November 16th, 2018
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What Teledentistry is Doing to Dentistry
I know we’ve all been there – frantically searching the Internet for diagnostic answers about something strange you have just found on your body.
This happened to me recently, and it’s a great opportunity to let you know about something fantastic happening in the world of medical technology: teledentistry.
First things first, the story. I was watching Netflix and eating my favorite Netflix snack, popcorn and M&Ms, when something in my mouth hurt all of a sudden. I went to the mirror and found a strange, painful white bump on my gums. What could this be?! I immediately rushed to my best friend, Google, to find the answer. What did Google tell me? Oral cancer. Yeah, that’s right, I was convinced. Luckily for me, I had been to the dentist not too long beforehand and learned that my dentist partook in a neat new practice called teledentistry.
Teledentistry is the use of communication technology in order for dentists to offer patients consulting, diagnostic answers, treatment planning, and medical information sharing. Basically, you can go to the dentist without going to the dentist. That is, until you have to have a procedure. It also allows doctors to easily share information about patients, cases, treatments with each other. Teledentistry is a rather new practice that has allowed for remote dentistry to be performed. Although this is a brief mention of the magic of teledentistry, you can read more information about teledentistry here. This Arizonan dental blog offers an amazing breakdown of what teledentistry is and how it is helping us all.
After I found this strange thing on my gums and figured out I was going to die from oral cancer, I used my dentist’s teledentistry service! I hopped on a video call with him where he examined my mouth through that medium, and I got the answer I was so desperately searching: canker sore. Just a little canker sore that would clear up within a week. After about an hour of despair, teledentistry had literally given me my life back. Had this happened 15, 10, even 5 years ago, my hypochondria would have eaten me alive all night while I waited until the next day to see my dentist. This visit would have put me out a couple hundred dollars, only to find out it was a simple canker sore. But thanks to the technological advancement that is teledentistry, I was able to utilize this 24 hour service for less than a nice dinner. Teledentistry definitely an advancement in technology that will prove beneficial to us all at least once.