Sonya Dunbar Journals

We are living in exciting times. When I started practicing as a dental hygienist decades ago, we had to meet and interact with patients in person. But Covid-19 changed all of that.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but, something good has come from the pandemic.  Teledentistry is finally being embraced!  Dental professionals are examining their patients virtually. This includes using high-definition video to look into their mouths.

Dental professionals are also encouraging their patients to take oral pictures. The patients then send the images via a chatbox for the dental professional to look at. 

I absolutely love teledentistry because it allows us to serve more patients and examine patients without meeting physically. 

A virtual exam allows the dental professional to decide if they need to see the patient immediately or if they can undertake other measures.

Teledentistry Shows You Care

If you know me, you know that I’m all about caring for patients, especially seniors. Teledentistry will make it much easier to care for seniors as you can treat them any time that they need the services.

If you are willing to use teledentistry to see isolated patients, it will make a huge difference to seniors who do not have a dentist. This could turn them into long-term patients. 

It also helps to remember that you also get paid when you see your patients virtually.  Be sure to tell this to the patients, just because the service is online, doesn’t mean it’s free! This is enough motivation to incorporate teledentistry into your practice. 

Getting Started

Choose a platform that has been made for teledentistry. Ensure that it is a strong platform that will not get overwhelmed when you are serving patients.

Then inform your existing patients that you have begun offering teledentistry services. You can email all your patients this information or add it to your website. The information on the website will draw in new patients.

If patients contact you for the service, schedule the teledentistry appointments with them.   For more advice or teledentistry of mobile dentistry consult Sonya Dunbar.

Sonya has over 15 years in mobile dentistry. She shares her expertise in-home visits, non-profit organizations, long-term care, school-based, and mobile dental whitening.

You Will Still Need An Assistant

Some things haven’t changed much. For instance,  just like with a brick-and-mortar office, you will still need a dental assistant when practicing teledentistry.

Your assistant will connect with the patient before you do. They will help gather the patient’s history, ask about the method of payment, and inform them of the fee of the appointment. 

If it’s an existing patient, an assistant will help you update their information. They will then transfer the meeting to you or schedule an appointment for a later date.

During the appointment, you will examine the patient. Ask questions and diagnose the patient. 

Teledentistry Doesn’t Replace “Normal” Dental Services

A few months ago, dental professionals returned to “normality” and began to supply more hands-on dental care for our patients in long-term care facilities.

There was an overwhelming amount of debris and neglect plaguing the many seniors that we saw.  The great part of it is that our mobile dental services can help seniors seeking these services.

Therefore, there is no need to worry about traveling or sitting in a waiting room with strangers! Our patients will be safer than ever as we follow the proper post-COVID-19 protocol too.

We provide all the services that a regular clinic would. We aim to keep our elders healthy, comfortable, and confident when they eat and smile.

We provide a variety of dental services including; denture repair, cleaning or replacement, fillings, x-rays, teeth extractions, partials, and oral cancer screenings (all served by our experienced and passionate dental professionals).

Maintaining oral health is the first step towards improving your nursing home resident’s quality of life.  Invite Sonya Dunbar to speak about the ABCs of poor oral healthcare, how to address oral health needs for seniors, and mental dental health, among other topics.

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