Teledentistry is a way to provide medical care and oral health information to patients at a distant site or to integrate care providers of medical care provision. With the advancement of teledentistry, patients are able to access information from a range of professionals on oral services, dental exams, and diagnosis, both by visual contact. This fills the divide between physicians and patients and offers more people the ability to pursue more affordable dental services. That’s the reason why most of the dentists are looking for Telemedicine Software Development Companies.
The American Dental Association (ADA) introduced a detailed policy statement on teledentistry in November 2015 and described it as “a hybrid of telecommunications and dentistry involving the sharing of clinical knowledge and photographs for a dental consultation and care preparation over distances.” The policy further discusses the approach used to provide such programs.
In this article, we will discuss about ADA Guidelines for Teledentistry. But first let’s have a brief introduction to teledentistry.
Teledentistry can provide delivery of patient care and education, using, but not limited to, the following methods:
- Live (synchronous) video: Live, two-way contact between a person (patient, caregiver, or operator) and an audiovisual telecommunications service.
- Store-and-forward (asynchronous): transfer of registered health information (e.g., radiographs, photos, film, visual observations, and patient photomicrographs) through a secure electronic communications device to a doctor who uses the information to determine a patient’s condition or to provide a service outside of real-time or live communication.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Collection of personal health and medical data by an individual at one location by electronic communication systems, and is sent to a facility (sometimes by a data processing service) at a separate location for use of treatment and related assistance.
- Mobile health (mHealth): public health and wellbeing services assisted by electronic communications technologies such as cell phones, tablet computers, and personal digital assistants (PDA).
As a dentist, teledentistry improves the ability to offer the required dental treatment. Teledentistry’s digital advantages extend your reach to:
- Patients in remote areas may either miss or defer dental treatment or those lacking direct access to a dental service.
- Dental hygienists that offer prevention or screening facilities off-site. Data obtained can be delivered remotely to you on-site for diagnosis and appropriate procedures of follow-up treatment.
- Meetings with professionals are structured with more convenient approvals and appropriate follow-up appointments. Required documents and imagery are available in a single, safe digital environment, which is readily accessible.
- Connections are strengthened with modern patient information reports associated with pediatricians, doctors, and professional nursing facilities;
It is imperative for patients involved in seeking teledentistry facilities to be mindful of the applicable laws and regulations, and how they can differ depending on where you live. The exponential growth of telehealth and teledentistry would allow laws and regulations to vary (and evolve) by state. Although teledentistry services are commonly approved in most states.
Even the ADA has unique teledentistry rules. There are standards to be adopted by licensed dentists when providing teledentistry services.
ADA Guidelines for a Virtual Appointment via Telemedicine
- Technology using strategies available to the public networking channels such as social media experiences on Facebook Live, Twitch is prohibited.
- Technology using closed contact tools such as Facebook Messenger, interactive video conferencing, telephone call, computer-based applications (such as Skype or Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Google meet), smartphone contact through text message, email, and images is appropriate.
- When using these messaging techniques, patients must be made mindful of the consequences of privacy and encryption must be used where possible.
- Telecommunication meetings must be adequately recorded in health reports. An accurate description of the facilities rendered must contain specifics of the meeting, such as the date of operation, time, and duration, as well as relevant documents detailing the conference.
These guidelines are usually set in order to protect the health and safety of the patients. The policy includes a variety of consumer rights, such as requiring a dentist to be certified in the patient’s situation or encouraging dentists to be able to supply patients with access to the accreditation board records.
Read Also: The complete Guide of Telemedicine
The use of teledentistry is attracting growing encouragement from the industry from the ADA and other specialist organizations. According to the ADA, most dentists can theoretically exploit telecommunications infrastructure to provide limited-scale patient interactions. And because the COVID-19 pandemic poses more questions than it offers solutions, those in the dental profession face confusion about how to deal with telehealth visits as well as the resulting coding, reporting, and billing. ADA and American Association of Dental Boards (AADB) officials have come up with several recommendations to help professionals handle this uncertain period.
The ADA’s Stance on Patients’ Rights
- The ADA (American Dental Association) has issued a series of recommendations for dentists performing telemedicine. Many of the guidelines to protect patients include. Provide patients access to knowledge about dentists’ licenses.
- Advice patients to keep them involved in all treatment decisions.
- Mandate that patients undergo care only from approved dentists in their home state.
- Log all procedures correctly and provide patient data upon request.
- These kinds of safeguards make sure patients get high-quality care. It also means patients have the freedom to be told about the treatments and protect their private details
The treatment of patients seeking teledentistry care must be adequately recorded which should include offering a review of care to the patient. Dentists that offer treatments using teledentistry shall, where applicable, develop guidelines for effective referrals.
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