May 7, 2021 Carolina Journal
Nearly three-quarters of the state’s counties have been designated “Dental Health Provider Shortage Areas,” according to the N.C. Oral Health Collaborative. The problem is only getting worse: Dentists are retiring faster than new practitioners are taking their place.
Teledentristry is seen as a way to bridge the gap and allow dentists at a central location to at least examine or consult with a patient who does currently see a dentist regularly. Most dental issues are preventable, the collaborative says, and even an online dental visit can help people stave off problems. It’s is a relatively new concept in North Carolina. There is nothing in current state law that prohibits it, but there is little infrastructure to support it.