The Impact of Teledentistry on ER Diversion

June 7, 2023


Hospital Emergency departments have been the first line of defense for people with urgent/emergent dental complaints when patients cannot get into a dental office.  Research showed this to be a huge problem before Covid-19 hit, and increased during the pandemic when dental offices were forced to close. The TeleDentists has provided care for thousands of patients since the beginning of the pandemic and proved the dramatic effects on ER diversion: saving patients, payors, and the healthcare system millions of dollars.


Goals of The TeleDentists ER Diversion Program

·        Provide a virtual dentist 24/7 wherever/whenever a dentist is needed.

·        Reduce the number of unnecessary ER visits, thus reducing waiting hours and healthcare dollars spent.

·        Provide quality patient care and accurate assessment, in real time, by a subject-matter expert.

o   The right specialist enhances correct care, avoiding risks.

·        Pro-active patient assistance identifying appropriate follow-up care and enabling that appointment.

·        Additional goals for hospitals:

o   Decrease time spent in the Emergency Room for a dental emergency which is good for the hospital and increases patient satisfaction. No more 4 hour waits for emergent oral issues.

o   Free up ER doctors to concentrate on Level 1, 2& 3 patients by allowing The TeleDentists to diagnose oral care issues which are much less urgent.

o   Reduce inappropriate RX risk by having the right specialist address patient needs.


Research Findings

 ·        Number of People Going to ER for Dental Problems on the Rise

o  A study from the Health Policy Institute shows dental care in the emergency room is growing faster than overall ER visits, making it hard to contain health costs as emergency rooms across the U.S. are seeing more patients with painful tooth problems.

o  According to the ADA, every 15 seconds someone in the USA is going to an emergency room with a toothache.

o  $2.7B was spent in the ERs in 2021 on dental emergencies.  [1]

o  Emergency room doctors have an ethical responsibility to their patients:[2]

a.      To care for the patient in the moment

b.      To provide appropriate follow-up referral or care.

o   No definite treatment preformed:

a.       Patients who visit the emergency room for dental conditions often get treated with quick fixes, such as antibiotics and pain medication.[3]


o   Of all the dental related ER visits, 95% were ‘treated and released’ where 5% were admitted to the hospital. [4]



Wherever/whenever The TeleDentists was available to patients, a teledental consultation was provided.  Post treatment survey results demonstrated that 84% of patients seen for a teledental consultation said they avoided going to the emergency room because they were treated by The TeleDentists.

47% said their issue was resolved through a teledental visit, not requiring an appointment for treatment.

Net Promoter Score of 82%.


[2] journalofethics.ama Jan 2022

[3] DentistryToday, Oct 2020


When The TeleDentists is available, the cost savings of $2000 for average cost of ER visit verses $64 for a consultation will save healthcare patients and payors $18M annually.


To learn more about how The TeleDentists can service your organization, contact usnow.



The TeleDentists® Company and Management

The TeleDentists is a LimitedLiability Company with offices in Overland Park, Kansas.    

TheFounders, Drs. Maria Kunstadter andMichael Sigler are both nationally and internationally known dentists witha combined 65+ years of providing dental care. Their entrepreneurial success includes building and selling three businesses over the past 10 years.


Maria Kunstadter, DDS, Co-Founder, CEO

Maria KiCEO.


Nasseh K, Vujicic M, O’Dell A. Affordable Care Actexpands dental benefits for children but does not address critical