The Importance Of Telemedicine In Dental Emergencies And 24-hour Dental Care By Byte Aligners

We all know emergency rooms. For most, they have helped us to recover quickly at specific times. However, finding an emergency dentist is sometimes not that simple. It is something that we do not notice until we really need it. For this reason, we have prepared this article for you with all the necessary information for you to act in case of a dental emergency. 

We also talk about how the technology put at the service of dentistry has made telemedicine take a giant leap in recent years. And TOP DOCTORS is betting very hard to develop it. Telemedicine applied to dental emergencies in particular and dentistry in general has brought about a revolution in the world of dental health. 

What are dental emergencies?

The first thing you should know is how to differentiate a situation that you can solve in a normal dental consultation from one in which a dentist is really required as soon as possible. The main dental emergencies are:

Dental trauma

The main cause of emergency consultations are trauma, falls, blows, etc. Dental trauma must be treated as soon as possible since the time that elapses after the accident has occurred can be decisive in saving or losing a tooth. 

In general, these are children who have suffered an accident at home and have lost a tooth (dental avulsion). It can also be athletes, whether children or adults, who practice a risky or contact sport. The main situations that can occur due to trauma are:

  • Loss of a tooth
  • Fractured teeth.
  • Teeth displaced from their normal position.
  • Wounds or injuries in the mouth, whether on the teeth, gums, lips, tongue, etc.
  • Pain in some oral structure after an accident even if there are no visible injuries. 
  • Sudden onset pains 

The pains that appear little by little and develop over time should be resolved in a previously scheduled control appointment. These pains can usually be relieved with pain relievers until you attend the consultation. 

However, when it comes to acute and sudden pain, the best thing you can do is go to an emergency dentist. Especially if this sudden pain is accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as:

Volume increase: whether they are lumps on the gum, cheeks, lips, tongue, etc.

Erythema: Redness in any tissue in the mouth.

Fever: It can be a general fever or even just a sensation of heat in a specific area.

Complications after dental treatment  

Although this is not very common, it can always be the case that you experience some signs and symptoms after dental treatment that require immediate dental attention. For example, the appearance of bleeding that does not stop after a tooth extraction or pain, fever or edema after dental fillings, implant surgeries, root canals, etc. 

Deterioration of any ongoing dental treatment

The most common in these cases is the loss of dental fillings, dental caps or crowns, which cause great discomfort to the patient and need to be restored as soon as possible. In turn, we must mention the damage of dental appliances that can injure the oral cavity such as a broken bracket or a loose wire.   

 How to find an emergency dentist?

If you have a dental emergency during business hours, it will not be very difficult to get the dental care you need . You can simply go to the hospital or a nearby dental clinic. 

The situation is complicated when accidents occur outside working hours: holidays, night hours, Sundays, etc. 

Some dental clinics offer 24-hour care services, but not all. Therefore, you should ask your dental clinic if they have this service in case you need it. 

Most private health insurances with dental coverage offer this service. The Spanish social security can give you a list of all the health centers where you can find an emergency dentist. Just remember to ask for this information and have it handy in case you need it.

In case you find yourself in a very serious emergency situation and you cannot find a dentist on duty, the best thing you can do is go immediately to the emergency room of a hospital so that you receive the necessary medical attention.

If you want more information on how to act in the event of a dental emergency,  we recommend reading this specialized article on the oral health portal Dentaly. 

What to do if you have a dental emergency?

The main thing is to stay calm. If it’s trauma, inflammation, or pain, you can choose to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the pain while you go to the dentist. 

For bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with gauze or a piece of cotton. This should decrease bleeding while you find an emergency dentist. 

If it is a dental avulsion, that is, the tooth is completely out of place, what you should do is keep it moist since it is possible that your dentist can reimplant it and thus preserve your natural tooth. How should you take care of it? You can put it in a container with milk, drinking water or physiological solution. 

However, it is unlikely that you will have all of these things on hand, so you can simply put the tooth inside your mouth to keep it moist with saliva. Put it on one of your cheeks until you can get dental care. In this case, the sooner you are treated, the more likely it is to reimplant the tooth. 

When it comes to the defect in some dental treatment it is possible that it does not represent a nuisance immediately. However, you should fix it as soon as possible: a fallen filling leaves the tooth weak and could fracture; A broken bracket, even if it has not injured the mouth, prevents orthodontic treatment from being effective. 

In case you hit yourself and there is no visible injury or you feel no pain, an emergency dentist is not necessary, but you should make an appointment with your dentist for a check-up as soon as possible. This way you will avoid future complications. 

Telemedicine and its importance in dentistry

Telemedicine or eHealth is a branch recently implemented in TOP DOCTORS that implements the use of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), to facilitate access to quality medical and dental care (teleodontology). 

The emergence of telemedicine is greatly changing the way we receive healthcare. Mainly for those people with few resources or who live in isolated areas, since through a videoconference prevention, diagnosis of conditions or follow-up of some treatment can be carried out.

One of the main advantages of teleodontology is that it allows the patient to receive an initial orientation as soon as possible, either through a chat, call or videoconference. 

