Teledentistry gains speed all over the country
You might have heard of telemarketing, but teledentistry is a new concept to almost everyone who hears the term for the first time. The aim of teledentistry is to allow people to gain access to proper dental care. The program intends to reach people who might not be able to come to the dentist’s office for different reasons. They shouldn’t be denied adequate dental care.
Some states require Medicaid to cover such treatments. Teledentistry services are provided via telehealth and would be able to reach many people. It allows dental workers like assistants and hygienists to provide treatments under the directions of a dentist who is present at a different location.
The program is getting supporters everywhere, for this would make dental treatments available to people living in remote and isolated areas as well. It will also make dental care more affordable in some cases. Many feel that through teledentistry, they might be able to bring in the people who’re currently outside the health insurance system. These people generally ignore their dental health and might need extensive treatments done.
The expense in Medicaid cost the state about $500,000 in a year but people are positive that the program would be effective. There is about 50% of the population who might be eligible for Medicaid but aren’t getting proper dental coverage. This program might have some initial expenses to bear but over time, there’s a reduction in expenses due to long-term neglect of dental health.
Many have also observed that this program is particularly helpful for children. Tooth decay is a major problem for children, especially with the bad food habits of today. It is observed that while tooth decay may be widespread, there are few children who actually come to the dentists to have the problem addressed. Teledentistry could increase this number significantly and ensure the better dental health of children who, to date, didn’t receive proper treatment.
The Success of Teledentistry
However, most supporters of this program acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done before it can be properly implemented. For example, they still haven’t figured out how the dentists working on the program and the other professionals involved would be reimbursed for their services.
There is a new law being considered that would allow dental assistants and hygienists to perform certain minor dental procedures like installing temporary fillings and getting x-rays done. This would allow the program to move forward as well and many are enthusiastic would the success of teledentistry in the future.