UAlbany Study: Pandemic Opened New Opportunities for Teledentistry

Times Union

ALBANY — During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many safety-net dental clinics turned to virtual technology, or teledentistry, to assist with triaging, consultations, diagnosis and referrals.

But while the health crisis propelled the use of telehealth into the mainstream, in most states, regulatory barriers have prevented dental providers from continuing the practice, according to a new report from the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) at the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies.

“Early on in the pandemic, they were closing dental services because… there wasn’t enough PPE and it needed to go to the medical side and acute care,” Center for Health Workforce Studies Director Jean Moore said. “So there were a lot of things that really kind of forced everyone’s hand to kind of embrace this approach and I think… it has some pretty neat applications going forward.”

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