Dentistry is a field that consists of evaluation and diagnosis followed by prevention and treatment of diseases of the oral cavity. As we enter a new era in technology and dentistry, there has been an immense change in patient care and management.
We are all aware that COVID-19 has changed our approach to dentistry. Dental surgeons, assistants, and receptionists work in a dental or hospital setup. They risk contracting many transmissible diseases such as COVID-19 etc., through direct transmission secondary to cough, sneezing, droplet infection, and contact transmission aerosol production while treating patients is very high.
As Oral Medicine specialists, we often come across patients, especially those with disabilities and special needs and the elderly with oral ulcers or other dental and mucosal conditions. They want to visit the clinic but are reluctant due to health issues. Keeping all this in mind, we need to find a better way of dealing with and providing excellent care to patients.
Here, Teledentistry and Teleconsultation will play a significant role. Teledentistry is a combination of telecommunications and dentistry involving the interchange of clinical information and digital images over remote distances for dental consultation and treatment planning. Teleconsultation is defined as synchronous or asynchronous consultation using information and communication technology to omit geographical and functional distance.
Hence the concerned patients can get their photographs clicked with smartphones and send them to the dentist. The dentist can analyze these photographs and give suitable advice and medications through tele-prescription after enquiring about the patient’s medical and drug allergy history.
Digital Intraoral radiographs, Orthopantomogram (OPG), and Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) images can be sent to Maxillofacial Radiologists for early and timely interpretation and diagnosis, following which a due course of treatment can be planned.
Thus, Teledentistry can improve access and delivery of oral healthcare while further reducing the cost of dental healthcare for patients who cannot visit the dentist. With the advent of technological developments in Teleconsultation and Teledentistry, dental practitioners will soon be able to set up their tela-clinics or virtual dental health clinics.
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The Faculty of Dental Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram, started as SGT Dental College Hospital & Research Institute in 2002 and is now among the best dental colleges in Delhi NCR. The faculty has nine departments, which have highly experienced and energetic faculty members with ethical and scientific mindsets to carry forward the science of Dentistry, laying focus on research & innovation in Dentistry and Applied Sciences.