Phone Consultations! Can the Dr. give advice without seeing the patient?
It is not uncommon for parents to want to get advice on their child health needs without seeing the Dr.? Now days many parents may simply try to see what is the best remedy for their son or daughter’s health issue before rushing to the Dr’s office. Of course there are also times when the parent seeks to have a second opinion. This is particularly common with dental problems since opinions can vary quite a bit with what is and what is not a cavity and when or how the tooth should be treated. At hellosmile, we commonly provide second opinions. To do this however, we do need to see the child for a clinical exam to be able to provide an accurate diagnosis. A clinical exam involves a full evaluation of the child which includes medical, dental and social history in addition to the physical examination of the teeth, gums and the soft tissues and taking of any needed radiographs (X-ray images) or other assessments, such as a caries risk, saliva test or child anxiety questionnaire per Dr’s recommendation. At times we are able to avoid the need for radiogrpahs if they have been taken less than six months ago and are made available at the time of the exam. Ideally these should be sent to us by email prior to the appointment or simply brought in at the time the child is being seen. Digital radiographs can also be easily stored on a smart phone. It is important to know however, that the radiographs need to be of diagnostic quality which is often difficult to obtain by offices that are not used to seeing young children.
There are possibilities of providing online health consultations and we are looking into providing ways of doing telemedicine / teledentistry, but these services are still in development at hellosmile and for now, we will have to physically evaluate the patient clinically.