Fort Wayne dentists use teledentistry to keep patient numbers down in ER amid coronavirus pandemic

Teledentistry, dental or oral care through technology like phone, email, or video is utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic so those with urgent oral problems can still receive care.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 9:20 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2020 10:13 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Patient numbers dramatically increased in the emergency room since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So these dentists are working to keep those numbers down by helping where they can by going virtual. 

Patient receiving teeth cleaning (Dupont Family Dentistry)

Dr. Jason Glassely, who specializes in root canal treatment at Fort Wayne Endodontics, says, "Teledentistry allows us to assess what a patient's teeth complaint is, what symptoms they have, and then we can determine if it is serious enough that they need to come into the office and be seen."

Teledentistry provides the option of dental or oral care through technology like email, video, or phone.

Glassely teamed with local oral doctors like Dr. Dave Diehl of Dupont Family Dentistry and Dr. Mulogoki Lugakingira of Fort Wayne Oral Surgery to communicate the availability of their services when one needs to refer a patient to the next. 

The doctors opted for the teledentistry method, but on an urgent basis, responding to patients swiftly through email. 

Face-to-face office hours have also minimized due to Coronavirus adjustments. 

Dr. Diehl at Dupont Family Dentistry says, "Business is open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the teledentistry system is active from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday."

If patients need elective treatments like teeth cleaning or something non-urgent, you'll likely need to wait until the pandemic is cleared once and for all. 

But don't worry, if you miss seeing your dentist, they probably miss seeing you too. 

Dr. Dave Diehl says, "We haven't seen as many patients. I'd like to see more. But we're just managing as best as we can."

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