A Post-COVID-19 Strategy for Safe, Efficient and Evidence-Based Care: Teledentistry

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Teledentistry is a problem-based solution for today’s dental practice. Due to COVID-19, one of the long-term changes in dental practice includes the use of teledentistry to assess the need for oral care and follow-up on care delivered. During the period of March–May 2020, U.S. dental offices followed recommendations by the American Dental Association (ADA) to limit in-office care to the provision of emergency or urgent care in order to mitigate risks due to COVID-19. In response to the pandemic, dental offices began implementing lasting changes in the use of enhanced infection control and teledentistry. As of May 19, 2020, a 34-state survey of DentaQuest providers reported that four of 10 practices were using teledentistry or planned to use teledentistry in the near future.

This white paper discusses the background and evidence supporting the continued and ongoing use of teledentistry by distinguishing its past use as a virtual dental home for public health purposes and by discussing the current and future use of teledentistry in private practice dentistry, based on adaptable pilot projects drawing from evidence with use in specific procedures.

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