There is no good reason to create unnecessary barriers for dental telehealth services

By Dr. Gary Moore, DDS

As many Californians know from getting braces or filling cavities, dental care can be a huge investment. Cost concerns are at top of mind when considering visiting the dentist; one study found that it was the main barrier to dental care even for adults with private insurance. This comes as no surprise as healthcare costs across the country continue to rise, and dentists like myself are finding that it’s difficult for patients to afford care.

The healthcare industry should welcome innovation and growth in areas like teledentistry — especially now amid the Covid-19 crisis. Medical professionals are relying heavily on telehealth initiatives as hospitals and medical facilities are reserved strictly for infected individuals and dental practices are being instructed to close — even for emergency dental needs. The Wall Street Journal noted, “Almost 80 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have some sort of telehealth service. The new emphasis is designed to free up doctors and other front-line providers by encouraging patients with unrelated ailments such as diabetes to get care online.”

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