Although your dentist cannot attend you physically in the middle of an emergency, he can give you precise instructions that will allow you to relieve discomfort and get the oral care you need as soon as possible.  

Remember

Dental emergencies are inevitable, the best thing you can do is be prepared to deal with them effectively.

Not all dentists offer emergency services, you should verify that your dentist does. 

For very serious emergencies such as bleeding that does not stop, you should go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Social security and private insurers have all the necessary information, request a list of the places where you can find an emergency dentist.

Being properly informed can help you solve your dental emergency quickly and without prolonging your pain. 

Dental Plan For Kids Teledentistry On Byte Aligners

With your Dental Plan you can:

Protect your smile in case of any accident.

Insure up to five people without age restriction in your family group.

Have assists without limits of use. Except the crown prosthesis that applies 1 time per term.

As the main insured, you are insured from the age of 18.

National coverage with a dental network in 55 cities of Colombia.

Receive international dental assistance in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Italy.

Additional benefits and assistance

Virtual assists

  • Teleodontology: It has unlimited virtual assistance for the insurance holder and his family group.
  • Teleodontopediatría: It has a virtual assistance ilim ited for the insurance holder and his family.
  • Telenutrición: It has a virtual assistance ili mitada for the insurance holder and his family.

Profits

Chef (cooking tutorials): If you are the insurance holder or are part of their family group, you will be able to enjoy Colombian, international, vegan food and pastry tutorials, with 12 events during the validity of the policy. 

 Pharmacy discounts : If you are the owner of the insurance or make it part of your household, get a  10% discount on the total cost of the product. Remember that you can take a maximum of 4 units per reference and per purchase.

What do we cover?

Dental treatment for accidents : dental injuries caused by accidents, with an insured value of $ 5,000,000 that will be reimbursed to you.

Emergency dental care (accident or illness).

Dental assistance for accidents to third parties : if you, as the main insured, unintentionally cause an accident or trauma to a third party, the affected person will receive care with the treatments mentioned above.

In the event of an emergency, the following treatments will be covered, depending on the reason for the consultation: 

Surgeries: such as tooth extractions.

 Prosthetics : includes bonding of fixed crowns or bridges that have fallen, repair of dental prostheses and a porcelain metal crown resulting from an accident.

Periodontal : gum treatments.

Endodontics : procedures inside the teeth such as canals and whitening.

X-rays : those required to perform the treatments covered by the coverage.

What do we not cover?

Expenses that are not the result of a dental emergency, for example cosmetic treatments or dental fractures caused by eating food.

Exclusions from the coverage of Dental Treatments for Accidents:

Replacements of dental prostheses and / or implants and dental fractures caused by ingestion of food.

Exclusions from Emergency Dental Assistance:

  • Treatments and / or controls for surgery , radiology, prosthodontics, periodontics, functional orthopedics of the jaws, orthodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry and any other not specifically contemplated in Section 2.
  •  Retreatment for single-root, double-root and multi-root procedures.
  • Major surgical emergencies , caused by severe trauma involving jaw fractures or face, loss of calcified substance and teeth.
  • General anesthesia or sedation in children and adults.
  • Aesthetic treatments .
  • Physical defects.
  • Diseases and treatments of maxillofacial dystonias .
  • Radiation therapy or chemotherapy . 
  • Any formulated medication necessary for the performance or as a complement to any of the procedures covered and not covered by this annex. 
  • Effects on third parties generated by fraud or under the influence of hallucinogenic substances .

 Remember that at any time you can request to SURA that your insurance not be renewed or terminate it if you do not wish to continue with the protection it provides.

You will lose the protection of this insurance due to non-payment of the corresponding insurance premium, due to the breach of your obligations, due to impersonation of the policyholder, insured or family group entitled to receive assistance services; when you are linked to activities outside the Law.

Candid vs Byte Aligners vs Invisalign: The Best Teeth Aligner Kit for Your Budget

If you were one of the unlucky ones, you remember painful visits to the orthodontist in your teens. The sticky leather chair, picking out your colored rubber bands (orange and black for Halloween, duh), and lots and lots of metal.

It’s safe to say that getting your teeth straightened hasn’t been fun, or even easy. While Invisalign has been a leader in the invisible braces game for awhile now, there are more and more options popping up that allow you to get straight teeth in the comfort of your own home – all while saving you upwards of $4,000.

Let’s take a deeper look into how invisible braces work, as well as some of the most popular options — Candid vs Byte vs Invisalign — to see which option could be best for your smile and wallet.

How do invisible braces work to straighten your teeth?

So you want a better smile. Luckily, with just a few clicks (and no visit to the orthodontist’s office) you can start the journey. Whether you’re opting for Invisalign or one of their newer competitors, like Byte or Candid, the steps to a straight smile are mostly the same.

1. Determine if you’re a good fit for invisible braces.

Depending on what changes you want to make to your smile, as well as your overall dental health, you’ll want to make sure that invisible braces are right for you. Most companies have a quiz or ask you take photos of your smile to help ensure you’re a good fit for aligners – and Byte, Invisalign and Candid all have licensed orthodontists involved, either online or in person, so you can ask questions to make sure this is the right way for your to straighten your smile. Of course, you can always ask your dentist at your normal visit.

