An essential branch of medicine, dentistry is concerned with preventing and treating oral diseases. It plays a crucial role in ensuring optimal health. In the present day, dental care has pushed beyond traditional practice boundaries with the introduction of teledentistry. This novel method provides live online dental consultation as part of Telehealth.
With teledentistry, patients can access dental health solutions from the comfort of their homes. It is often used for patients who live in remote areas who do not have easy access to dentistry services. They deliver these solutions with the help of video conferencing and phone calls, helping patients acquire the information they need before they decide whether to go to a local dentist or not. Teledentistry has risen over the years, especially now that U.S. households have their internet connection. It is easier than ever to avail of virtual dental care services.
Modern teledentistry has more intricate methods of consultations, allowing the services to be more in-depth. For one, virtual dentists can consult and diagnose cases and determine whether the patient needs to see a dentist in person or not, and in what period it is necessary to do so. Patients can use smartphones, laptops, and tablets to connect and consult with the dentist of their choice.
For many, teledentistry saves time and effort for patients who need to assess their dental problems ahead of time before they will need to schedule an appointment. This way, they will take antibiotics or undergo other types of treatment for their physical meeting with the dentist.
How Teledentistry Came to Be
Tracing its roots back in 1994, teledentistry started as a military project. The project was called Total Dental Access. It has eventually extended its scope to help people in rural communities who did not have access to dental health services. Licensed dentists connect with people who experience dental problems through telephone or video conference, allowing underserved individuals to get the care they require for their dental needs. It cut the time they need to travel for hours to receive specialty care, especially when it comes to pre and post-operative care. They get to save precious time and effort and keep the cost at a minimum.
The Relevance of Teledentistry Today
Teledentistry has come a long way. The advancement in tools and technology means that patients can avail themselves of services that couldn’t be possibly delivered. Dentists nowadays make use of video-conferencing to make accurate preliminary diagnoses. This is done by accessing high-quality images that allow them to see patients’ cases just as easily as they were in the clinic.
Information can be easily retrieved, too, giving dentists convenient access to a patient’s history and records that are valuable in ascertaining a correct diagnosis. It makes their jobs easier, providing immediate diagnosis and pain management solutions to those who need it during emergencies.
With the onset of the recent pandemic, teledentistry has become more relevant than ever. It gives people the means to find dental care solutions without risking their health and safety. You set appointments online and reduce waiting time as well because teledentistry services can offer a prior diagnosis. You will see your dentist in person only when absolutely necessary.
That said, teledentistry will surely remain relevant in the years to come, with or without the pandemic. It offers convenience and helps patients save on potential costs, time, and effort.
The Benefits of Teledentistry
Since teledentistry is often done remotely, it rarely incurs an additional cost that a traditional dental service entails. Most virtual consultations cost less than an in-person meeting would. Added to that, you can also save money that you would need to travel to your dentist’s clinic.
With a stable internet connection, you can access teledentistry wherever you are, and whenever you need it. You can also determine whether your dental concern requires emergency solutions. You do not have to make the unnecessary trip to the emergency room and pay hundreds of dollars for something that you can manage to treat at your home.
If you need urgent care, you will be able to prepare beforehand and schedule an appointment at the most convenient time, eliminating pre-surgery needs that you need to do in the clinic itself. There might be some cases where dental emergencies can be taken care of by prescribed medications until such time that you can attend your scheduled appointment.
Most of the time, teledentistry is a great help for those who do not necessarily need a face-to-face physical examination.
Most teledentistry services are available 24 hours, seven days a week. While some work within office hours, many online teledentistry services are accessible anytime you need them. You don’t need to wait too long for a consultation!
The process is often easy and efficient, too. Typically, you can meet with your virtual dentist in less than an hour. Usually, all it takes is a quick signing up or logging in through the app, choosing a dentist that fits your needs and preferences, and getting the advice and prescription for your dental problem.
It is very helpful for those with unusual work shifts and might need urgent care outside of clinic hours.
If you feel like you require a teledentistry service but have no idea which one to pick, we have made the task easier. Below are some of the best online teledentistry services you can choose from. They might offer different methods of getting in touch, but they provide the general services that a teledentistry offers.
- The TeleDentists
- AspenDental Virtual Care
- Smile Virtual
- Alpha Dental Exellence
Since its inception, the TeleDentists have been active in transforming how people access urgent oral and dental problems solutions. They made it possible to access dental care and other essential dental services whenever you need them. The service was founded by experienced dentists and healthcare business leaders aiming to make dental health care accessible for those who need it anytime and anywhere.
