DONT CLOSE YOUR DENTAL OFFICE: THE TELEDENTISTS ARE OPEN FOR BUSSINESS

The TeleDentists have a national network of dentists providing video consults for patients with dental emergencies.  They provide “Talk to a Dentist Now” 24/7/365 Dentist availability for patients and “My TeleDentist” for providers.  There are several opportunities to engage. Offer teledentistry (via video consults) to your patients experiencing dental emergencies during the crisis. Let your patients know that they can “talk to a dentist now” by visiting the website, .Sign up to be a teledentist and get paid on a case by case basis.  The case volume is currently low, but expected to increase dramatically due to some pending contracts.For additional information on any of the above, contact Leah Sigler at leahs@theteledentists.com.​

NATIONAL CHILDREN'S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH

By Leah Sigler The February 2020 is National Children's Dental Health Month, bringing together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health for children. This year marks the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first city in the world to fluoridate its drinking water. The American Dental Association and oral healthcare specialists are committed to fluoridation of public water supplies as the single most effective public health measure to help prevent tooth decay. More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an  of fluoride in community water is safe and effective and prevents tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. The  named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. “National Children’s Dental Health Month has a special meaning now that I am a grandmother,” said Dr. Bonita D. Neighbors, a former member of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention who also served on the National Fluoridation Advisory Committee. “Drinking fluoridated tap water supports my granddaughter’s health through proper hydration and by preventing cavities. As a profession, let’s celebrate with our patients and our community one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, community water fluoridation. As dentists, we know the important role of pediatric oral health on systemic health and disease prevention.” Why should we focus on children’s dental health? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, more than 50 percent of children will be affected by tooth decay before age five. Furthermore, according to the Office of the Surgeon General, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related conditions. These staggering statistics are what keep dentists and other dental specialists awake at night. In order to combat the silent epidemic of oral disease, it is important to implement preventative measures. For example, the 2-2-2 Rule. Help keep your child’s teeth healthy by using the 2-2-2 rule: visit your dentist two times a year, and brush and floss TWO times a day for TWO whole minutes! How do you get kids to brush their teeth? Many pediatric dentists recommend parents follow the “tell, show, do” model: Tell: In age-appropriate language, explain how to brush and floss and how those actions keep teeth clean and healthy Show: Let children watch when mom or dad brush and floss their own teeth Do: Help children brush and floss their teeth in the morning and before bed and keep a regular routine so they know it’s expected. Continue helping to brush a child’s teeth until age 4 or 5. After that, let them do it themselves, but supervise them until age 7 or 8. both children and adults should brush for two minutes, twice a day It is time to invest in preventative dental care! According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, every dollar spent on preventative dental care could save $8 to $50 in restorative and emergency dental treatments and potentially more in additional types of medical treatment. A child should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears, or by his or her first birthday. By introducing children to dentists and good oral hygiene early, they will establish life-long healthy habits. These health habits will prevent oral disease in future generations. For more questions on children’s dental month and how to keep your child’s mouth health, contact one of The TeleDentists’s Oral Health Specialists! ​

