Posted on June 1, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal way the world operates. From our daily activities to the government and business operations, no one was exempted from COVID-19’s unfavorable effects. Everyone has to stay home and offices had to close temporarily because of the lockdown being imposed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
In the US, the declaration of the national emergency concerning the Coronavirus outbreak has led to many businesses closing their doors, including medical and dental practices. In the same way, orthodontic practices were urged to cease operations for the moment and to only accept urgent or emergency care related in-office appointments.
While physical offices are closed, the provision of telehealth services has allowed remote medical and dental care for patients. In that regard, orthodontic practices in the US can continue their services via Teleorthodontics.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) defined Teleorthodontics as the use of information technology and telecommunications to facilitate orthodontic consultation and care.
While the idea of providing remote care to patients has been part of our practice for some time now, the emergence of the internet and mobile technology has paved the way for a more advanced way of virtual orthodontics.
Teleorthodontics like telemedicine had made it easy for both the care providers and the patients to reach out to each other at an agreed time through a video call. It’s especially useful when the circumstance is hard to make an in-office visit, such as the restrictions implemented due to COVID-19.
Think of Teleorthodontics as an online orthodontist office. Much like the physical office, you come in to consult with your orthodontist; the difference is that you do it virtually in the comfort of your own homes, office desks or wherever you are.
Teleorthodontics can provide some of the in-office services, such as consultation, dental care and diagnosis, monitoring of patients, transfer of dental records, education and sometimes, even the treatment. Teleorthodontics service is less expensive than actual office visits and of course, a lot more convenient.
The conduct of a virtual consultation only requires an internet connection and a mobile gadget such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. It’s typically a video call where the orthodontist and the patient communicates and exchanges information.
Teleorthodontics is especially useful during this pandemic or for any reason that visiting an orthodontist would be difficult. It’s a convenient way to continue care and treatment, especially those that need immediate advice and prescription.
Maintaining oral hygiene can be sometimes a challenge for orthodontic patients. It’s much more difficult to care for the teeth, such as brushing and flossing when you have braces. With Teleorthodontics the provider can give immediate education about oral care with braces and to assist patients when needed.
The cost of traveling for an in-office visit makes Teleorthodontics a lot more affordable and efficient. Plus, the actual cost of service is cheaper because overhead costs are reduced.
Who would have thought that caring for patients would be done virtually? Thanks to the internet and mobile technology for making this happen. Teleorthodontics is a great alternative to care for patients remotely. This adds to the capacity of reaching more patients. Some can make an in-office visit, while others can make a virtual call.
Teleorthodontics eliminates any travel issues that the patient may have and makes it accessible for them to find an orthodontist to help them no matter where they are located.
There are also situations where it’s difficult to make an in-office visit just for a simple consultation. Less complex orthodontic’s treatments can be done more conveniently via video call.
Patients won’t flock in the office to get their check-ups or treatments done, because they have a choice to do a virtual consultation. The orthodontist can now accommodate patients who need their services the most in the office, while minor concerns can be resolved online. In addition, the patient and doctor schedules can be more efficient.
With today’s COVID-19 situation, Teleorthodontics can help with the measure of physical distancing, thus preventing the spread of the virus.
Even before the coronavirus restrictions, Lineberger Orthodontics in Charlotte has already been utilizing Teleorthodontics for our virtual check-ups and exams.
We understand that it can be difficult sometimes to visit our office so we made virtual consultations available to our patients. It’s as easy as submitting your photos and letting our orthodontic’s specialist examine your situation. We’ll get back to you with an assessment, proposed treatment and estimated cost.
Here’s our video to show you how you can take the photos of your teeth:
Once done, send us a message with your photos to 704.892.3300.
Quick and easy, right?
We look forward to seeing you at our offices in Charlotte, Huntersville, and Mooresville once the situation around us goes back to normal. For now, keep safe and stay indoors!