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Discussion: Teledentistry

in: Bash; Bash > 2020-04-03

Apr 4, 2020 1:13 PM # 
Perhaps a picture, a diagnosis, and an evaluation as to whether a problem is an emergency or not? And maybe advice about temporary care if it isn't?
Apr 4, 2020 3:14 PM # 
Exactly - those are the kinds of things he can do - similar to the assistance he has always provided by telephone [and rarely, email] at no charge. Given that the Royal College of Dental Surgeons has made a formal announcement about teledentistry being permitted on a temporary basis, we'd like to understand what might be different now, if anything. E.g. maybe an insurance company would pay for a consultation with a dentist or dental hygienist, even though they normally don't? 'Bent will offer this help anyway but any billing would help to reduce the business debt at the end of this thing.
Apr 5, 2020 2:22 PM # 
My mom was quizzing me on this (they do not have internet at home so are in a bit of a bubble when it comes to evolving issues such as this). She has a track record of losing fillings/needing root canals/cracking crowns, so has been wondering how these will be handled for the next while. I think when I told her to stick to clear soups for the next few weeks to reduce the chances of cracking or breaking anything, she didn't see the humour in it.
Apr 5, 2020 2:37 PM # 
Here’s something I posted in a community Facebook group about that. This isn’t a great time to have something go wrong with your teeth. If someone has a cough *and* a dental emergency, not much can be done for them right now. That will have to change eventually. Nova Scotia has designated a small number of clinics to provide limited emergency services, and all other dental offices are closed. We think this makes the most sense rather than each dentist treating 1 or 2 “true emergencies” per month. It would limit the number of workplaces in the province. Those emergency clinics could collect PPE and stay up to date on screening and treatment protocols, which are constantly changing.

Just to inspire everyone to keep up with their flossing during the pandemic, the province declared dentistry to be a non-essential service last week with exception of emergency care. The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (governing body for dentists) defines a "true emergency" this way:

A “true emergency situation” includes oral-facial trauma, significant infection, prolonged bleeding or pain which cannot be managed by over-the-counter medications.

In addition, the Royal College currently advises that dentists provide this emergency care in a manner that does not produce an aerosol, e.g. no high-speed dental drills. The exception would be if the dental office is able to obtain enhanced protective gear such as N95 masks, face shields and gowns, and we've all heard about the shortage and urgent need for this protective gear in hospitals.

So please be patient with your dental offices and keep on brushing and flossing!

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