A significant disparity exists between the economically advantaged and disadvantaged population’s access to orthodontic care in the United States. Technologic advancements in the delivery of clinical orthodontic care have lowered practice overhead, shortened treatment time, and placed less of a burden on the orthodontist. Most orthodontic practices can see far more patients per day than ever before. However, in a recent survey of orthodontists no participant was “too busy” to treat all persons requesting appointments. Two leading factors that have created excess capacity in the contemporary orthodontic delivery model are cost of treatment and the burden of time away from work or other activities for the patient.
There is ample evidence in the scientific literature that confirms the efficacy of teledentistry and how it increases access to care for the patient.The new orthodontic delivery model of doctor-directed at home clear aligner treatment facilitated by teleorthodontics has the potential to bridge the gap in the access to care divide. Patients who for many different reasons had been previously denied access to orthodontic care, now have a viable option for addressing front tooth alignment issues and improvement in their social smile. The American Teledentistry Association has been asked by clinicians and industry experts in the field to research and assess this new orthodontic delivery model.
Teleorthodontics and Doctor-Directed At Home Clear Aligner Treatment summarizes the Association’s findings and recommendations.