Dr. Maria Kunstadter, DDS and Co-Founder, The TeleDentists
Today, telemedicine has received plenty of chatter when it comes to specialty and mental healthcare. The foundation of telemedicine is vested on a simple philosophy: “In order to create greater healthcare outcomes, physicians must get access to greater tools that inspire them to have a better role at providing improved healthcare outcomes.” Evidently, getting access to doctors at our fingertips is nothing short of groundbreaking. Enthused by the benefits of telehealth, Missouri-based ‘The TeleDentists’ was founded to usher a new horizon in virtual dentistry.
Dr. Maria Kunstadter, DDS and co-founder of The TeleDentists, notes that the need for virtual dentists is felt by a significant part of the over seven million individuals each year that faces urgent dental issues. More often than not, it is found that the hospital emergency departments (EDs) are not adequately equipped with dental specialists to provide quick and efficient dental care to ailing patients. This creates a huge gap in the dental care realm and results in patients suffering a prolonged wait time at a high cost. With teledentistry, these setbacks can be efficiently removed, “and that’s where our core competencies lie,” informs Dr. Kunstadter. The TeleDentists offers virtual, round-the-clock dental consults via board-certified dentists nationwide to answer dental emergencies and other oral health concerns.
With The TeleDentists’ offering, patients no longer have to sift through results of internet searches or recommendations from friends. The TeleDentists, with their established connections with practitioners, can help patients and dentists come together on one virtual forum for an immediate consultation.
We are not a competition for traditional dental practices; instead, we are their associates, helping them uplift the dental care realm
“And our flexibility does not end there. In case the patient requires closer attention to their dental problem, we are also equipped to schedule a follow-up face to face appointment for the patient with an appropriate dentist— located in the patient’s close proximity— within the next two days,” says Dr. Kunstadter.
Today, several hospitals, urgent care clinics, senior living centers, self-insured corporations, and schools are riding on The TeleDentists’ coattails to solve the unmet needs of the dental care realm. The company is driven to bring oral health to the forefront of the healthcare industry. “This is because dentistry is a very important segment in the overall healthcare market, mostly because oral health has a significant correlation with physical health such as in the case of atherosclerosis, heart diseases, diabetes, and more. Thus, we always want to ensure that every individual is able to maintain good dental hygiene,” asserts Dr. Kunstadter.
The TeleDentists makes this possible through their simpleto- integrate cloud-based solution that is easily accessible on computers, tablets, and smartphones to patients and providers alike. The solution can also be used by a patient for a quick assessment of their dental health if they haven’t visited a dentist for a long duration. The evaluation is similar to an online survey; it yields a score of how their oral health rates between one and ten. “A score of 10 implies that there is no reason to worry. For lower scores, the patient needs to consult an oral health specialist,” states Dr. Kunstadter. Moreover, with HIPAA compliance in place, only patients can access these records and share it with their doctors.
Treading ahead, The TeleDentists envisions continuing its good work of educating more patients about oral care. “We are not a competition for traditional dental practices; instead, we are their associates, helping them uplift the dental care realm,” says Dr. Kunstadter. The company’s moonshot aim is to reduce patient absenteeism and drive greater innovation for dental practices.