Teledentistry: The infection control protocol you didn’t know you needed
Teledentistry not only offers convenience and saves time—it's a valuable tool in our IC toolbox, says Michelle Strange, MSDH, RDH.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, dental professionals have needed to find ways to care for their patients beyond the usual face-to-face examination in dental clinics. If we’re honest, we’ve needed alternatives to face-to-face interaction for many years in the dental industry. Patients have been welcomed at their dental practice while admittedly ill because the loss of production has outweighed team safety. Restructuring and introducing new, modernized electronic ways to provide dental care while reducing the risk of disease transmission and cross-infection are long overdue.
Among the possibilities for resuming safe practice during these times, teledentistry, which has already been around for years, has emerged as a supportive tool for providing remote patient care and monitoring. The obvious advantage of teledentistry is that dentists can care for patients without seeing them in person, minimizing the risk of disease transmission and decreasing the need for consumable products used to prevent cross-contamination.