The way we receive dental care is just one thing that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an increasing reliance on teledentistry whenever possible, and many offices have turned toward a contactless method. Many of the changes that came as a response to pandemics are likely here to stay. Such as contactless offices, enhanced ventilation, and an increased reliance on teledentistry as a primary form of care. We will explore the changes that came as part of orthodontics response to the pandemic and which are likely to stay.
Exploring How COVID-19 Changed Dental Care
One of the most straightforward changes to dental care has been the transition to using mail-in dental impressions in planning for an appliance. While digital imaging is still required for the more complex cases, many can be planned without it. Your orthodontist, for instance, is more likely to mail you an impression kit that you can use at home and then return to them. It is reliably a more convenient way for the patient and frees up office time for appointments requiring an in-office visit. Once received, your dentist will mail out your impressions to have the necessary aligners designed. Alternatively, your dentist will use it to develop an orthodontic treatment plan.
Another approach that has become common during the pandemic is an emphasis on contactless offices and the use of patient portals. Contactless offices use windows between the patient and the reception staff and have seen the more effective implementation of tablets and other digital interfaces to reduce the transmission of germs. This has also reduced reliance on paper, benefiting everyone involved financially.
Another important aspect of dental offices that have changed during the pandemic is more mechanical and structural—many dental offices invested in more unique filtration systems for their workspaces. With the dental offices having the filtration systems upgraded to remove more than just dust and particles from the air, these systems can eradicate the presence of bacteria and other contagions. This choice has led to a safer environment for everyone, and a downgrade from current standards as the pandemic fades is becoming more unlikely.
The most significant change to dental practices is the reduced need for office visits regarding follow-ups. Both patients and dentists have stated increased satisfaction when provided with fewer in-office visits. Teledentistry has made it possible for follow-ups to occur using video calls, leaving more time for dentists to tend to patients and for patients to go about their days.
Ask Your Dentist About What Post-COVID-19 Changes Will Stay
You can discover what changes will affect your dental care by reaching out to your orthodontist. They’ll inform you how their office responds to the fading pandemic and what changes are here to stay. You may discover that your future treatment requires fewer visits to the office, allowing for more time free in your day. Reach out to them today to find out what changes will leave and which will remain.