Adapting with the times
At Smilecraft, we recognise that the face of conventional dentistry is changing. In the past, patients only typically sought out any dental treatments through their dentist when it became unavoidably evident that help was required. Toothaches, breaks and chips were the bread and butter of most local dental practices. Today however, things have changed and people from all ages and social demographics are actively seeking out cosmetic dentistry procedures as a way of improving the way their smiles look and how they feel about themselves. In order to adapt to this new wave of patients, here at Smilecraft, we can provide patients with a e-consultation in Stevenage to allow those who need it to complete a consultation over the internet.
What is an e-consultation?
An e-consultation in Stevenage is a new and adaptable strategy which we operate here at Smilecraft. The basis behind an e-consultation in Stevenage is to allow patients who cannot attend the practice physically to have their dental concerns and issues listened to by a professional. Nowadays, an increasing amount of our patients do not work within the standard parameters of nine till five, and as such sometimes find it difficult to arrange a physical consultation with one of our professionals at Smilecraft. Another reason as to why a patient may wish to book an e-consultation rather than a physical, in-practice consultation, is that the patient may suffer from a varying degree of dental phobia or anxiety, and may feel more comfortable carrying out the initial stages of arranging a treatment plan from the confines of their own home.
Why are consultations important?
Consultations, whether digital or physical, are arguably one of the most critical and crucial stages of every patient’s dental journey through us here at Smilecraft. The reason for consultations playing such a vital role in a patient’s treatment journey, is that they mark the beginning point from which any and all treatments are carried out. Another reason for the importance of consultations and their value, is that they are essential to determine whether or not a patient is dentally healthy enough to carry out a certain procedure. Before almost every dental procedure that we carry out here at Smilecraft begins, one of our experts will take stock of the health level of the patient’s gum tissue and teeth. This is essential, as if the patient’s gums are in poor health and signs of periodontal (gum) disease are evident, then the patient may not be dentally fit enough to carry through with the procedure. As such, it is essential that any signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease are recognised during a consultation, prior to beginning any course of treatment. Another reason as to why consultations are a vital stage in any treatment process here at Smilecraft, is that they let the patient familiarise themselves with both the procedure which they are planning, as well as the practitioners and staff here at Smilecraft. By meeting and speaking with our expert practitioners, digitally or physically, patients typically feel more included throughout the process and therefore more comfortable with what they can expect from treatment and the timescale therein.
Often with dental problems that need attention, patients first come in to consult on their issue and depending on how long it will take to fix, a second appointment is made. For example, if you have a chipped tooth, a dentist will take a look at it before deciding on how and when to treat it and then liaise with their receptionist to fit you into the diary. However, with the COVID-19 virus that has caused the world quite a lot of upheaval, we at the Smilecraft dental practice want to eliminate the need for this initial face to face consultation wherever possible and replace it with a SmileMate virtual consultation, which can then be followed up with a regular voice call or video call via a Zoom call.
What is an e-consultation in Stevenage and what can existing patients use it for?
We rely heavily on the photos you send us in the SmileMate consultation to give us the best idea of what to expect from your particular case and how to fit it into our work week, as well as accommodate your needs, particularly if they are urgent. A sore tooth could mean many things and obviously you can’t take a picture of a back molar that may have a cavity. In the case of this kind of pain where the cause is not obvious it may be required that you have a face to face consultation, so that we can see what’s bothering you, but if you are unsure, give our practice a call and we can help guide you through the process safely. In the cases where we can tell a lot from a photograph, the following can be done via the virtual consultation:
Broken tooth or filling
We can easily make an assessment of how quickly you need to see a dentist in order to get a tooth fixed just by looking at a few pictures of it. We can follow up on the submission of your photographs with a call and set up an appointment to fix your tooth, so that you only have to come in once.
Swelling and trauma
In the case of facial trauma where perhaps a tooth has been knocked out or there is significant swelling to the face, we will be able to get more or less of an idea of what your needs may be at a physical appointment and book you in for treatment as quickly as possible if it is urgent.
Cosmetic procedures and orthodontics
If you are looking to transform the look of your teeth with either an orthodontic appliance of cosmetic procedures like veneers or whitening, a simple set of photos of your smile will help us determine what you need so that we can get you in and out of the chair as soon as possible.
What is an e-consultation in Stevenage and how can new patients use it?
For new patients who have not yet been to our practice, we would like to know more about what your expectations are, in order to decide how we can accommodate you best. There is a detailed section on the SmileMate questionnaire that addresses this, as well as a chance to upload your smile photographs in order for us to get a better idea of what we are dealing with.
This process is designed to streamline our dental practice in order to make things more comfortable, convenient, and safe for you.