Teledentistry – a live video or phone call between a dentist and patient – is a method of providing oral health consultation, care, and education without having the patient leave their home. It enables clinicians to view a dental problem in a patient’s mouth, triage dental conditions, address urgent dental issues, keep patients out of emergency rooms, or educate patients on good oral hygiene habits.
Teledentistry can also help clinicians establish and build trust with their patients. It can be used to engage patients who are at high risk of dental disease and decay, discuss how oral health can affect chronic disease, and educate them on the importance of good oral health to good overall health. Although virtual visits will never replace face-to-face care, the ability to address and remediate urgent oral health issues and reduce emergency department visits for dental conditions is a useful tool to reduce the cost of care and improve the oral health of Marylanders, particularly those in rural areas of the state that lack a sufficient number of providers.