Virtual Orthodontics: How real it is?

No one ever thought they would come across a situation like this in their life. The whole country is on lockdown due to COVID-19. No one knows when things will get back to normal.

At this time the students who have completed their graduation and had planned for a postgraduate diploma in orthodontics to give a kick start to their orthodontist carrier and the orthodontists who were practicing orthodontics have no idea when they can join the institutions and get back to their offices respectively, as the situation is getting worst day by day.

Hence some institutes are coming up with orthodontic courses through virtual learning and some orthodontist are planning to consult the patients virtual.

Virtual learning:

The London dental institute is one of the institutions that is coming up with virtual learning. The course provided by this institute covers all the latest and updated orthodontics treatment and mechanics.

But how impactful this virtual learning on the Orthodontics course will be on the students?

As we have no experience of virtual learning it will awkward at the beginning, many might think is it possible to learn orthodontics online?

The answer is yes, the combination of improved technology and a generation raised with smartphones and gadgets accelerates the virtual learning forefront. Institutes have planned the course in such a way that students can have a better understanding of the Orthodontics course.

Courses will come into a package that contains course manuals, lecture and practice videos, typodont, practice kit, and basic instruments. By referring step by step practice video, you can use the practice kit and basic instruments on typodont and can then practice bonding, placing the wire, etc.

Isn’t that simple you can learn the orthodontics course in the almost same way online as well.

It’s a tough time for all of us. Stepping out from your homes is restricted but you cannot restrict your learning. Virtual learning platforms are giving opportunities to carry on with your learning and development of your skills.

Virtual consultation:

Even if the orthodontist somehow manages to open up, the patient who comes to visit the orthodontist will have to maintain 6 feet distance between them which is practically not possible and everyone in there will be at high risk.

But there has to be a way in which the patient can continue with their treatment. So, the orthodontists ended up with the idea of virtual consultation and virtual appointment.

Of course, it will be difficult to treat the patients online, but an orthodontist can get good insights into treatment planning for a new patient based on the diagnosis from picture and understanding patients complain, this way time can be saved when in-office appointment reopens.

The virtual consultation can be done in two steps:

  1. Synchronous and Asynchronous choices: Synchronous is when the doctor and patient must be present online at the same time and the consultation will happen live via zoom call, Doxy.me, or skype.

Asynchronous means the patient can provide their information and problem, the doctor can response and plan treatment in a self-paced way.

  1. Divide and Treat: the patients are divided into categories

based on their problem-

  • Patients who are under observation with ectopic eruptions, with exposures, reverse-curve archwires, Forsus springs, Herbst appliances need to be seen urgently.
  • Patients who have poor oral hygiene, elastomeric chains, in danger of overcorrecting, and with active aligners and some adjustments need to be seen soon

• Patients who have Retainer checks, patient in elastics who need much more time in treatment, observation appointments can be pushed back for a few weeks