Last year the United States saw the fastest rise in inflation this century. The U.S. Bureau of Labor stated that the rate climbed to 4.9%, two times the targeted amount of the Federal Reserve. This has affected the healthcare sector since people tend to neglect aspects such as their dental care– particularly esthetic treatments when the cost of everything increases.
Teledentistry has proven to help bridge the gap by providing cost-effective teeth straightening solutions, teeth whitening, and remote consultations for other dental problems from the comfort of your own home. Virtual communication between dental professionals and clients occurs through online appointments—replacing traditional dental appointments. As a result, more people can receive dental care without worrying about the hefty price tag and the time required for a dental office visit.
At-home Teeth Straightening
The dream of a perfectly aligned smile is one that many Americans share. However, traditional braces, in-office clear aligner alternatives, and constant follow-up appointments are not always budget-friendly.
At-home clear aligners are generally faster, very comfortable, cost-effective, and almost invisible, especially when compared to traditional metal braces. These at-home teeth straightening solutions do not mean that clients are left to their own devices. On the contrary—dental professionals determine the treatment’s duration and are just a video call away to help with any issues or concerns during the treatment.
The whole process starts with the patient sending a 3D impression of their teeth or an initial visit to a dentist. The custom clear aligners produced are then forwarded to the customer in a kit form, including instructions on their use. Depending on the type of malocclusion, teeth alignment can take anything from 3 months to a year if the aligners are worn correctly, much shorter than the 12 -18 months required with Invisalign. Of course, at-home clear aligners are more suitable for mild and moderate teeth alignment needs, whereas Invisalign treatments are combined with elastics for more severe issues.
Several clear aligner brands are available across the country– varying in price, treatment duration, and performance. It’s easy for consumers to feel confused about the options; Clear Aligner Hub is a great online platform with in-depth product reviews that help consumers decide which clear aligner company suits their budget and timeframe best.
See a breakdown of the best clear aligners in Texas; these include Byte, Candid, and AlignerCo. These are some alternatives to in-office braces embracing the technology surrounding the clear aligner teledentistry.
Teeth Whitening Treatments
Several factors can lead to teeth discoloration, including staining due to smoking, foods/drinks, aging, or just genetics. These factors contribute to the yellowing of the enamel. Professional teeth whitening can counteract these factors to produce a brighter smile. While in-office treatments can achieve a whiter smile, these are expensive.
For those that want a budget-friendly option or are simply looking to swap the dental chair for their couch, at-home teeth whitening options are an excellent alternative. The at-home procedure usually involves wearing whitening strips or using bleaching trays -these treatments require treatment over several weeks. For more subtle stain removal or maintenance, dentists may recommend whitening toothpaste. Treatment times and longevity of results vary, depending on a client’s specific lifestyle and diet. Many dentists offer take-home kits, making the procedure a bit more cost-effective. They use teledentistry to consult with their clients and follow-up on the results.
Remote Dental Consultations
Virtual dental consultations have proven extremely popular in recent years. These consultations usually involve a video conversation between a patient and a dental professional. This option is beneficial in the case of those who are in quarantine, living in remote areas, or elderly patients that have limited movement. Teledentistry is available to anyone with access to the internet.
However, for remote consultations to be a practical and viable alternate solution, adequate clinical and medical information is needed. Access to a good camera is required so that the dentist can understand the nature of the problem and make a conclusive diagnosis. The dentist can prescribe the appropriate treatment, book an in-office visit with the person, or refer them to a specialist.
The teledentistry industry has progressed exponentially since its inception, making dental care more cost-effective and accessible without compromising the quality of treatment. Between at-home teeth alignments, teeth whitening treatments, and virtual dental consultations for evaluations or follow-ups, dental care is now available to a broader scope of people that would otherwise have gone without professional dental care. Teledentistry has been yielding positive results, helping more people than ever before achieve their desired smile.
Content provided in partnership with Site Trail.