The COVID-19 pandemic was a terrible tragedy that afflicted every one of us. It had us all put on masks, use sanitizers, and, most importantly, practice social distancing to inhibit the spread of the virus. As a result, our interactions were limited to virtual settings on our phones, laptops and tablets. Interestingly, dentists also got on the bandwagon and offered their services online to their patients; thus, virtual dental consultation came about. However, even after the end of the pandemic, the demand for virtual dental consultations continues to grow.
What is a Virtual Dental Consultation?
A virtual dental consultation is when a dentist connects with a patient on a video call or phone through the Internet to provide a dental consultation. During a virtual dental consultation, the dentist takes a look at your problems, tries to perform a diagnosis, and determines whether an in-person visit is needed or not.
The Pros of Virtual Dental Consultation
If you have doubts about virtual dental consultations, here is a list of some of the clear advantages of virtual dentistry.
Virtual dentistry is economical compared to an in-person visit, and understandably so. Since you do not need the elaborate setting of a clinic with all its accessories, the cost is significantly reduced for the patient. Moreover, as a patient, you save on the cost of traveling to the dentist’s office.
Never Miss a Dental Appointment
Many people miss their dental appointments for no reason. Procrastinating and putting off a dental appointment is very common. However, with virtual dental consultations, you have little reason to miss your next dental consult. All you need is an internet connection, and you can have a dental checkup on the spot.
Get Help Immediately, No Delays
In case of a sudden dental emergency, you can have quick and fast access to a dentist without any delays. So, now there is no need to power through a dental problem when you can get instant help online without leaving your house!
Save Chair Time!
Another key benefit of virtual dental consultations is that patients get to avoid unnecessary time on the dental chair. Spending time in a dental chair can cause anxiety to some people and discomfort to others. Hence, it is best to keep chair time to a minimum. With virtual dental consults, your dentist can assess whether coming in for an in-person checkup is needed or not.
An Environment-Friendly Solution
Finally, another major benefit of virtual dentistry is that it is very environment-friendly. Since it reduces travel time, it reduces the consumption of fossil fuels. More importantly, though, it helps save on a lot of equipment and accessories like gloves and sanitizers, etc., which are used for each patient during an in-person visit. Thus, it reduces unnecessary waste of resources!
The Cons of Virtual Dental Consultation
Above, we provided a list of some of the major benefits of virtual dental consults. Here is a list of some of the things that comprise the cons of virtual dental consultation.
The most important of concerns is privacy. During a virtual dental consult, patients are bound to share their dental records online. Hence, it is imperative that proper measures be in place for the protection of patient information. Dentists need to be wary of the privacy laws themselves as well to ensure full compliance.
Another obvious limitation is in terms of diagnostic utility. A virtual dental consult is not always conclusive because a dentist is limited in the kind of investigation he can carry out to diagnose what is wrong. Hence, you will eventually have to schedule an in-person visit.
Internet Access and Familiarity with Technology
You will need a good internet connection and some familiarity with technology to have access to virtual dental consultations. If you are someplace where you do not have access to seamless Internet, then an online consult will be of little to no benefit. Similarly, suppose you are unable to operate computers or smartphones. In that case, unfortunately, digital dentistry may not be the right option for you.