Dentaltown May 2020 - 30

The DEA now requires a
videoconference and keeping a
record of it, along with a review
of health and social history of
the patient, before prescribing
for new patients via telehealth.
Diverting patients from the ER
Screening patients for symptoms of
COVID-19 should be the first step in any
teledentistry meeting. Examples of questions
to ask:
* Do you have fever, cough
or shortness of breath?
* Have you been tested for
COVID-19, or has any family
member been tested? Have they
been exposed to anyone with
symptoms of COVID-19?
* Have you recently traveled
to another country?
* Are you a health care worker
or work in a job that may have
contact with persons with
COVID-19, such as law
enforcement, trucking or
grocery store?
When performing virtual dental triage,
the question needs to be asked: Is there
any airway impingement, recent trauma
or potential swelling that could affect the
airway? An affirmative answer to the question
should be a referral to the ER.
For most dental pain, though, teledentistry can be used to prescribe antibiotics and

30

pain medicine to keep patients out of the
ER. The Drug Enforcement Administration
has relaxed its rules for prescribing for new
patients via telehealth; it now requires a
videoconference and keeping a record of
it, along with a review of health and social
history of the patient, before prescribing.
The Prescription Drug Monitoring
Program (PDMP) operates in most states
to prevent doctors from overprescribing
any opioids. When a provider enters the
patient's name in the online system, fields
will pop up with the number of providers
and the types of prescriptions the patient
has had. Not all states participate in the
PDMP, however; one possible alternative
is calling the patient's pharmacy, but it
is unlikely to be as complete as a PDMP.
[Editor's note: The online version of this article
includes a link to the site that includes a full
list of states that participate with the PDMP
and, for many states, allows you to register as
a dental provider to use this system and check
on prescription status.]

Using teledentistry
in nursing homes
More than $520 million a year is spent
from Medicaid on dental pain in the ER.2
Many residents in skilled nursing facilities
receive Medicaid/Medicare, accounting for
a large part of that $520 million.
Now, most nursing facilities are in
lockdown, with few or no visitors during
the COVID-19 epidemic. However, time is
important in assessing dental emergencies for
older patients. When nursing facility patients
have a dental emergency, it frequently means
an already frail older adult can't eat or drink
because of dental pain, further compromising
their underlying health conditions.
Teledentistr y plat forms such a s
MouthWatch TeleDent can help keep
these patients, who are more vulnerable to

MAY 2020 // dentaltown.com

DT0520_Scarlett/Dunbar_Teledentistry_AG_V2.indd 30

4/21/20 11:13 AM


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Dentaltown May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown May 2020

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