatment is more convenient and more affordable. These virtual consultation benefits make teledentistry a great benefit.

The future of remote dental care is even more exciting. Imagine if your orthodontist could diagnose your dental issues and construct your appliances completely virtually. At some point, technology might allow adjustments from afar by way of remote technology built into your braces.

In any case, virtual orthodontic treatment planning will become a mainstay of many dental practices.

Your orthodontist will always need to see you in person at some point, but those occasions may become rarer. And accessibility in orthodontics may drive down their cost and make braces affordable for anyone who needs them. As long as remote dental care is used wisely by experts, it benefits patients, including those who need braces and other orthodontic care.

Enhancing Orthodontic Practice with Technology

Technology’s role is to make your daily life better. It has improved most aspects of life, including healthcare. Teledentistry is one of the latest and best technological advances in patient care.

Teledentistry for braces is relatively new, but top orthodontists have already embraced it. They understand the benefits of teledentistry and are eager to incorporate it into their treatment plans. Virtual tools benefit patients and add another dimension to their care.

Schedule an Appointment

We offer our patients the best care possible and embrace teledentistry as a valuable asset for orthodontists and patients. To try remote care for yourself,Schedule a virtual consultation today. Our online form explains exactly what pictures we need and how to upload them. Once you have completed that task, simply schedule your online Zoom appointment by pressing the “Make An Appointment Bar.” It’s that easy.

Teledentistry and patient care exist to make your dental experience better. Try our virtual consult today.