Virtual Dental Care Growing In Popularity

Written By Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Teledentistry – also known as Virtual Dental Care – is a remote service that provides patients with dental health care solutions. Its primary aim is to improve access to dentistry for patients that live far from dental care or do not have access to dentistry services. Teledentistry offers a broad spectrum of solutions delivered to remote patients via video conferencing or telephone connections. Patients can communicate with licensed dentists remotely at their convenience, gathering the required information they need before seeking out care from a local dentist.

A new Dentavox Survey shows that the demand for these remote dentistry services is on the rise. Patients are optimistic about the use of virtual dental care with 78 percent believing they are likely to use it within the next five years. The survey addressed patients’ views on teledentistry, the remote delivery of dental care, consultation, follow-up care, and education over telecommunications.

Results indicated that teledentistry is seen as an exciting and valuable advancement with the majority of survey participants saying they are likely to use it within the next five years as availability becomes easier. The respondents also do not  perceive teledentistry as a niche service for isolated communities with 42 percent thinking it is beneficial for everyone while two percent do not see its value.  

Demand For Remote Dental Care

The majority of patients view virtual dental care not as a futuristic idea and they are ready to embrace it. Over 60 percent of the patients surveyed specified availability as a key factor to encourage the usage of teledentistry, whereas no other access to dental care is cited by one-third of respondents. This indicates that the demand for remote dental care goes beyond underserved communities so progressive dentists in urban areas can respond to these new opportunities. 

The patients surveyed also felt that remote dental care has the potential to promote healthy behaviors and educate on prevention of oral diseases. Half of them believe diagnosis and risk assessment can be addressed successfully by teledentistry. The view of remote dental care as a service for communities in distant locations is a partial and outdated perspective as 42 percent of the respondents also consider teledentistry as a mainstream service for everyone, with working people as the most mentioned category.

With this optimistic perspective on teledentistry, this study is a clear sign that it is not just a passing trend, but is gaining momentum with patients eager to see it in practice. While it’s too early to tell if teledentistry will revolutionize the dental industry, you can expect to see it as an integral part of mainstream oral health care. 

Virtual Dental Homes Proven Safe And Effective

Bringing "virtual dental homes" to schools, nursing homes and long-term care facilities can also keep people healthy, reduce school absenteeism, lessen the need for parents to leave work to care for an ailing child, and help prevent suffering for millions of people who have no access to a dentist, says a six-year study. The findings were reported by the Pacific Center for Special Care, a program of the University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.

This virtual dental home is a community-based oral health care delivery system that uses telehealth technology to link specially-trained dental hygienists in the community with dentists in dental offices and clinics. The approach was developed by Pacific Center Director Paul Glassman, a professor of dentistry at University of the Pacific, who collaborated with a broad range of stakeholders to leverage advances in dentistry and telehealth, create training programs for dentists and hygienists, and win policy and other changes needed to pilot and evaluate the system. "Our six-year demonstration project confirms that this is a safe, effective way to bring care to people who need it," Glassman says. "Basing a virtual dental home in a school, a nursing home or other community setting allows dental hygienists to prevent or treat the majority of oral health problems on site, and also brings prevention information to patients, families and caregivers. Finally, it connects on-site care in the community to dentists in dental offices."

Findings of the six-year study included examining dentists using the telehealth system. They determined that approximately two-thirds of children and about half of seniors and people with disabilities in long-term care facilities can have their oral health needs met by dental hygienists in the community, without the need to see a dentist in person. No adverse outcomes were reported for any of the procedures performed by hygienists.

Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list. 

Written By:

With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.


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