Teledentistry and Remote Orthodontic Care
Information on remote Orthodontic care. What to do when you cannot visit your clinic.
Teledentistry has always been useful for geographically isolated patients and has become relevant for all of us affected by the current conditions imposed by the Corona Virus.
During this time of COVID -19 the Orthodontic community have to follow guidelines from the Australian Dental Association and our governing body AHPRA to only provide triage and emergency direct care for our patients until such time as it is deemed safe to resume normal operations.
In practice though, what does this mean for the care and support of our patients during this time?
In the first instance we can rely more heavily on the connection that can be offered by Teledentistry.
Teledentistry is defined as a combination of telecommunications and dentistry involving the exchange of clinical information and images over remote distances for dental consultation treatment planning and supervision of progress.
Even before this current threat, teledentistry has been a useful adjunct to the tools available to our Orthodontists in providing practical care for our patients who are located at a remote distance from the clinic. Think of the FIFO people who are living and working in isolated areas of Australia or the individual who up until recently has been travelling the globe as part of their routine business schedule. Clinic visits for these people pose a challenge. Despite this, Orthodontics has still been possible with the use of modern appliances. Along with the support of phone and email advice these can provide real treatment progress and reduce the total required number of clinical visits.
In recent years massive improvements in smart phone camera technology make it achievable to take good quality intra oral images of a patient at home. These can be forwarded on to our surgery where a clinician can examine them. Following this, contact is made with the patient to discuss the alternatives available for their circumstance and a bespoke plan is made for ongoing care.
Follow the video link here for tips on how to take good quality intra oral images to send to your Orthodontist.
For any of our patients who are experiencing difficulty or concerns during this time of Covid-19 we would encourage them to make use of these teledentisty tools that are available. Begin with a phone call to the clinic on 089371 6088. Our staff are available to offer advice on the phone. Emailed photographs are often very useful. Following an assessment via phone and or email if it is deemed necessary then a visit can be made for emergency adjustment.