American Teledentisty Association Clinical Care Working Group has released a white paper on Teleorthodontic Standards for Remote Treatment with Clear Aligners. We quickly run through the details.
It mentions that teledentistry is not a specific service, but it’s a broad variety of technologies and methodologies. American Dental Association’s Comprehensive Policy Statement on Teledentistry says that it is defined as the use of telehealth systems and methodologies in dentistry.
Teledentistry like it occurs with in-person treatment, a patient is seen, diagnosed, and / or treated by a licensed dentist. Even in teledentistry, patients retain their rights related to their privacy and secured health information, access to medical records, information about benefits, risks and alternatives to proposed treatments or procedures.
Clinical care is made available to patients in the absence of a scheduled appointment and previously established physician-patient relationship. Diagnostic data is collected (here diagnostic data would be conventional digital photographs, three-dimensional topographical photos, a health history, and x-rays when deemed necessary by the oral healthcare provider) and is combined with the patient’s chief complaint. Then, a clinically acceptable orthodontic diagnosis can be made.
In the case of limited tooth movement that is planned and executed in remote clear aligner treatment, there is no data to suggest that an in-person examination is required for successful treatment of tooth alignment.
The one clinical study that has studied outcome in remote clear aligner treatment has demonstrated that teleorthodontic treatment is safe as well as effective.