The ATDA was fortunate to discuss teledentistry present and future with Dr. Rick Workman, Executive Chairman of Heartland Dental and one of our Advisory Board members. Dr. Workman has been an innovator in dental practice delivery and is one of the most respected mind’s in dentistry.
What is your view of teledentistry?
I view 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.
What are the opportunities for incorporating teledental technologies into dental practice?
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.
What do you think the barriers to adoption of teledentistry are?
I think the biggest barrier will be internal with the profession. Our profession often takes extreme pride in how “conservative” we are. The test will be whether we can accept helping 1000 people get better care easier, quicker, and with less cost while there could be 1 time where the information gathered was incorrect or led to an incorrect outcome/ approach. How would that be judged?
Will the costs of care decrease with the use of teledentistry?
I do believe costs will be reduced with teledentistry. I also believe more people can and will seek dentistry because they can easily access someone to guide them to an office.