MODERN technology is proving invaluable to us here at St Michael’s Orthodontics as we seek to continue our patients’ treatment remotely as part of Coronavirus restrictions.
As orthodontic treatment is progressive and often fast moving, patients are normally seen every eight weeks to review and adjust aligners and braces to help achieve the best result. However, prevented from treating our patients in person, we have turned to digital technology to help bridge the gap.
Thanks to digital dental monitoring, emailed photographs and video calls we are able to be in constant contact with patients and continue progressing their treatment.
Although relatively new, dental monitoring whereby patients take a weekly scan of their teeth and send it in to us, is invaluable in the treatment of people with aligners. Through these scans we are able to gauge the patient’s progress and, if required, send out new aligners to enable them to move on with their treatment.
We have been able to do something similar with patients just embarking on their treatment, posting out aligners and giving them instruction over Facetime on the fitting and wearing of them. Likewise, we are able to offer free virtual consultations with our specialist orthodontists via a link on our website for those considering having treatment.
For those just beginning to wear their aligners use of this technology is helping to reduce delays in treatment ensuring when we are next able to see them in person, they are already a month or so down the road to a perfect smile. While for potential patients it is providing a head start on treatment enabling us to use submitted photographs to review dental and gum health and prepare a provisional treatment plan ready for when they are able to attend the practice.
Patients with fixed braces and elastics are sending in photographs and thanks to video calls we can also take a closer look and advise accordingly.
While I miss meeting and treating our patients in person as well as the daily social interaction with the SMOL team, thankfully modern technology is coming to the rescue to a certain extent. It is ensuring we are able to continue treating our patients and provide reassurance where needed. It is even, thanks to a regular ‘virtual cup of tea’ with the team every couple of days, enabling us to keep in contact with colleagues and support each other through this very different way of working.