The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in UK dental practices adopting telehealth as a solution for providing remote consultations and monitoring. This move has been made necessary due to the pandemic’s disruption of regular dental checkups and treatment. Telehealth involves the use of video conferencing, messaging apps, and other digital communication technologies to connect patients with healthcare providers, enabling dentists to diagnose and treat patients remotely, reducing the need for in-person appointments and minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The General Dental Council is supporting the adoption of telehealth in UK dental practices and has released guidance to help dental professionals navigate the use of telehealth technologies. This guidance stresses the importance of ensuring that patients receive the same quality of care during remote consultations as they would during in-person appointments.
The adoption of telehealth in dentistry is not a novel concept, but the pandemic has accelerated its uptake. Besides providing a safe and convenient option for patients, telehealth has other benefits for dental practices, including increased efficiency and productivity. However, the use of telehealth in dentistry has some limitations. For instance, in-person appointments may still be required for certain procedures, and remote consultations may not be suitable for patients with complex dental needs.
The adoption of telehealth in UK dental practices is a positive step towards enhancing access to dental care during the pandemic and beyond. Dental professionals can continue to provide high-quality care while keeping their patients and staff safe by embracing new technologies and approaches. With the evolution of technology, it is highly likely that telehealth will play a more significant role in the delivery of dental services in the future.