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Minnesota dentists turn to 'teledentistry' to treat patients

Dr. Bryan Laskin with Lake Minnetonka Dental is encouraging people to still seek out dentists for emergency dental care and not go to hospitals.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Many businesses are shutdown during this pandemic.

That includes dental offices, which has exacerbated an already existing issue.

Dr. Bryan Laskin, a dentist at Lake Minnetonka Dental says people are seeking emergency dental care at hospitals.

"That was a problem before. Now that dental offices are shut down and people don't think that they can see a dentist for emergent care, its skyrocketed so it's a big problem," said Laskin.

So Bryan wants people to know most dental offices are providing emergency care and people can still be evaluated virtually.

"It's really taken off," said Laskin. 

Teledentistry has actually been around for several years, but given the times it is of high interest among dentists and orthodontists.

They can provide a diagnosis through photos or video.

"Obviously if you can set it up so you can actually see what you're taking and we have a video that helps patients do that then you can take more valuable information for the dentist to evaluate," said Laskin.

Bryan is also the chief innovation officer at Dental Care Alliance so he's been busy teaching other dentists about teledentistry. 

"Dental offices are scrambling to get up to speed," said Laskin.

He hopes with this message people seek out dental care from dentists.

"It is a real issue right now that people are going to the hospitals. They should seek out a dentist," said Laskin. 

He says Lake Minnetonka Dental hasn't charged any patients for teledentistry. He also says most insurances during the COVID-19 crisis are covering it as well. 

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