Teledentistry allows providers and patients in different locations to directly communicate in real-time (synchronous) or by the store-and-forward method (asynchronous).
Provider to Provider communication allows for sharing of clinical data for remote consultations, triage and treatment planning. For example, a general dentist who is referring a patient to a specialist can share x-rays, intraoral/extraoral images, notes and health history with a specialist to initiate the referral and consultation process. Another example would be a hygienist who is providing care in a nursing home can connect with a dentist, share notes, images and x-rays so the dentist can provide authorization and treatment recommendations remotely. This same technology allows for secure data exchange between medical settings, schools, specialists and all types of dental settings.
Patient Facing communication allows the provider to be aware of patient concerns, offer video consultations for remote triage and treatment planning, schedule in-person follow up care and refer if needed. For example, a patient might share an oral concern with their dentist office over secure messaging, and then the provider can initiate a live video chat to provide a virtual consultation, an in-depth screening and treatment recommendations.
Synchronous TeleDentistry is when telecommunications technologies are used to engage in real time encounters, often including live video.
Asynchrounous TeleDentistry is used when clinical data is collected, including, but not limited to, notes, images, health histories, and radiographs and is then shared with an oral health care provider for review at a later time.