How virtual monitoring can support your Orthodontic treatment

While many practices were temporarily closed in April this year, virtual monitoring technology meant that orthodontists were still able to stay in touch with their patients and continue supporting them through their treatment. So, what does virtual monitoring and conferencing technology mean for the future of orthodontics? Keep reading to find out.

Virtual monitoring technology for orthodontics

There are a range of different technologies and methods available to help orthodontists keep a close eye on your treatment when you cannot make it into the orthodontic chair. From regular video conferencing technology, like Skype or Zoom, to specific monitoring apps that come with accessories to help you take your own intraoral photos, there are lots of ways your orthodontist can keep your treatment on track.

Recently, this technology was also crucial to help advise patients when they had any emergencies, allowing the orthodontist to assess if returning to the clinic is required. This is an additional service that helps your orthodontist keep a close eye on your progress and protect your teeth and gums at the same time.

Can I have an initial appointment online?

As the name suggests, virtual monitoring technology is mainly used to track patients that are already undergoing treatment. It may also be used for an online initial consultation with an orthodontist if you just want a quick opinion regarding the complexity or cost estimate of your treatment.

However, if you want a proper diagnosis, treatment plan, and a written quote, you will have to see the orthodontist for a thorough examination. While videos and self-taken photos can show the orthodontist the crookedness of your teeth and the severity of your bite, it does not tell your orthodontist if you have any dental caries or gum disease.  

Your orthodontist also needs to take x-ray of your teeth to assess how robust your roots are against possible root shortening, to detect any pathologies or infections within the jaw, or if there are any undiagnosed missing, impacted or extra tooth in the jaw. If there is a bite problem, your orthodontist will also want x-rays of your jaws to assess different options of correcting your bite.

Will virtual monitoring replace face-to-face appointments?

No, while virtual monitoring is definitely a useful tool to have available, the value of an orthodontist goes beyond simply seeing your teeth. Being able to make adjustments and to tweak your treatment plan if your teeth are not responding as expected is a key component of monitoring your orthodontic journey.

Orthodontic treatment without regular in-person monitoring is more likely to develop complications as it does not allow for reactive adjustments.

Technology is great, but we need the knowledge, experience and expertise of trained specialist orthodontists to get the best results. Your orthodontist may continue to utilise this technology to help support your treatment, but having your treating orthodontist available in-person and at regular intervals ensures a high level of care and the best possible outcome for your smile.

Get in touch with your orthodontist to learn more about the technology they’re using to support you through your treatment.

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