Many potential patients avoid dental visits due to anxiety about a smile analysis, which is one reason a virtual smile consultation can be beneficial. During a virtual consultation, patients can connect with a dentist and receive an analysis, then make a decision about how to proceed. Many dentists are now offering a virtual consultation option to serve a greater number of patients in a larger geographical area.
What to expect from a virtual smile consultation
Some potential patients are deciding whether to try a virtual consultation, while in other cases the consultation has already been scheduled and the patient is seeking tips to prepare for the virtual visit. In either case, learning more about how this type of consultation works helps people know what to expect.
How a virtual consultation works
The smile consultation process depends on what types of services the dentist provides as well as what types of problems the patient is experiencing. This process is simple and provides valuable information to both the dentist and the patient:
- The first step is guided picture-taking. The dentist provides instructions for the patient to photograph the smile from a variety of angles.
- Next, the patient provides written information about the dental history and current dental concerns.
- The pictures and the written information are submitted to the dentist through a secure portal.
- The dentist reviews the information and either records a video response to send back through the portal or contacts the patient directly with feedback and suggestions.
Benefits of a virtual smile consultation
The virtual option for a smile consultation benefits both the patient and the dentist. The patient saves time and can provide information from the comfort of the home. For patients in geographic locations distant from a dentist, it also saves on time needed for transportation or leaving work. The dentist likewise can analyze the results outside of typical business hours and provide feedback during whatever time is available. Dentists are also able to provide service for a larger number of patients throughout a larger area of service.
Tips for a better appointment
The quality of the pictures and information sent determines how effectively the dentist is able to analyze the patient’s teeth and provide feedback. During the picture-taking process, specific directions are provided to ensure the recipient is able to see all angles of the smile. The information provided is also crucial to the feedback quality. Some dentists ask specific questions that need to be answered, while others ask for a description of the current issues and the patient’s personal goals for smile improvement.
Although it may not be a substitute for all aspects of in-person dental appointment, a virtual smile consultation is a great starting point for patients who want to learn about their options for dental services. Many orthodontists, cosmetic dentists and primary dentists are now providing these types of appointments to better serve patients’ needs.
Request an appointment here or call Dallas Laser Dentistry at 469 838 5292 for an appointment in our Dallas office.