Teledentistry: A Novel Tool in our Arsenal to Combat COVID-19
The prevailing havoc due to rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented impact on dental care delivery. With the postponement or cancellation of all routine dental work, other than emergency care, the dental economy has come to a grinding halt. Aerosols and droplets are generated in many dental procedures, so dental professionals are under an enormous risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19. With no clear forays for the restoration of normalcy, the current crisis poses unique challenges to commence and sustain dental practice. Teledentistry has emerged as a panacea to the delivery of health care, with modified approaches promoting a virtual method of consultations, avoiding direct physical contact. Teledentistry can aid in prescreening patients for COVID symptoms, inquiring about travel history or a recent COVID-19 test result, that helps in risk stratification and deferring dental care to protect vulnerable and high-risk groups. But, it is improvident to restrict the utility of teledentistry to this time of pandemic only. Proactive integration of teledentistry in dental practice will enhance the virtual care which will change the way in which dental care services are rendered in the future.
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