CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY is the first teledentistry platform to join our MedStack community and the first application of its kind in Canada. In this interview with CEO Victoria Toffan, we discuss how CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY is increasing the accessibility and affordability of quality dental care with its technology, and why teledentistry is here to stay.
What does the current landscape for teledentistry look like?
Despite becoming increasingly popular as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, teledentistry has been around for a couple of years. The current landscape for teledentistry involves providing dental care to patients through existing video call platforms, however, teledentistry has the potential to evolve into much more. As the whole world moves towards digital health, we see teledentistry as a service that is going to be implemented in many modern dental offices in the near future. CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY is proud to be at the forefront in delivering virtual dental services.
How does CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY work?
CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY connects patients with a nearby dentist through our virtual platform. A dentist can assess the new or existing patient’s oral health via video consultations to create a personalized treatment plan, prescribe medications, and schedule follow-up appointments for in-office dental treatment if needed.
CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY incorporates interactive 3D models of teeth, patient record files, clinical note storage, prescriptions and other specific features that make the video consultations between the patient and dentist simple.
What kind of care can be administered virtually?
Virtual dental care is great for treatment planning, emergencies, consultations, second opinions, specialist appointments, and more. Dentists can assess symptoms such as cavities, sores, lesions, or infections through a video consultation and determine the appropriate course of action. Virtual care can help evaluate dental goals, discuss treatment, and answer questions about a proposed treatment plan. If the patient requires medication, the dentist can prescribe directly through the platform.
Teledentistry can also be used to provide professional advice regarding broken, sensitive, and misaligned teeth, or for conducting follow-up appointments after a dental procedure has been performed.
What are the benefits to seeking and delivering virtual dental care?
There are many benefits to seeking care virtually for dental appointments that do not require chair-side treatment. Virtual care can be beneficial for those with time, scheduling, and/or mobility constraints including those in residential homes, those with chronic disease, or those who lack access to transportation. Virtual dental care also help to overcome geographical or distance barriers to allow dentists to reach inaccessible or underserved populations, saving the patient travel time, wait time, and the cost of dental emergencies and consultations.
Dental professionals are also realizing the benefits of delivering virtual care. Scheduling and office flow can be streamlined and made much more efficient by implementing teledentistry services.
Do the same standards for data security and patient privacy exist for dentistry?
In Ontario, all patient information must be stored and protected under two legislations: the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Teledentistry providers must be compliant with these standards to ensure the security and protection of patient data and information. We built CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY to not only comply with these standards, but with the documentation, privacy and patient standards for dentistry as well.
What role did MedStack play in launching your application?
Our main priority when building the platform was security and privacy for both the patient and dentist. We were vigilant in choosing a cloud-based company that was compliant with the governing privacy standards, and were thrilled to select MedStack. MedStack has enabled us to meet Ontario’s privacy and security standards, which in turn has allowed our developers to focus and spend more time on creating innovative features for our app. As a Canadian company, CONNECT2D TELEDENTISTRY is happy to support another Canadian company.
Do you see long-term opportunity for teledentistry once the pandemic has subsided?
Teledentistry is not just a temporary fix for COVID-related office closures. It also addresses many existing problems, including rising overhead costs for dental offices, geographical barriers, mobility constraints, and the cost of emergency dental services for patients. As more dentists begin to provide teledentistry services and the long-term benefits become more apparent, the future of teledentistry looks very promising. We foresee teledentistry being a pillar of modern practice.