The service is available to anyone who has a smartphone and other mobile devices. You can set up a dental consultation in the comfort of your home at a fraction of the cost of traditional dental clinics. At $59, you will be able to see a dentist and seek help for your dental concerns. Their services encompass dental concerns like tooth and gum pain, inflammation, chipped or broken teeth, and infection, among many others. It is best used when you are unsure whether your problem needs urgent care or you can wait until you can book an appointment with your dentist. This way, you will be able to save time, money, and effort.
The licensed dentists can provide you with an e-script during remediation that you can use for acquiring antibiotic and non-narcotic pain medication. Should the need for follow-on care arise, you will be able to book a next-day appointment with a dentist located near your place. Other services include oral health assessment, dental advice, fluoride varnish program, follow-up consultation after your dental work has been performed, and discussions regarding your treatment plan.
The process is as easy as signing up for an account and choosing the dentist who could best help you with your needs.
One of the leading online teledentistry services, DentalChat has been around for almost 20 years. It has been using smart dental care technology to help people with their dental concerns in real-time, all without leaving the comfort of their homes. Since 2000, it has provided answers to pressing dental questions and helped patients connect with local dentists. The new DentalChat has evolved, using AI technology to better help those with dental care needs. Over the years, innovative features were added to the platform for easier navigation and use.
They work with dentists, healthcare companies, dental companies, and advanced smart technology businesses to transform the platform into what it is today. They provide a platform where patients can chat with dentists at the time of need. You can also ask dental questions at any time of the day or night. It’s an excellent way to connect with local dentists in your area. Moreover, the website plays a huge role in understanding dentistry better, providing you with the knowledge to aid you throughout your lifetime.
DentalChat allows you to request different options that will fit your needs. You can use the platform to find a dentist for free. You can also ask a dental question (free consultation). If you want a video consultation, you need to pay $29 per 15 minutes. If you need a video consultation and an electronic prescription, it will cost you $49 for 15 minutes.
Accessing these services is simple. Go to the Patient Registration page and log in your request, including the required information to let them know about your dental concerns. You may also attach dental photos or dental x-ray images to help the dentists better give you the dental solutions you need.
One of the online platforms that offer dentistry services, Denteractive gives you easy access to high-quality dental care professionals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It serves as the bridge for you to connect with a dentist and acquire solutions for your dental needs.
They have an array of dentists and dental specialists who could answer your questions and address your concerns via text or video calls. If you need advice, consultation, and recommendation for second opinions, this online service is the best place for you. They will track your treatment history, dental records, and communications to help you with your dental concerns better. You may also share your important files like pictures, videos, and x-ray images of your dental problems, making it easier for them to assist you. They also make it a point to provide you with valuable information on dental health because they believe preventative care and dental education can go a long way.
Denteractive can check and provide solutions to broken tooth/dental trauma, braces/orthodontics, toothache/swelling, children’s dental care, dental implants, and many more. While they do not have information on insurance coverage, Denteractive offers a Dental Savings Plan that provides savings and dental care discounts. All you need is to pay a membership fee, and you will be able to avail yourself of the discounts on eligible dental care services.
Dentulu is one of the pioneers of dental mobile apps for both patients and dental professionals. Their services include mobile and concierge dentistry and virtual care on demand. To access the services, you only need to download their mobile app and connect to a licensed dentist who can help you with your concerns and answer your questions in real-time. Depending on the gravity of your dental concern, you might be advised to schedule an appointment to visit the dental clinic the next day or avail of an at-home visit through the Dentulu mobile dentist app.
There are dozens of dentists in your area that Dentulu can help you connect with, allowing you to choose the best one who can fit your dental needs. You can explore the available dentists’ history, their years of experience, and even their rates. The video consultation costs $55 per 10 minutes.
Save time and money by determining the severity of your dental concern before you need to make a physical appointment. Like other teledentistry services, Dentulu also gives you the option to share photos and x-ray images through a secure network to help you better. Should you require emergency room dentists, you may find one at Dentulu who gives you access to emergency dentists on demand either through their apps or web portal.
The services at Dentulu starts at $299. This could be partially subsidized by oral health care for those who are qualified. If your insurance provider covers dental health care, you will be able to reimburse your fees.
Getting your teeth and general dental health needs from the comfort of your home are made easy and simple with the help of LiveDentist. This platform allows you 24/7 access to an online dentist whenever you need it.
