Teledentistry became popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but even as businesses and workplaces have reopened, it remains relevant to employees and businesses alike.
The ability to receive a remote dental evaluation is a valuable benefit for employees who might otherwise not use their diagnostic benefits.
What is teledentistry?
Teledentistry, also known as virtual dentistry, is when a dentist performs a consultation via phone, text or video to diagnose dental issues, offer care advice and determine appropriate treatment, which may include a prescription or in-person follow-up visit.
Teledentistry appointments can be synchronous, such as a video call when the dentist and patient are interacting with each other in real-time, or asynchronous, such as when the patient sends a video or photo of their issue to the dentist and receives a reply later.
What teledentistry resources does Delta Dental offer?
- Toothpic is a photo-based teledentistry platform that offers a virtual dental assessment from a Delta Dental dentist. Employees answer questions about their oral health history and the reason for their visit. Toothpic will help employees take photos of their mouth, which will be sent securely to a Delta Dental dentist for review. In less than 24 hours, employees will receive a comprehensive diagnostic report with their results, treatment options and cost estimates.
- Delta Dental – Virtual Consult connects Delta Dental members and dentists for real-time video appointments. It’s totally secure and HIPAA-compliant. Virtual Consult makes it easy for employees to connect with a dentist in real time to get virtual consultations, e‑prescriptions and check-ins.
Do employees need special equipment for teledentistry appointments?
Beyond an internet-connected computer or mobile device with a camera, no special equipment is required for teledentistry appointments.
Why would employees want to use teledentistry if they can visit the dentist in person?
Teledentistry appointments can be a convenient way for employees to fit dental care into otherwise busy schedules. Instead of having to take time off work for traveling to and from the dental office, they can simply schedule a teledentistry appointment at their convenience. They can also use teledentistry appointments when they’re feeling ill or don’t wish to travel to the dentist’s office, when issues arise while they’re out of town away from their usual dentist, or when they want an expert opinion outside of regular office hours.
Is teledentistry covered by my company’s Delta Dental plans?
Generally, yes. For Delta Dental PPO™ plans that cover diagnostic and preventive (D&P) services at 100%, teledentistry appointments simply count as a regular exam. For plans that cover these appointments at less than 100%, the Toothpic platform will automatically prorate the cost of appointments accordingly.
And for plans that don’t offer copays for D&P services instead of coinsurance (including DeltaCare® USA), teledentistry appointments are available at a low flat rate.
Where can I get more information about teledentistry services for my employees?
To promote these resources to your employees, download the Toothpic and Virtual Consult flyers under Value-added features.