2. Get a model of your teeth.

Once you’re ready to take the plunge, you’ll have to get a model of your teeth taken through a puddy impression kit or digital scan.

3. Customize your smile.

Whichever company you choose, you’ll have the chance to work with an orthodontist – online, or in some cases in person – to develop a treatment plan and customize your smile. That gap in your two front teeth doesn’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want it to.

4. Wear your aligners.

You’ll receive your aligners either in batches or as a full set. You’ll follow the instructions for how long to wear each aligner – time varies from 7 days to a few weeks – before moving along to the next set. Most patients wear their aligners for 20-23 hours a day to make sure they stay on their treatment plan.

5. Flash your new smile! (And wear those retainers.)

Most treatments take anywhere from 3 months to a year to complete. Once your aligner treatment is complete, you’ll wear retainers to follow to ensure your smile stays in place.

How are invisible braces from Candid, Byte, and Invisalign different than traditional braces?

The biggest difference in traditional vs invisible braces is the process in which your teeth are straightened. With braces, you’re using metal brackets and wires to mold and shape your teeth. Invisible braces use a set of BPA-free plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth as the molds get closer and closer to your desired smile.

When it comes to convenience, teeth aligners are much easier to manage and look a lot better than braces do, making them a perfect choice for anyone who wants to continue their day-to-day life without feeling self conscious about straightening their teeth.

Also, remember how you always used to get that piece of corn stuck in your braces? That’s not a problem with invisible braces. (Were we even allowed to eat corn when we had braces? I can’t remember. But corn is delicious.)

Which is more affordable: Candid, Invisalign or Byte aligners?

While Byte, Candid, and Invisalign all offer a relatively similar type of invisible braces and have somewhat similar process, it really comes down to how much you want to pay and how soon you want to see results. So who is more affordable, Invisalign, Byte or Candid?

With similar pricing structures and no need for office visits, Candid and Byte may come out ahead for those looking to save time and money. While Candid customers have reported successful results and positive customer service reviews, Byte is introducing a new technology, the HyperByte™ vibration tool, to cut your treatment time in half compared to Candid.

Neither requires you to actually go see an orthodontist in person (although you with Candid you can choose to go to one of their 25 offices for a scan, or do it all from home by yourself with their starter kit) – everything is handled online by their orthodontists.

Not having to actually go to a waiting room and hang out listening to the smooth jazz station while someone pokes in your mouth is a big difference vs. Invisalign, which requires you to go see a mouth doctor who has received specialized training. Depending on how much you value your time, this could be a big hidden cost difference between these solutions.

While all treatment times will vary in the end based on your teeth, use this comparison chart to compare Candid, Byte, and Invisalign to see which might be the best solution for your needs and budget.

Smile Direct Club Aligners Or Invisalign Is There a Clear Winner?

While you can certainly straighten a mild to moderate case with Smile Direct Club and some bite issues, they do not claim to correct more severe cases. Invisalign can be a great solution for both adults and teens to fix nearly all common teeth-straightening and bite issues, from simple to complex. Both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are successful treatment methods. However, how suitable each treatment method is will depend on your individual case and your personal preferences. Only you can make the decision, but don’t go it alone. By consulting with a certified clear aligner provider, you will know exactly what you need and which treatment will be best for your long-term oral health.

Whether choosing Invisalign or Smile Direct Club, you are entrusting your oral health to a professional. The difference being, Invisalign offers in-person treatment, while Smile Direct Club offers remote treatment. Both treatments correct the cosmetics of your smile, and with Smile Direct Club, they can correct some bite issues too. With Invisalign, you can treat most bite cases as well as any severely misaligned teeth.

To find out more, come in for a free Invisalign assessment where we’ll review your oral health, take a 3D scan of your teeth and assess your suitability.

SmileDirectClub Vs. Invisalign 

WHICH IS BETTER FOR YOUR SMILE? 

THE CLEAR ALIGNER PROCESS 

Clear aligner therapy is all basically the same. A mold or digital impression is taken of your teeth. That information is analyzed by a qualified dentist and a treatment plan is created. The plan is executed through a series of aligners that slowly shift your teeth into the correct position. If everything goes according to plan (aligners are worn and switched out according to instructions) by the end of treatment, you should have a beautifully straight smile. 

SMILEDIRECTCLUB LIMITATIONS

Because SmileDirectClub is ‘DIY’ there are limitations to the product. 

The system is sent directly to the consumer

This means the patient is responsible for taking their own impressions and photos, and ensuring they’re getting routine care from their general dentist throughout treatment. 

The dentist or orthodontist is working remotely

Since there is no physical doctor/patient interaction, the dentist has to rely on patient provided photos to track progress, which is not the same as a first-hand examination. 

Composite attachments and buttons are not possible

Because of the DIY nature of SmileDirectClub, composite attachments and buttons as well as interproximal reduction are off the table.

These tools and techniques are actually quite common for many patients in order to achieve the best results. This may limit the product to minor or aesthetic adjustments, even if your treatment plan may require fixing malocclusions or bite issues. And there’s nothing like hands-on, in-person dental care from a trained professional. If you are opting for SmileDirectClub, understand the limitations. 

