Newly Launched American Teledentistry Association is Advised by a DSO’s Founder. What’s Their Biggest Barrier?

The American Teledentistry Association (ATDA) just launched in an effort to shape the conversation around the practice of teledentistry as a tool to increase access to care for millions of Americans through the use of innovative technological advancements. They have five corporate partners, one of which is a DSO, Heartland Dental.

ATDA champions teledentistry as a growing industry and they are committed to remaining at the forefront as dentistry evolves. Utilization of telehealth services is projected to increase from 250,000 patients in 2013 to an estimated 3.2 million patients in 2018.

Teledentistry is a method through which patients are provided with doctor-directed at-home dental and orthodontic care without the need for in-office visits. It intends to increase access to dental care through advocacy for and the implementation of innovative teledentistry guidelines and solutions. It can include virtual consultations and high-tech monitoring of patients which offer less expensive and more convenient care options for patients. Teledentistry reflects a broader, changing healthcare landscape that is moving toward innovation, integration and convenient care. It can be used for things as simple as asking what a lesion on the gum might be or even whether a person is a candidate for orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Rick Workman, Executive Chairman of Heartland Dental, is one of ATDA’s Advisory Board members. Workman views teledentistry as exciting and full of amazing potential to help fellow dentists and also make knowledge and information to and for patients easier to send and receive. He thinks the biggest barrier will be internal within the profession.
Dr. Marc Ackerman, Executive Director of the ATDA says,  “The immediate goal of the ATDA is to educate dental professionals and the public about the benefits of teledentistry.”
The ATDA has also released its first position paper titled, Teleorthodontics and Doctor-Directed at Home Clear Aligner Treatment. In an effort to clarify some misconceptions about teleorthodontics, this position paper presents the most up-to-date evidence in support of this mode of treatment.
Sources: PRNewswire, ATDA

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