Dental pain does not have a schedule

On average, in The United States, six million people annually experience an urgent dental problem but lack access to a regular dentist or are unable to find a dentist who can see them quickly. Typical dental office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9-5. But everyone knows dental pain does not have set hours. So, what do you do when you have a dental emergency in the middle of the night? The American Dental Association documents over two million annual ED visits in the US for nontraumatic dental problems. However, Hospital Emergency Department (ED) dental visits are significant, costly public health problem. Furthermore, EDs not equipped or staffed to provide definitive dental solutions; the patient’s symptoms might be treated, but problems not resolved. Finally, the answer is here: The TeleDentists. Much like any other specialty using tele-medicine, dentists are now able to perform video consults connecting through the patient’s laptop, tablet or smart phone to a virtual dentist. The TeleDentists deliver vital dental services virtually wherever, whenever a dentist is needed. They provide help with dental emergencies, answers to oral health issues, and training/education for patients and staff. People in need of support can consult with their dentist online and get the benefits of the right specialist so their care will be specific to their medical/dental needs. Oral disease is considered a silent epidemic worldwide and The TeleDentists is doing everything they can to alleviate this crisis. Here’s how it works:Dentist diagnoses the patient’s problem using advanced virtual care technologyDentist provides e-script for antibiotic and/or non-narcotic pain medication.Dentist arranges follow-on care as needed The TeleDentists, the first national provider of teledentistry, is now offering teledentistry for your dental practice! By utilizing this new technology, our office is enhancing patient access to dental care and pain relief. We can eliminate guesswork as to what is happening in a dental emergency, thereby avoiding unnecessary trips to the office, and more importantly, ED or Urgent Care clinics. Finally, we are able to improve your oral health by providing virtual dental consults at any time, for any situation. This innovative model of teledentistry saves patients time and money by providing expanded access to your dentists.

The TeleDentists in Senior Living Homes​

The world's older population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Today, 8.5 percent of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over. With the joys of aging come the development chronic conditions that need to be monitored, including oral health. In the elderly, the most common oral diseases are periodontal disease and dental caries; oral lesions and xerostomia are also very common oral conditions among the elderly. In senior living centers, there is a common lack of oral hygiene, which expediates these conditions, leaving our senior population susceptible to pain and inevitably tooth loss. In order to combat this silent epidemic, The TeleDentists has partnered with SalivaMAX to provide teledentistry and relief to xerostomia and other oral health conditions. The TeleDentists® offer “the first of its kind” virtual dental service. A national network of licensed dentists utilizes a variety of virtual tools (smart phones, tablets, laptops) to assist in diagnosing, remediate and, when needed, arrange local dental appointments the next business day. In senior living centers, for example, if a patient is complaining of dental pain, they can have a virtual dental consult with The TeleDentists, without leaving their home. The dentist can then prescribe medication if necessary, to help palliate the patient, and find an appointment for them at a convenient location near them. This prevents multiple trips to doctors’ offices, which can be very taxing on the elderly and their caretakers. It also reduces costs by limiting the number of visits to the professionals’ office. Xerostomia (dry mouth) is one of the most common dental condition that presents in routine dental examinations.  There are over 50 million patients in the United States that experience dry mouth with 17 and 29% being older adults. Xerostomia often occurs with other oral conditions such as idiopathic dysesthesia (stomatalgia or "burning mouth syndrome"), parageusia, dysphagia, halitosis, caries, and periodontal disease. There are over 1,100 medications that can cause dry mouth as well as many diseases that cause patients to develop dry mouth, like diabetes and hypertension. The development of dry mouth in these patients can cause serious complications in the oral cavity. In order to combat the combining factors of an aging population and a disease that targets this age group, The TeleDentists and SalivaMAX have partnered. SalivaMAX is an FDA approved medication that is used to treat dry mouth and throat. The TeleDentists’ ability to expand dental access to senior living centers gives these patients the chance to discuss their dry mouth with a dental provider. The dentist can then provide the patient with a prescription for SalivaMAX. This partnership works not only treat a condition, but to extend dental care to a population who needs it most.  For more information on The TeleDentists, please contact Leah Sigler, Director of Operations: leahs@theteledentists.com For more information on how to enroll your Senior Living Center, contact Howard Reis, CEO: howardr@theteledentists.com 