INVISALIGN LIMITATIONS

Invisalign has a diverse product line that treatments orthodontic issues from simple aesthetic fixes to more complex malocclusion. But it’s not the right choice for every case. Only an Invisalign certified dentist or orthodontist will be able to tell you if Invisalign is right for you. 

COSTS AND TIME COMMITMENTS 

Cost is a huge concern for many patients. Orthodontia is not cheap and less expensive options can be enticing for younger patients without dental insurance or flexible spending accounts. But let’s examine the savings vs. cost of each treatment. 

SmileDirectClub

With both regular wear and nighttime only options, SmileDirectClub offers systems under $2000 dollars, which is certainly one of the least expensive orthodontic products. It’s also marketed as a convenient system that brings diagnosis and treatment into the comfort of your own home, meaning you don’t have to take time out of your day to go see the dentist. 

Invisalign

Invisalign is typically between $3000 and $5000, which puts it between SmileDirectClub and traditional braces in terms of price. Depending on your case and treatment needs, treatment time and cost will vary. You’ll also need to come in for regular appointments with your dentist or orthodontist to ensure you’re tracking properly. 

In short, Invisalign has a higher cost and a slightly higher time commitment (making time for checkups every 6-weeks). However, you have the added benefit of working with a doctor. Your dentist can make recommendations and adjustments throughout treatment to keep you on track with your treatment and get you the best possible results. 

CHOOSE WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

At the end of the day, it’s your smile and you should choose the clear aligner system that’s right for your budget, your lifestyle and your goals. If you’re interested in the professional opinion of a seasoned dentist like Dr. Burden, feel free to contact us or schedule a consultation today. He offers a variety of orthodontic options, including Invisalign, and will recommend the treatment option that will be most successful for you.

Technology Used In Smile Direct Club Aligners

Clear aligners were first launched in 2000 by Align Technology when the company offered an alternative to traditional braces with their Invisalign product. The aim was to straighten teeth without the need for brackets and wires, but instead by using clear plastic trays otherwise known as aligners. The company has since seen huge success with its innovative solution and millions of patients have been treated with the Invisalign product.

Due to its success, it came as no surprise that alternatives appeared on the market. The biggest amongst them being Smile Direct Club, who in 2014 launched its clear aligner product. The idea was to take teeth straightening to the next level, offering patients an at-home solution. And the company even partnered with the same, Align Technology, albeit briefly, to produce some of its aligners.

As both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club aim to do the same thing, treat misaligned teeth with transparent aligners, it would be easy to assume they are very similar. However, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation, which makes it difficult for patients to make an informed choice. In fact, while on the surface, the aligners are comparable, both companies can straighten teeth discreetly. The difference comes primarily in the way that the treatment is administered.

How do Aligners Work?

Traditional braces use brackets which are cemented onto the teeth and attached by wires to apply a gentle yet constant force on teeth. Aligners, in a similar way, use consistent pressure to move teeth. However, instead of brackets, they use a series of trays which are custom-made for each patient based on impressions. Aligners are removable in order for teeth to be cleaned and are almost invisible, offering a discreet treatment option.

Invisalign treatment steps:

1Visit dentist for a suitability assessment

2Dentist creates custom treatment plan based on digital scans

3Custom aligners are created

4Regular in-person checks with dentist to monitor progress

Smile Direct Club treatment steps:

1Visit a SmileShop for an in-person scan, or2Use at-home kit to create a mould of teeth3Remote suitability assessment by dentist & custom treatment approved4Regular remote checks with dentist to monitor progress

Aligners offer a more comfortable and discreet alternative to conventional braces. In this respect, both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are the same, involving a series of clear plastic trays to gently force tooth movements. However, there are some distinct differences between the two brands.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Smile Direct Club Aligners ?

While the key differences between Invisalign and Smile Direct Club are how the treatment plan is delivered and the cost, there are other factors that should be taken into account when choosing a clear aligner:

1. WILL THE ALIGNERS WORK FOR YOUR INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES?

When it comes to choosing an aligner, you will need to consider your individual circumstances and the issue that needs to be solved. If your bite is incorrect or your teeth are severely misaligned, you need to be sure that your treatment, whether with Smile Direct Club or Invisalign, can treat these issues.

Smile Direct Club focuses on addressing minor to moderate teeth misalignment and some bite correction. But they do not market themselves as treating severe misalignments. A Smile Direct Club dentist will use the telehealth platform to assess your suitability for treatment and let you know whether a remote platform can treat your issues. Invisalign, on the other hand, can treat mild, moderate, and severely misaligned teeth. It can also fix overcrowding, can counter overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.

There is also the issue of what happens once your teeth move. Will your bite change and, if it does, could it wear down your tooth enamel and create cavities? Ultimately, aiming to straighten your teeth, without addressing your bite, both before and after, could impact your oral health moving forward. It is therefore important to consider when choosing a clear aligner, what impact it has on both your misalignment and any bite issues. This is why an initial consultation for either treatment option is needed, so that your circumstances are accurately evaluated, and ultimately, you establish whether your teeth misalignment or bite issues can be addressed.

2. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE HAVING REMOTE TREATMENT?

While orthodontic treatment is safe, there is always the possibility that your teeth won’t move the way they should. Not only will your smile not be perfect, but this could cause problems with your jaw, gums, and teeth. That’s why treatment with both Smile Direct Club and Invisalign involves regular supervision by your treating dentist.

You should consider which type of treatment supervision works best for you. You might like the convenience of having your clear aligner treatment from the comfort of your own home with Smile Direct Club, while being able to request a check-in at any time during treatment. Alternatively, you might prefer the idea of being able to see your aligner dentist face-to-face in a dental practice and comforted in knowing that you can physically visit your dentist, at any time. Whether you choose Smile Direct Club or Invisalign, you choose a team of teeth straightening experts that will work on your smile.

3. WHAT ARE THE ALIGNERS MADE FROM?

The materials used for clear aligners are vital to their success. That said, there is no evidence that indicates either Smile Direct Club or Invisalign aligner material is more beneficial than the other. Therefore, we can not make any comparison between the two aligner materials. However, both brands have recently introduced new aligner technology. Below we highlight how both brand’s new aligner innovations differ from their previous aligners.

The Smile Direct Club aligners are made of BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. In January 2021, Smile Direct Club introduced Comfort Sense. Comfort Sense features laser technology that precision-cuts their aligners for a smoother fit. By gradually increasing the thickness of the aligner, patients can start their treatment with lighter movements. This means, compared to their previous plastic aligners, patients now experience a more comfortable fit and their new plastic aligner is easier to follow the ‘wear-requirements’ of the treatment plan.

Invisalign recently replaced their previous single-layered EX30 plastic aligners with an innovative SmartTrack material. This came after eight years of experience and testing 260 different materials. Invisalign’s previous plastic aligner would relax and lose energy after a few short days. This ultimately made the aligner slightly less effective as it didn’t retain the constant force required to achieve the necessary tooth movements. The new SmartTrack material is a multi-layered and highly elastic material, that was specifically engineered to produce a gentle yet constant force. Compared to their previous EX30 plastic aligner, the SmartTrack material improves control of tooth movements, whilst at the same time offering a more comfortable aligner. Compared to its previous generation aligner, Invisalign’s new SmartTrack aligner fits more snugly around the teeth and is easier to put on and take off.

4. WILL THE ALIGNERS BE PAINFUL?

The other consideration regarding material, as well as its ability to do the job, is comfort. With both Invisalign and Smile Direct Club making recent changes to their aligner technology, both aligners now claim to be more comfortable than their respective earlier generation of aligners.  Again, while we have no evidence to support either aligner being more comfortable than the other, below we explain how the comfortability of both brand’s aligners is achieved.

Invisalign’s new SmartTrack aligner is more comfortable than its previous EX30 plastic aligner. That’s because, with Invisalign’s previous aligner material, it would lose some of the energy to exert the necessary forces and could start slipping. To compensate for this, the aligners could sometimes be fitted more tightly, making it slightly more painful each time a new aligner was used. And, if they become loose, they could then rub against the cheeks and gums and cause sores or further discomfort. Compared to their previous plastic aligner, Invisalign’s new SmartTrack aligners are highly elastic, conforming more accurately to tooth morphology for increased control and comfort. Each aligner is trimmed to the gum line for optimal comfort, precisely matching the shape of the teeth to minimize gum irritation.

With Smile Direct Club, due to its Comfort Sense laser technology, aligners are cut to give a smoother fit. The aligners are not trimmed around the gum line. But instead, shaped in a straight fashion across the top of the aligner in order to deliver a greater turning force. The aligner also utilises variable thickness to help gradually ease patients into treatment. As a result, compared to the Smile Direct Club’s previous plastic aligner, their new aligners allows patients to experience a more comfortable fit.

5. HOW FAST IS THE TREATMENT?

The treatment times for both Smile Direct Club and Invisalign are faster than conventional metal braces. Clear aligner treatment times are influenced by a number of factors, including your ability to adhere to the treatment guidelines, as well as the severity of your misalignment.

The average treatment times advertised by Smile Direct Club are shorter than Invisalign (between 4-6 months). Invisalign treatments are longer but can be completed within 6 months. Ultimately, treatment times vary depending on the severity and complexity of your case and must be determined by the dentist.

In addition, it is claimed on the Invisalign website “Treatment times are up to 50% faster with technological advances to the Invisalign system, including SmartTrack material. With weekly aligner changes, compared with two-week aligner wear.” This implies that by comparing an Invisalign treatment that uses a weekly treatment versus the same Invisalign treatment, but with two-week aligner wear, the weekly treatment can be 50% faster.

Is Teledentistry Safe?

With teledentistry options taking the place of many traditional dental services, several patients are left wondering if these new services are safe. Virtual dentist appointments raise a lot of questions about safety and the privacy of a patient’s medical information.

While these are valid concerns, the teledentistry industry has made great strides in both patient privacy and safety regulations over recent years. This article will examine how patients are protected, as well as the steps that are taken to ensure privacy rights are upheld.