You can get an online consultation with board-certified dentists just by filling out the registration form. You will then be matched with a dentist near you that fits your needs and preferences. They also provide you with fast information for your dental issues, along with answers to your questions on oral health and dental well-being. More often than not, they offer temporary solutions that may reduce pain while you wait for a more comprehensive treatment that a dental office must administer. For non-urgent cases, you will be able to address your concerns without visiting the emergency room or urgent care clinic. Should you have specific treatment needed for your dental issues, LiveDentist can also help you schedule with a dentist in your locality. If you have a personal dentist affiliated with LiveDentist, connect with them through the service. To see if the platform services your area, you need to input your zip code and find out if there are available dentists that you can connect with.
To access the services, you need to sign up through the LiveDentist site. Don’t worry because signing up is free. The service is also offered through a mobile app. The consultation through LiveDentist starts at $59. You can also be assured that the platform does not incur hidden costs. You only need to pay for services that require it, like consultations. Your concerns about your safety and privacy can also be put to rest because LiveDentist ensures their client information is fully encrypted and stored in a secured server. They also comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards.
Established in 2014, Virtudent offers teledentistry services to both companies and patients in nine states. One of their primary advocacies is to put oral healthcare forward through an experienced team of professionals. They help patients take preventative steps for their dental health care and oral hygiene through education.
Oral healthcare is made accessible through their platform by allowing you to book an online consultation with an experienced dentist in a private online conference room. You can also make changes to your appointment by simply emailing or calling them. You will be sent a meeting link that you will access through your web browser on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. There will be an available Virtudent team member who will check you in. They will then review your medical history, address your concerns, answer your questions, and even help you connect with a licensed dentist in your area. It is also possible to speak with a dentist in real-time to help you with your dental concerns and provide you with recommendations and advice. They also offer follow-up care by giving the necessary prescriptions and referrals.
Some insurance providers cover dental care, but to be sure, the Virtudent team can also check your insurance for eligibility before you set up an appointment. Preventative services like cleaning, x-rays, and teledentistry exam are usually covered by insurance. They also make your insurance billing process easier and simpler. The Virtudent starts at $150.
Recently, AspenVirtual Care brings its services to the comfort of your home by offering virtual consultations on weekdays. One of the options is to call a virtual care consultant at no cost at all. They will determine whether you need to set up a virtual appointment with a doctor or not. If you require one, an Aspen Dental doctor will be able to assess your need with the same expertise as a physical appointment can provide. They will ascertain your dental concerns and decide if they need to connect you to a dentist nearest your place.
Should you require to visit a local dental clinic, Aspen will help you take proactive steps that will prepare you for your visit. The virtual consultation starts at $69. To take advantage of their services online, you only need to sign up and connect with a dentist that will best suit your dental care needs. Patients will be able to rest easy when it comes to their private information because Aspen uses a specially-designed telemedicine platform that is private and secure. They also accept many dental insurances, which can bring down costs for you as long as your provider is eligible for it.
Dental advice is made accessible anytime you need it through Toothpic. This platform connects you with a dentist to get answers to your dental care concerns and questions. You get a personalized report on the best treatment options, costs, and post-dental care for you. They have different report types that you can choose from. One of them is the Direct Care Report, which covers specific dental issues. You will be able to expect a response within 6 hours. You also have an option to share a photo to assist you with your dental issue better. The cost is $10. If you wish for a more in-depth oral health report, you may pick the Complete Care Report. It can provide you with the findings in less than 24 hours. You will be able to share up to 6 photos. Its cost is around $35.
Availing of the services is fast and easy. All you have to do is download the app and create your account by answering a few questions about your dental health.
Another teledentistry service that you can access easily is Smile Virtual. This platform allows you to connect with a dentist to help improve your oral health from the comfort of your home.
The process is simple. You only need to upload a selfie to the platform. A dentist will review this file, who will then provide you with a recorded personalized video consult that explains treatment options and other advice. After viewing the video, schedule an appointment. The consultations for cosmetic dentistry are free. You only need to pay for the individual treatments, which may vary depending on the dentist and the kind of treatment you will get.
However, it is important to note that Smile Virtual does not provide general consultation or emergency care. It is only used for cosmetic dentistry.
Based in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Alpha Dental Excellence provides virtual consultations for the members of their community. They work with patients through phone or video conference. Certified dentists will assess your dental issues and determine whether you need urgent treatment. They can also answer your questions and provide you with additional information to help with your dental care needs. However, they will not be able to provide a diagnosis. The best that they can do is offer you guidance and discuss the best option that you can take.
The consultation can occur via a computer, tablet, or smartphone, as long as a camera and microphone are available. They will send you a link through a text message or email, which you can access through your browser. The consultations are available 24/7, but you might need to stay in the waiting room until a consultant is available. All data are encrypted, and you can go through your session anonymously. They do not even require you to sign up for virtual consultations. If you have questions, you may submit a form via their website and wait for their email or text message.