The Benefits of Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Right now, thousands upon thousands of dental offices and other healthcare providers are closed, except for emergency situations. What happens if you had a regular dental checkup scheduled, or you now have a dental concern?

At Orangecrest Family Dental in Riverside, California, Dr. Sheida Mohammadizadeh can provide you with teledentistry options during this difficult time, assessing your conditions and determining a course of treatment. 

How did teledentistry originate?

Approximately 20% of Americans live in rural areas where they do not have easy access to dentists and other medical services. Teledentistry was originally conceived as a way to reach these patients who live far from dental offices and lack ready access to a dentist. Teledental health can provide many types of oral healthcare from a distance through remote access.

Today, communications technology can be used to treat the hundreds of thousands of Americans who may need dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic, but who are sheltering in place in their homes. You can “visit” your dentist virtually, using the telephone or a remote videoconferencing capability to provide virtual access.

The definition of teledentistry

Teledentistry is a subcategory of telemedicine. Telemedicine is the term used to describe “virtual visits” between patients and clinicians through the use of communications technology. With audio and video options, patients and dentists can consult in real time from two different locations. This allows social distancing to be observed, while still letting you talk to your dentist.

Dr. Zadeh can conduct a teledentistry visit with you and let you know if your dental situation is urgent. In many cases, there will be things you can do at home to mitigate your issue until an appointment can be safely scheduled. If you have a dental emergency, she can tell you where to go and what precautions to take to keep yourself and your dental provider safe. 

Rules about teledentistry

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teledentistry should only be conducted by actual dentists. Don’t call a “dental hotline” to get advice about your dental care or oral health, as the third party may not be a qualified dentist. 

Insurance and dental plans should cover dental services delivered by telemedicine in accordance with regulations, just the same as they would if the services were provided in person. If you’re not sure about how your insurance company will cover or reimburse your dental care, contact your coverage provider before scheduling a teledentistry appointment. 

At-home dental care during COVID-19

It’s easy to let things slide during a period of high stress and a change in routine. Dr. Zadeh wants everyone to remember their at-home oral hygiene, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. Drink plenty of water and rinse your mouth after eating snacks or sweets. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, contact our office at 951-381-2401 or reach out to us online.

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