Teledentistry Is Safe

Patients can rest assured that teledentistry is considered to be safe. A six-year study found that teledentistry and “virtual dentist” services provided a similar level of care compared to in-person dental office visits.

According to this study, patients can expect to receive the same level of care, whether in the dental office or a virtual environment.

While the quality of care remains high with teledentistry services, it’s essential to keep in mind that the types of services offered are limited. Teledental services are generally kept to simple, routine things such as check-ups or continuing-care monitoring. You won’t be getting a root canal or any fillings remotely, which means the risk of complications is small.

Teledentistry Laws Keep Patients Safe

Part of what makes online services safe are the various telehealth and teledentistry laws and regulations created to protect the safety and privacy of all patients. As the teledentistry industry continues to grow, it’s only natural that more laws will crop up to help regulate the industry.

It is important to note that each state has different laws, and even among states with regulations, the specifics of the laws can vary greatly. A patient’s location will dictate what teledentistry services are available, and which laws protect them. Patients need to research their state’s relevant laws to see how they affect the practice of teledentistry.

That’s not to say that there won’t be better cohesion in the future. Many laws are relatively new, with more states passing laws and updating regulations each day. Federal laws may be enacted in the future as well, which will create a baseline for the entire country to reference.

Many existing dental laws regarding the safe practice of dentistry and patient privacy remain relevant for teledentistry as well. Patients should expect the same level of care and protection regardless of how they seek dental services.

ADA Policies on Teledentistry Safety

The American Dental Association (ADA) has put forth policies regarding the safe practice of teledensity. These policies govern how dentists should behave, and what sort of obligations they have to their patients. Failure to do so can be harmful to a dentist’s practice and should be a huge red flag for patients.

Overall, these policies provide broad protections for patients. An example is that a dentist should be able to provide their credentials and certifications if asked, even when performing work remotely. These protections lead to more accountability for the dentist and increased safety for patients.

Patient Privacy With Teledentistry

Another considerable concern for patients new to teledentistry is their privacy. Dental records contain sensitive information that is private, and many are understandably loathe to have shared.

The good news is that many of these laws and regulations deal with protecting this information and provide rights for patients to choose who has access to it. Teledentistry services are held to the same high standard of privacy as traditional dental offices. They should be working to keep private information in the hands of only those that need it.

Teledentistry also must abide by the rules put in place by HIPAA. These laws provide broad rights for patients’ privacy and provide patients the means to know who and why different parties have access to their information. This set of laws applies to traditional dental services, but also encompasses teledentistry services due to their need for sensitive medical information.

Patients should also ask companies to provide the name of any service that will have access to their dental records. Many providers work with third parties to perform additional services and therefore, may need to share your information with them. Any reputable company should be happy to share what information is provided to third parties.

Teledentistry Safety in the Future

The safety of teledentistry is something that will be watched with a careful eye by dental professionals, government officials, and patients. This scrutiny of the industry is sure to keep standards high, which will provide a safe environment for patients to receive dental care. With more states enacting laws, the safety of teledentistry is poised to remain at high levels far into the future.

Teledentistry Benefits for Rural Patients

It’s a fact of life that many services in larger cities are not as accessible to those in more rural locations. Healthcare is an area that often has significant disparities in quality and access between urban and rural areas. One aspect of healthcare that is often overlooked is dental care, and many Americans in more rural locations neglect to visit a dentist as often as they should. Fortunately, recent advances in technology have made it possible for residents of even the most remote areas to visit a dentist. Teledentistry is changing how rural residents positively access their dental care and make it more accessible than ever before.

Why Should Teledentistry Matter to Rural Patients?


Loosely speaking, teledensity encompasses the range of technologies to administer dental care remotely. This remote access to care is essential for rural patients, and may include:

Video or voice calls with a dentist to make dental care more convenient
Remote monitoring of oral procedures like braces to avoid traveling
Medication prescription for oral issues
These are just a few of the more popular services rural patients will value for their part in making dental care more accessible and convenient to those who might not otherwise have easy access to it.

Teledentistry Benefits for Rural Patients
So, why use teledentistry? Well, rural residents are poised to benefit the most from the variety of teledental services offered. Most benefits focus on convenience, but with teledentistry, rural patients also have greater access to dental experts.

Rural Teledentistry Provides Patients Quick Access to Routine Dental Services
One of the biggest draws for those living in rural locations is the ability to have a completely virtual dental appointment. Many people live far away from any dental office; teledentistry provides them with the ability to book an appointment that’s convenient for them.

Several teledentistry services aim to provide virtual appointments through video chat software. Online dental consultations allow rural patients to meet with their dentist without spending excessive amounts of time traveling. Less travel time is especially beneficial for routine visits or when a simple prescription is all that would be needed.

Teledentistry Gives Rural Patients Access to Prescriptions and Other Dental Support
Lastly, teledentistry offers access to certain services to save rural patients time and unnecessary travel. Take for example the opportunity to have your dentist prescribe you medication, without having to travel to the dentist’s office.

At-home orthodontics is another service that is well supported by teledentistry. Instead of simply having supplies for teeth straightening sent to your home, teledentistry offers your dentist the opportunity to monitor your care — without having to make frequent trips to the dentist.

