Leveraging Teledentistry to Close Gaps in Oral Health

Leveraging Teledentistry to Close Gaps in Oral Health

Our current healthcare system fails to address barriers faced by millions of Americans in obtaining needed preventive oral health care and treatment. Teledentistry tools help empower dental teams to go into the community and deliver needed care. To learn how, sign up to receive a copy of our new white paper once it's published.

Issue Overview: Most people aren’t getting the preventive oral health care and treatment they need to live healthy lives. Those that do have access to oral health services tend to be the wealthiest and healthiest populations. But those with the highest levels of oral disease – low-income Americans, communities of color, people with complex physical, medical, and mental health conditions, and those living in rural areas – continue to face obstacles. At the same time, the practice of dentistry is changing. The composition of dental practices is changing, public funding for dental care is increasing, the integration of oral health and physical health is becoming more common practice, and scientific advancements in prevention and behavior support are creating a sea change in the way patients and their dentists think about oral health. This has given rise to a fundamental rethinking of how care can be delivered and received.

Through the use of teledentistry tools, dental teams are able to take care to the community and address existing barriers to traditional dental services. Using strategies to address dental caries early in the disease process using risk adjusted protocols, medical management with agents such as fluoride varnish and silver diamine fluoride, and early intervention techniques involving sealing caries and interim therapeutic restorations, telehealth or teledentistry enabled dental teams are able to expand the reach of today’s dental care system, improve outcomes and lower costs.

Learn more about the Virtual Dental Home model of care in California at www.virtualdentalhome.org

Learn more about the telehealth legislative landscape at https://www.cchpca.org/