Teledentistry: Delivering Oral Care Within a Few Clicks
Teledentistry:  Delivering Oral Care Within a Few Clicks
Dental care is a must in today’s world. For long-term hygiene, seeing a dentist at regular intervals has plenty of benefits. However, not everyone can go to the dentist all the time, due to monetary reasons, busy schedules, or having to travel long distances. Also, some people avoid visiting dental care clinics due to fears or awkwardness.

Teledentistry can be an ideal solution for such individuals. The rising reliance on 4G/5G smartphone devices and other smart gadgets can serve dental health purposes too. With the availability of digital dental health, even Individuals from semi-urban, and rural areas can get efficient dental health consultations and prescriptions.

How is Teledentistry a Futuristic Solution?

Teledentistry is the delivery of dental health information and images/video over digital platforms between dentists and dental care seekers. If the issue is small, it can be easily resolved with a simple consultation or prescription. However, in cases of serious matters, the treatment and visits can be planned in advance over digital mediums.

The issues related to oral health are on the rise worldwide. In a recent report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) titled Global Oral Health Status Report (2022), the number of individuals affected by the oral disease was estimated to be 3.5 billion worldwide.

The report mentions that 3 out of 4 individuals who have oral hygiene-related issues reside in middle-income countries. 2 billion people are suffering from caries (decay) of permanent teeth, and 514 million children worldwide are facing caries of their primary teeth. The rapidly growing urbanization and evolving life conditions are major factors causing the increased prevalence of dental issues, as the report mentions.

The above statistics, coupled with several research studies, point out that a whole lot of people worldwide are required to take dental consultations on a regular basis. Yet, not many can afford to visit physical dental care centers for varying reasons. Nonetheless, teledentistry can be a go-to solution for such people, as dental data (images or videos) transfer or direct communication with dental experts can be carried out within a matter of few clicks.

Advantages of Teledentistry

Teledentistry, owing to its ease of access, can have numerous advantages for the future of worldwide dental care. Some of the most common advantages are listed below.

Improved Dental Care Access: Globally, numerous individuals that have dental issues do not have proper access to dentists. The lack of awareness, as well as the unavailability of dentist centers in semi-urban and rural parts, further increases the need to establish solutions that improve the existing state of dental care in these parts.

As smartphones and other gadgets are becoming available at cheaper costs everywhere, their usage is growing fast. Global dental care providers are taking advantage of the rising availability of smart devices and expanding their availability to the wider public through teledentistry.

Lower Cost: Dental care costs could be another factor keeping individuals away from dentist centers. Seeking help through teledentistry platforms can significantly cut the dental claim cost as well as the cost of gas and other transportation and facility-related costs.

Timely Help: Some dental or oral health issues require urgent attention from dental experts. Any time lost can end up costing significantly in terms of money and oral health as well. The teledentistry platforms can enable instant access to dental consultations conveniently.

The prevalence of dental issues is mostly due to people not seeking timely consultation. This factor can be better dealt with by increasing awareness and providing timely care at affordable costs over digital dental care platforms.

Flexibility: The teledentistry platforms can provide improved flexibility to individuals seeking dental care solutions. With our fast-paced lifestyle, seeking regular advice by visiting physical dental centers is not a viable solution.

The virtual dental care platforms provide flexibility in seeking dentist help as and when required from the comfort of home. This can be a flexible solution for those whose health or busy schedules do not permit them to visit dentists.

Safety: Individuals who have concerns about getting an infection or coming in contact with other allergic factors can choose to consult over teledentistry platforms. Due to COVID-19, numerous people who have oral hygiene problems or other ailments sought assistance over telehealth or teledentistry platforms, instead of visiting physical centers.

Global Teledentistry Outlook

Teledentistry existed for decades before the emergence of COVID-19. One of the first such dental care programs over the telephone system was made available by the US Department of Defense in 1994. It was carried out on the plain-old-telephone system (POTS), which aimed to improve soldiers’ access to dental care and reduce related costs.

Later, it was mainly preferred during emergency situations such as heavy rainfall, storms, snowfalls, and other such events. Its significance grew at a rapid pace with the continuous threat of COVID-19 infection over the last couple of years.

Dental patients and care providers worldwide have, in most cases, preferred digital platforms to reach out. With the help of mobile applications, computer software, and video platforms, access to dental care improved. The rise in the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and computer vision are likely to fuel the expansion of teledentistry platforms’ growth in the years to come.

Some of the key providers of teledentistry solutions are Aspen Dental Management, Inc.; SmileDirectClub; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Vide Virtual Dental; Edentech SAS; Koninklijke Philips N. V.; Medtronic PLC; The TeleDentists; Dentulu, Inc.; MouthWatch, LLC; HealthTap, Inc.; Denteractive Solutions, Inc.; Patterson Companies, Inc.; Virtudent, Inc.; and Nexsys Electronics, Inc., among others.

With the above trends and opportunities, the teledentistry market size is expected to reach around USD 2.6 billion by 2030, up from USD 1 billion in 2021, expanding at a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the coming years. The rising prevalence of oral health issues, coupled with the growing geriatric population with oral complaints, is expected to drive the market.


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