Many of these companies offer longterm plans and will periodically check up digitally and send the next set of aligners right to a patient’s home. They can save patients tons of times as there is no need to schedule many appointments throughout the process. They can also bring a service that might not exist in certain areas to the people that live there.

Remote Teledentistry Allows Rural Patients to Get Feedback From Qualified Dentists
Another teledentistry benefit for rural patients is the ability to consult with remote dentists. Teledentistry removes the need for geographical proximity, giving patients more healthcare options. For example, a patient might want to get a second opinion about an issue from a dental specialist. While this may have seemed impossible before, with teledentistry, it becomes a real option. Patients can find the best care available, and make more informed decisions.

Teledentistry is convenient for patients and gives rural patients more control over their oral health by connecting rural communities with dentists

Online Dental Consultations Give Rural Patients Options During an Emergency
Emergency services are another great benefit to rural patients. Being able to hop on a call with a dentist immediately after an emergency can provide great peace of mind as well as make sure you are treating the emergency in the best way possible. Having immediate access to a dentist can help patients get instant feedback, but they can also help instruct patients on proper care to minimize any damage caused.

Rural Teledentistry Benefits More People
With the services offered through teledentistry continuing to expand, more people in rural areas can visit their dentist — without even leaving their homes. The convenience, and removing the need to travel sometimes hours to receive care are benefits that cannot be understated. Understandably, millions of Americans are already taking advantage of the growth in teledentistry technology (especially in rural areas) and will continue to do so for years to come.

Teledentistry Benefits for Kids – What is Tele-Dentistry?

What is Tele-Dentistry?

  1. What is telehealth and teledentistry?

Telehealth is not a specific service; it refers to a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. As an umbrella term, it is further defined when applied to specific health care disciplines, such as dentistry.
Teledentistry, according to the ADA’s Comprehensive Policy Statement on Teledentistry, refers to the use of telehealth systems and methodologies in dentistry. Teledentistry can include patient care and education delivery using, but not limited to, the following modalities:

• Live video (synchronous): Live, two-way interaction between a person (patient, caregiver, or provider) and a provider using audiovisual telecommunications technology.
• Store-and-forward (asynchronous): Transmission of recorded health information (for example, radiographs, photographs, video, digital impressions and photomicrographs of patients) through a secure electronic communications system to a practitioner, who uses the information to evaluate a patient’s condition or render a service outside of a real-time or live interaction.
• Remote patient monitoring (RPM): Personal health and medical data collection from an individual in one location via electronic communication technologies, which is transmitted

Teledentistry During a Global Pandemic and Beyond

In 2020, the world faced one of the worst pandemics it has ever seen. With this pandemic gripping the country, many people are looking for creative, safer alternatives to their usual routines. The healthcare industry has fared admirably with the rise of telehealth services and, in particular, teledentistry. With the improvement in virtual dental services, dentists are in a position to continue helping patients without the need for them to be on-site for their appointment. During this pandemic, and even in the future, dental care doesn’t need to be out of reach with teledentistry here to help.

How Teledentistry Can Help During a Pandemic?


Teledentistry is a broad term that encompasses a whole range of virtual and contactless dental services. Some services that are particularly useful to patients during a pandemic might include:

Virtual visits through video or voice services
Prescription of medication
Other contactless dental services
While these services are always convenient, they can be life saving during a pandemic. Not having to leave your home to receive dental care helps us all obey social-distancing guidelines and stay safe during a pandemic.

Social Distancing With Teledentistry
The most significant benefit of teledentistry during a pandemic is how it encourages people to stay home. Accessing dental care and advice from anywhere is key to reducing the spread of a virus, and still allows patients to keep up with their dental care.

Dental offices are naturally very intimate places. You’re in close contact with the dentist and hygienists, as well as other patients that may be waiting. This type of close-contact situation is what we should strive to avoid, as it dramatically increases the risk of spreading a virus.

Teledentistry, being a remote service, neatly removes the need to be in the office and prevents the increased risk of spreading the virus throughout your community. It also gives patients access to services such as prescriptions for medications and guidance regarding other dental needs at home, saving them from going out into public.

Teledentistry allows us to stay safe and social distance even when working closely with a dental professional. Your oral health doesn’t need to take a back seat even during a pandemic.

Other Benefits of Teledentistry During a Pandemic
While the remote services teledentistry offers are a large part of its appeal, it also has a wide range of other benefits for patients. They include:

Reduced costs for patients who might be out of work during a pandemic
Improved access to care for those staying home
Straightforward second opinions from experts around the world
It’s easy to see how this variety of benefits makes teledentistry very appealing to a broad range of patients and has caused teledentistry to steadily gain traction for the past few years. Add to that, the absolute need for teledentistry during a pandemic, and it becomes a perfect storm for rapid growth. Patients love the benefits teledentistry provides.

Protecting Dental Patients During a Health Crisis
This growth has spurred many laws as well as support from the ADA. These laws are all about protecting patients and their privacy and have done a lot to ease patient concerns. Safety is always something patients will worry about, and fortunately, that won’t be an issue for those using teledentistry services. As the industry continues to evolve, we’ll see further legislation enacted to ensure that proper care and procedures are followed by dentists — both in and outside of the office.

