Pre COVID-19 pandemic, the American Dental Association reported every 14 seconds someone visits the emergency room with a dental need. Dental clinics are struggling to stay open across the country due to practices being limited to emergencies only, and there is an influx of people visiting the hospital with a dental health crisis.
To help keep people out of the emergency room during these unprecedented times, CEO of Performance Partners and Virtual Support Solutions, Michael Bonanno, launched US Dental Triage, a 24/7 hour national hotline for people experiencing a dental emergency. Additionally, the campaign has partnered with Employee Retention Benefits, along with dental practices to donate face masks and PPE to first responders.
“Our country is experiencing a period of deep uncertainty and our emergency rooms are already overwhelmed and not equipped to handle definitive dental care,” says Bonanno. “We launched US Dental Triage for those who are having challenges finding someone to treat them or are going into emergency rooms and becoming at risk of contracting the coronavirus.”
For those who are experiencing a dental emergency, US Dental Triage urges people to call its 24-hour hotline at (800)-700-0908. The company has more than 50 team members on staff to connect callers experiencing urgent dental needs with an office that is open and available to see the patient right away. Once matched with a dentist, the patient will have the opportunity to do a virtual consultation to talk about his or her symptoms and ensure that the issue warrants an emergency visit.
Patient health and safety are U.S. Dental Triage’s top priorities for those seeking help. The prevention of the spread of infectious diseases is already part of regular dental practice for all doctors in its network. New protocols to existing safety precautions include a dental staff member escorting patient directly to a pre-sterilized room. The dentist and dental assistants will be wearing gloves and masks, and every patient will be isolated from any others seeking medical attention on the premises.
"Finding U.S. Dental Triage was essential to my health. I needed to have a tooth pulled and I really wasn't sure of where to go because all the dental offices I called went to voicemail,” says dental patient, Christian Corley. “After calling the US Dental Triage hotline, they immediately connected me with a dental office that was nice and clean, and I felt completely safe while there.”
The campaign is also actively encouraging dental practices to get involved with their efforts to donate face masks and PPE equipment to first responders. In May, U.S. Dental Triage will be donating over 50,000 masks in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Tucson, Chicago and Orlando.
“Our doctors are thrilled to partner with US Dental Triage to help healthcare workers on the frontline,” says US Dental Triage Partner Dentist, Dr. Andrew Chang from West Coast Oral Surgery. “Through our new partnership we are able to not only assist patients in need of oral health care, but also help our local heroes protect themselves during the pandemic through the donation of N95 masks, gloves and other PPE equipment.”
Former Executive Director of the Arizona Dental Association and Virtual Support Solutions Director, Kevin B. Earle says they are also providing a solution to dentists and their teams through their sister company, Virtual Support Solutions (VSS), which allows them to give support to their practices during these challenging times.
"We are able to add them to the U.S. Dental Triage Network and offer virtual call rollover at any hour of the day or night, so they don't miss any emergency calls," he says. "Patients can avoid a scary trip to the ER through this platform to safely and effectively be treated for their urgent dental needs in a dentist’s office. Dental practices also have the opportunity to gain referrals through new patients who call in and don’t currently have a dentist.”
VSS will pre-screen the patients and provide tools for the dentist to conduct virtual consultations and make appointments as an extension of the dental office. It is currently accepting dentists who would like to become part of their dental referral network and is a free service to join. For more information, dentists can visit dentalvss.com or call (844)-222-9565.
For additional information about US Dental Triage, to find out more about what qualifies as a dental emergency, or to get connected with a dentist, call (800)-700-0908 or visit usdentaltriage.com.