Capitol Dental Care is expanding its teledentistry program to provide fluoride varnish to Medicaid enrollees in Oregon under the age of 14, expectant mothers, adults over the age of 65, and members who live more than 45 miles from a Capitol provider, according to the company, which has a network of more than 700 dental providers across 18 counties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the delivery of dental services that have served as a safety net for those who cannot access quality care through other means, the company said. For example, distance learning has created a greater challenge for children on Medicaid who have depended on school-based preventive dental care.
Now, Capitol Dental Care is expanding its teledentistry visits to include at-home fluoride varnish application for underserved communities in Oregon. Patients begin by first scheduling a teledentistry appointment by calling (800) 525-6800 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, Capitol Dental Care will mail an oral hygiene kit including a fluoride varnish packet, a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, a disclosing tablet, a tongue cleaner, and an oral health brochure to their home.
During the appointment, a state licensed dental practitioner such as a dentist or expanded practice dental hygienist will evaluate the patient for dental concerns, provide disease assessment, collect oral health information, provide step by step applications to safely apply fluoride varnish, and deliver oral hygiene instruction.
“We are extremely excited to launch this initiative to serve those at greatest risk and most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Good oral hygiene and preventative care is crucial to overall health,” said Many Chaudhry, MS, DDS, president and dental director of Capitol Dental Care.
“And by providing this service with the addition of the fluoride application, we are helping kids, expectant mothers, older adults, and patients with geographical barriers stay current with preventive dental care currently not available to them due to the pandemic,” Chaudhry said.