Telehealth apps have now come to the world of dentistry. That’s right, welcome to the 21st century, where you can have your teeth checked right through your iphone. This is an absolute great innovation for the simple reason that all us are scared to go to the dentist. This is especially true for senior citizens.
Indeed, according to a National Health Interview Survey, in 2017 less than 30 percent of adults 65 and older had dental insurance. So, for many people, early symptoms of oral-health issues will be ignored. How do you get around this problem?
Telehealth Apps: Check Your Teeth Through Your Iphone
A novel solution, for sure. Snap a few photos of your mouth and get a dental diagnosis with a reasonable bill that won’t be so hard to swallow.
Toothpic, is a smartphone app from the teledentist network OralEye. It provides access to a dentist from a network of more than 150 nationwide. For simple matters, the app guides you on how to take pics of your teeth and gums; your diagnosis and treatment plan will arrive within six hours.
Cost: $10. I tried it for a recent Sunday-afternoon query about a bleeding gum and got this diagnosis and treatment plan in under 30 minutes: My receding gums were exposing crown gaps, so I was told to rinse with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution before brushing. More extensive virtual exams are costlier and may take up to two days to receive replies.
Telehealth Apps: What About If It’s Serious?
For more serious oral issues, a service called the TeleDentists can arrange for you to get a video consultation, on your smartphone or computer.
This service costs $69 for about 15 minutes with a dentist, who provides a preliminary diagnosis and suggests temporary solutions. After your teleconsultation, both Toothpic and the TeleDentists encourage you to see a dentist in person for follow-up. Both apps can get you a physical appointment with an area dentist within 24 hours of your virtual visit.
Dental Apps A Growing Trend
While telehealth apps for dental exams are a growing trend, it should only compliment, but not replace an actual visit to your dentist.
This app service should be used as a first step, between dental visits. Use the service to give you peace of mind in between dental visits. And schedule your actual visits for every six months.