If there’s anything that the last year and a half has taught us as we’ve grappled with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the power of technology. Many people’s homes became their offices, and everyone had to brush up on their Zoom skills.
The healthcare industry was massively affected as well, especially in terms of how care was delivered. Overnight it seemed, people had to meet with their doctors for appointments virtually, using their laptops or phones, as opposed to in-person. This type of care is called telemedicine.
The Embassy Row Orthodontics office was no exception, as Dr. Wayne Hickory and his team increased their virtual appointment offerings as the pandemic played out. Now, both doctors and patients have learned that virtual appointments are appropriate for many situations, and this type of care, when delivered judiciously, is safe and patient-friendly.
A January, 2021 story in USA Today cited a JAMA Network Open study that focused on sweeping changes in healthcare delivery for the nearly 7 million Americans covered by commercial insurance, during just the months of March and April 2020, when the pandemic escalated.
As you’d expect, in-person care dropped by 23% in March and a whopping 52% the following month, but telemedicine services grew by over 1,000% in March and over 4,000% in April.
This trend didn’t just play out in primary care physicians and other medical practices’ offices, however. Though orthodontists had been branching out with offering telemedicine services, the pandemic hastened this shift.
In fact, the American Teledentistry Association was created just three years ago to help oral health care professionals integrate telehealth into their practices and develop protocols for teledentistry and tele-orthodontics.
Dr. Wayne Hickory believes that telemedicine services occupy an important place in his practice. Meeting with your orthodontist virtually using our specially designed, advanced Dental Monitoring smartphone app allows patients:
The key to the success of this treatment is the AI (artificial intelligence)-based Dental Monitoring platform, which allows you to engage in a virtual appointment with Embassy Row from anywhere. How’s that for ease?
Once Dr. Hickory has created your treatment plan and you sign on to working with us via Dental Monitoring, you typically only need to come into our office every three months, and though we love to see you in person, we know that less time spent traveling and waiting means more time to do what you need and want to do.
In between in-person appointments, Dr. Hickory can view the progression of your orthodontic treatment and the movement of your teeth, thanks to the app. He sends you feedback about anything that you can do to augment your treatment after reviewing your images.
Because Dr. Hickory acknowledges the growing role virtual orthodontics can play in a patient’s treatment, he and his staff continually commit to learning more about how to deliver this care through pursuing continuing professional education opportunities. Because our team is highly comfortable with delivering virtual care, we can quickly make you comfortable with it as well.
We’d love to share more about how virtual orthodontics can both complement and enhance your treatment, so call our office at 301-825-8140 to schedule an appointment, or reach out to us online.