What is tele-medicine and what does it have to do with dental tourism, dental holidays and medical tourism?
The origin of telemedicine originates from getting medical advice over the phone when, for whatever reason, the patient is too far from the doctor for an in-person visit. If you want to go even further back then that, long distance medicine was conducted by mail, before the telephone. In this day and age of the Internet and medical work being outsourced to Asia, in particular India, tele-medicine is about using technology to provide diagnosis or evaluation from a distance. That technology can be by telephone, video, satellite and internet when medical professionals in different countries, like Australia and Thailand or USA and India communicate with each other about medical cases.
Telemedicine is often used in dental tourism and dental holidays when the dentist requires dental information in order to provide a quote or plan treatment prior to arrival in the dental tourism country, like Thailand, India or the Philippines.
Please note: tele-medicine is also used with medical tourism, but for this blog post I will discuss telemedicine in relation to dental tourism.
If you require a dental implant, dentures implants in place of dentures, or a smile makeover, the dental clinic abroad will request an OPG or dental xray. For some treatments, they may also require a CT scan. Dental xrays and CT scans are also needed to see if the patient is a candidate for certain dental procedures, such as immediate dental implants, regular dental implants and All on 4 dental implants to replace dentures. For example, with immediate dentures implants not every person is a candidate, only a dental xray can determine if they are a candidate for the procedure.
How do you obtain a dental xray or CT scan? If you have had a recent dental xray or ct scan done by your local dentist, you can ask your local dentist for the xrays and/or ct scans. If not you should contact the dental clinic you want to visit and inquire with them as to the best way to have dental xrays evaluated prior to the dental tourism trip.
If you live in the USA there are news rules, called HIPAA, for medical records. You will need to check with the dental clinic abroad to see if they follow HIPAA guidelines, if that is a concern. As HIPAA is a USA rule, dental tourism clinics, might only follow their local health rules for medical records.