In our digital times, telemedicine is becoming a very popular topic for both patients and doctors. A recent survey by DentaVox addressed patient’s view on teledentistry, the remote delivery of dental care, consultation, follow-up care, and education over telecommunications. Results indicate that teledentistry is seen as an exciting and valuable advancement. The majority of survey participants believe they are likely to use it within the next 5 years, and it’s only a matter of availability to try it out. Moreover, teledentistry is not perceived as a niche service for isolated communities. 42% of respondents think that it is beneficial for everyone, and just 2% do not see its value.
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For the majority of patients, virtual dental care is not a futuristic idea and they are ready to embrace it. 78% of respondents believe they are likely to use teledentistry services within the next 5 years. This finding is in line with the increased interest in telemedicine, reported by a previous study among American patients.
Over 60% of surveyed patients specify availability as a key factor to encourage the usage of teledentistry, whereas no other access to dental care is cited by one-third of respondents. This indicates that the demand for remote dental care goes way beyond underserved communities, and progressive dentists in urban areas can respond to these new opportunities.
According to the patients from the survey, remote dental care has the potential to promote healthy behaviours and educate on prevention of oral diseases. In addition, half of them believe diagnosis and risk assessment can be addressed successfully by teledentistry.
There is already academic research on the topic, which supports this point of view. For example, a study conducted in Australia demonstrates that dental caries can be detected reliably with the use of smartphone camera and image acquisition Android app.
42% of respondents consider teledentistry is a mainstream service for everyone. With regard to its value for specific groups of society, working people are the most mentioned category by respondents. This comes to show that the view of remote dental care as a service for communities in distant locations is a partial and outdated perspective on the matter.
Patient’s optimistic perspective on teledentistry is a clear sign that it is not just a passing trend. It is gaining momentum and patients are eager to see it in practice. Whether it is going to revolutionize the dental industry or not, patients expect to see it as an integral part of mainstream oral health care.
Take the survey and share your opinion!
Statistics are based on results from Teledentistry Survey, completed by 421 respondents in the period 21/09 – 14/10/2019.
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