March 21, 2021

Brief Explanation of Teledentistry

Teledentistry is a revolution in clinical care especially in the dental field. The teledentistry will connect the patients to the expert. It’s called direct consultation. Another type of consultation is indirect consultation. This type allows the patient’s doctor with an expert. The teledentistry enables the diagnosing process to use video conferencing. There will be some data, audio, video, and images transfer via video conferencing to diagnose the patient.

Teledentistry is a great development in clinical care and medical health. It enables the patient to get health care without coming to the hospital. In addition, teledentistry also enables the doctor to assist the colleagues regarding the medical action. Sometimes, teledentistry is also used in some specific operations. So that all doctors can see the process of dental operation. However, not all people know about teledentistry. Here is a simple overview of teledentistry.

Teledentistry is a useful method to connect the patient and doctor. It is a good idea to use teledentistry in a pandemic situation such as COVID-19 since the patient and doctor don’t need to come and face each other. There are some applications of teledentistry such as group practice or DSO, private practice, public health programs, dental education, medical-dental integration, and crisis response. Based on those applications, it can be concluded that teledentistry can be accessed from several places. It can be accessed from schools, private dental practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and patient’s homes.

Teledentistry can be divided into two groups. The first group is synchronous teledentistry or real-time care. Synchronous teledentistry can be defined as live 2-way communications. It can be conducted by using online video consultation and phone calls. Normally, the synchronous teledentistry is used by the doctor with the patient, supervisor to medical students, and others. The synchronous teledentistry is also used for improving the reference of some cases.

The second group is asynchronous teledentistry. Just like its name, this type will use the recording of the clinical information of the patient. Then, the record will be transferred to a dental professional that stays in a different location. The asynchronous teledentistry can be called “store and forward”. The asynchronous teledentistry can be used by the patients to send their images of the tooth. For example, a patient has a problem with the front tooth. The patient can take a picture of his tooth and send it to the dentist. Then, the dentist will analyze and suggest some medical actions that can be done by the patient. The asynchronous teledentistry also can be used for sending the information of the patient’s condition based on some data such as intraoral photos, radiographs, and others.

If the patient wants to contact the dentist regarding the medical action, the patient can contact Current Dental Terminology or CDT. There are two codes of CDT. The first one is D9995 teledentistry. This code is used to conduct a real-time encounter or synchronous teledentistry. The second one is D9996 teledentistry. This code is used to conduct asynchronous teledentistry.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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