Teledentistry: What to Know & How It Works

Published 07/20/2021

Teledentistry promotes equitable access to oral health care and represents an expansion of existing care, not a new form of care. Whether provided within a dental office, in a community setting, or from a patient’s home, the suite of virtual tools allows for the delivery of health care services when patients can’t be seen in a traditional office setting.

How much did the use of teledentistry expand during the pandemic? And how do providers and patients feel about it?

A new visual report from CareQuest Institute aggregates highlights from several surveys and reports to show how teledentistry is growing across different US states, the services teledentistry supports, and both provider and patient perspectives on the technology. Of note:

  • In a survey from August 2020, nearly a quarter of dental providers were seeing patients via telehealth platforms.
  • In that same survey, public health dental providers were twice as likely as all other practice types to use telehealth.
  • In a survey from June 2020, 86% of patients said they were satisfied with their overall teledentistry experience and would recommend teledentistry to another person.

The visual report also highlights several examples of community-based programs, health centers, health systems, and private practices that are making use of teledentistry to help reduce barriers to care.

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