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What to Expect in a Teledentistry Appointment

Posted on May 19, 2022 in Dental Health

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Consider these scenarios: You wake up on vacation at 3:00 a.m. with throbbing pain in one of your molars. Your 12-year-old soccer player knocks out their front tooth at an out-of-town weekend tournament. You just moved to a new city and have not found a new dentist. Do you go to the hospital or urgent care? Should you call your dentist? Can you handle the pain until Monday morning?

Teledentistry was designed for these situations, when you may not have immediate access to your regular dentist. Delta Dental of Iowa members now have access to Virtual Visits delivered by for dental emergencies at no additional charge. This easy online service provides 24/7/365 access to a licensed dentist via your smartphone, tablet, or computer with audio/visual capabilities to help you avoid the emergency department, assess your situation and provide prescriptions as needed until you can see your dentist. 

Please note: Heading to the emergency department is a good idea if you have lost consciousness, have broken bones, if you have a high fever or a serious jaw injury. If you are unsure about what to do, call your dentist, primary care provider, or local emergency room. 

Emergency departments are staffed with professionals who know how to handle medical emergencies. However, they are not trained to assess injuries to the teeth, gums, or other soft tissues of the mouth, provide a root canal, or apply a crown. 

A teledentistry visit is just like going to your regular dentist, but it’s online. When you call, you provide your contact information and your insurance. Patient service representatives with are U.S.-based and dental office trained. Their goal is to connect you to a dentist as quickly as possible while verifying your information. The technology is SMS-based – you will not need to download an app or go to another website – and it works on iOS or Android platforms. 

Next, you enter a video conference with the dentist. Through your virtual face-to-face discussion, the dentist assesses your situation and determines the next steps. The dentist might provide a prescription such as an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory and offer suggestions on how to manage your condition until you can see your dentist. If additional dental care is needed, will refer you to a Delta Dental network dentist for further treatment and your dentist will receive notes on your consultation. The visit is counted as an oral exam under most plans and could be subject to frequency limits. 

Having access to Virtual Visits with can help you and your loved ones avoid the emergency department and the pain that comes with an injury, infection, or other trauma to your teeth, mouth, and gums. Your virtual visit will help assess the immediate needs until you can see your dentist. For more information on individual or group dental plans that include Delta Dental Virtual Visits by coverage, visit