A recent survey of 2,767 dentists in 20 states found that 34% of providers are currently using some form of telehealth to treat patients or plan to in the near future.
The study, conducted by DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement, also found that:
- 75% of providers who use telehealth services expect their telehealth volume to increase or stay the same during the next 12 months
- Public health providers are more likely (44%) to use telehealth than all other practice types (21%)
Among providers, the report found that those in public health settings used telehealth the most, along with those in states like Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, Kentucky and Arizona — likely as a result of favorable payment and coverage policies in those states. Additionally, providers who are not seeing their patient volume return to near-normal levels, serve primarily Medicaid patients and anticipate long-term changes in dentistry were more likely to embrace telehealth. Dentists with more than half Medicaid patents were 39% more likely to use telehealth platforms.
“Telehealth brings a wide range of benefits to the future of oral health care. It is key to expanding value-based care in our communities and improving outcomes for both oral health and overall health,” said Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and Catalyst Institute, Inc. “As we continue to leverage telehealth as a short-term solution for the pandemic, we must ensure its longevity to make it part of the dental ecosystem moving forward. That means taking the necessary steps right now to remove barriers that may prevent the widespread adoption or utilization of telehealth in the future.”