North Carolinians now have access to virtual dental services during the COVID-19 outbreak through a new initiative at Carolina Dentistry, part of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Adams School of Dentistry. The practice now offers teledentistry services through a virtual helpine to patients and oral healthcare providers across the state.
The patient-centered service is designed to help eliminate the burden of dental emergencies on emergency departments, including UNC Health, during the outbreak. It also provides a safe way for patients to manage dental care by connecting virtually to a provider from the comfort of their home, the practice says.
The Carolina Dentistry Virtual Oral Health Care Helpline, available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, provides referrals for dental emergencies that must be addressed in person. It also will provide patients who have urgent needs and who can’t easily travel to Chapel Hill with information for their closest dental clinic.
Plus, oral healthcare providers across North Carolina may call to speak with a specialist for patient consultations and referrals of patients with dental emergencies.
“The Carolina Dentistry Virtual Oral Health Care Helpline is a service we are pleased to offer the people of our state in these uncertain time,” said Scott S. De Rossi, DMD, MBA, president of Carolina Dentistry and dean of the Adams School of Dentistry.
“This allows patients to identify whether or not they are having a dental emergency before coming to see us, and also perhaps save them a trip to Chapel Hill if another emergency care option is closer to them locally,” De Rossi said.
“Additionally, this service helps keep dental emergencies out of hospital emergency departments, allowing UNC Health and others to focus on those with other emergent needs,” De Rossi said.