E-prescribing—The Good, The Bad and The Future.​

​Don’t even try to fight it. Since 2010, most healthcare systems in the world started plodding towards e-prescriptions as the standard format for doctors and dentists to transmit medicine dispensing information to pharmacists. Some countries jumped in early—Eastonia almost completely relying on e-prescribing in 2013—while others are still pounding out the legalities. The reasoning is simple: By requiring all prescriptions to be dispensed via a secure electronic system, lives will be saved and patient healthcare improved. As teledentistry increases in use, more patients will turn to the Internet to find online dental help and e-prescriptions expedites the healthcare process. It should be that easy. Unfortunately, reality is a bit more complicated. Why are e-prescriptions considered safer than those little scribbled notes? Proponents point to the scribbles; misreading illegible writing has resulted in thousands of lives effected each year  by pharmaceutical errors. By providing clearly readable and properly documented orders, pharmacists can better deliver needed medicine to patients. No more dosing errors. No more ambiguous orders. Also, as e-prescriptions are sent directly to pharmacies, they are less likely to be lost or disregarded by patients. This means that more patients are more likely to follow their doctors’ orders.   E-prescriptions are also credited with helping fight opioid abuse. An estimated 90 Americans die each day due to opioid overdose. Dentists prescribe roughly 12% of fast-acting pain relief prescriptions, making dental care providers particularly targeted by opioid abuse. A secure prescriber-to-dispenser system prevents forgery or alteration. An added bonus is that the FDA and the DEA can more easily track controlled substances. And when a drug recall is issued, electronic records make informing at-risk patients far easier than dealing with a paper-based prescription system. Of course, insurance providers can more readily verify drug claims. And then there is the future. In 2001, the world marveled over the first true example of remote surgery. Now, drones are delivering emergency pharmaceutical supplies to otherwise inaccessible locations. Every day, rural areas and isolated communities are proving the value of telemedicine and teledentistry. As more and more people go online for dental diagnosis and care, a rise in e-prescribing must necessarily follow. With all those positives, why is the practice of e-prescribing so scrutinized? Technology isn’t infallible. While e-prescribing looks easy, a busy physician or dentist can check the wrong drop-down item. A pharmacist can make a mistake entering data onto a label or transferring information into the pharmacy’s system. Human error will always happen.Data is at potential risk. No matter how big the company or how much security is woven into the fabric, personal information can be hacked and sold. Within days of Disney launching its streaming service, subscriber data was being sold on the dark web. Unlike entertainment service, e-prescribing involves extremely private and personal information. To compound the issue, many countries are working to intertwine prescription information to the complete electronic medical history of patients. And every step involved in the process is one more chink in the file’s security. E-prescribing systems allow practitioners to let their assistants complete and send orders to pharmacies. A virtual dentist can perform an online dental examination, make a dental diagnosis then have his office manager send the online prescription. A manager—as invaluable as he or she is to a practice—is less likely to spot potential drug interactions or dosage issues. Being an online and on demand dentist means that you need to save time. Yes, auto-fills help expedite writing a prescription, but this one simple high-tech time saver can mean that a prescription needs to be discarded and redone. It also can mean that a pharmacist gets two prescriptions—the discarded one as well as the redone version. Or it could mean that neither is sent. Auto-fills and auto-correct may not seem like a big issue, but this aspect of e-prescription systems is responsible for a significant number of errors.  The world is evolving. Scientists on a remote island can have gum disease diagnosed online. A virtual dentist can provide online dental examinations then prescribe necessary medications by the simple stroke of the “enter” key. Then a drone can deliver the medication right to the patient’s home. Yes, technology is amazing. Until it isn’t. A responsible teledentist must keep up with the flow of this high-tech environment. But what makes a professional truly a professional is his or her attention to getting details right. That includes developing methods to double-check e-prescriptions and confirming that your patient has received the medication. Consider implementing regular follow-up calls for patients on medication. Consider a weekly spot-check; randomly select a few patients from the schedule and compare their records to the e-prescriptions. Remain vigilant. Your patients deserve your best. SOURCES: https://www.drfirst.com/resources/blog/top-10-reasons-dentists-e-prescribe/https://aclm.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/Richard-Hanover-2.pdf https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/25-things-to-know-about-e-prescribing.htmlhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5741025/https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/drones-used-deliver-drugs-saltspring-london-drugs-drone-1.5264178

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