Teledentistry After COVID-19
While all thoughts are on the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to know that teledentistry’s benefits will persist in future health crises. If we should find ourselves in this position again, the dental community will be better equipped to handle it.

Additionally, even once we no longer need to be concerned about the pandemic, it’s inevitable that teledentistry will remain a big part of dental care. The convenience factor and cost-saving benefits are sure to drive both dentists and patients to continue using teledentistry techniques.

Aspects such as in-car check-ins are a great way to reduce numbers in the waiting room and speed up the process. It’s also very effective in just generally reducing the spread of infection — and that will always be beneficial for those who are immunocompromised, or otherwise at risk.

We’re also likely to see continued use of electronic form filing for patients. Completing forms is a time consuming but necessary part of the visit that no one likes. Having forms pre-filled at home saves everyone time, and keeps people in the office for shorter periods. These are just two small examples of the non-pandemic benefits that all patients can enjoy.

While the current pandemic has undoubtedly forced the usage of teledentistry, patients have been steadily growing accustomed to telehealth solutions for some time. We’ll likely see this trend continue, with teledentistry remaining a significant part of dentistry for years to come.

Teledentistry Benefits for Kids

Proper oral care is necessary for a healthy life, and this is especially true for children. For parents, getting their kids the proper dental care is critical, but unfortunately, this task can be fraught with difficulties. Parents can lessen these challenges by looking for a teledentist. Remote dental care offers many advantages so that parents can keep their children’s oral health care a top priority.

How Can Teledentistry Services Positively Impact Kids?


Teledentistry is simply any remote dental service. Anytime you receive dental care without needing to be present in the office, you’re benefiting from teledentistry.

The services are numerous, but a few popular ones that benefit kids are:

Video calls with a dentist to help children and parents get feedback
Remote monitoring through live video services
Medication prescription services for oral care
Teledentistry encompasses a wide range of services, and this is part of the reasons why so many parents are currently taking advantage of it for their children.

How Teledentistry Is Beneficial for Children


While the importance of dental care is well known, it’s often difficult to schedule convenient times to meet with a dentist. Luckily, there is a range of teledentistry benefits for children and their parents to make oral care more manageable.

Teledentistry Keeps Kids On Schedule


The first benefit is that teledentistry keeps kids from missing school due to routine appointments. Getting feedback and advice from a dentist at any time means parents can schedule appointments around a child’s schedule. This convenience factor ultimately leads to more kids getting dental care more often.

It’s estimated that children aged 5-17 missed a total of 2 million days of school each year due to dental related issues. That’s a lot of missed school, which can lead to slipping grades and other classroom issues. Time missed often includes simple routine check-ups but also includes f hours lost for more severe dental treatments. But perhaps the biggest concern is when children miss school because of untreated dental issues (tooth decay, cavities, infections, tooth loss), which can then lead to more serious health and social issues. Teledentistry has the ability to impact these absences as well.

Teledentistry Prevents Serious Issues in The Future


Teledentistry makes it easy for more kids to see the dentist. Dentists have more face time with a child, which can help catch problems early. With more access to dental care and check-ups, the result will mean fewer serious issues down the road and a healthier mouth overall. Most dental issues can be prevented with regular check-ups from a dental professional, and that is key to catching and correcting any dental problems.

Poor oral care can also lead to a lot of pain from infections and oral issues. On its own, this is problematic, but it can also directly cause other concerns. Dental discomfort can be a cause of poor sleep or diet habits, which can then spiral into other issues both in and out of the classroom.

Oral issues have also been linked in multiple studies to other health risks and concerns. These can directly affect a child’s health and put them at a higher risk of developing specific ailments. Proper oral care is a lifelong habit, and neglecting it can have severe consequences for the entire body.

Teledentistry Is Less Intimidating for Kids


For some children, a trip to the dentist’s office can be a little scary. Teledentistry offers a way for those children to receive dental care, safely and comfortably from their own home. It can also be a great way to introduce younger children to the idea of visiting the dentist — their first couple of visits being conducted at home and then “graduating” to an office visit.

Teledentistry Increases the Number of Kids Who Can Access Care


Teledentistry also extends services to those who might otherwise have a hard time getting it. It might also help out busy parents who have difficulty scheduling their child’s appointments around jobs and other obligations. Teledentistry opens the doors to otherwise underserved communities.

Educating Children on Why Oral Hygiene Matters
There are also several programs that use teledentistry to educate children on the importance of oral health. Many children, younger ones especially, might not understand exactly why things like brushing matter. These sorts of programs aim to spread this knowledge and help children understand the importance of (as well as the correct way to perform) basic oral care tasks. This information allows kids to take control of their oral health in ways they weren’t before.

Education is an integral part of oral care for children and helps them build a lifetime of good habits. Having the ability to learn from their own home or school makes the process as seamless as possible.

Teledentistry Benefits Kids and Families


Teledentistry is already making notable waves in the dental world, and helping kids get the oral care they need. With millions already using it, it’s apparent that teledentistry services will only continue to grow. Learning and utilizing them today can help kids throughout the country stay happy and healthy.