“It makes the opportunity for me to be in the room without actually being in the room,” Karp said.
“I don’t think a lot of private offices realize how much decay is still out there in children,” said Dr. Tony Mendicino.
Some of these families that use these rural dental clinics lack the financial resources to travel to center’s like Eastman when they are in need of more complex dental procedures.
“We have children coming from hours away. And so, when there’s only one provider in the upstate or a few providers, that are doing these services, the need is constantly increasing,” Karp said.
Through tele-dentistry, real-time videoconferencing, Karp can assess a patient’s dental health and get a feel for how a child behaves. All this information helps Karp develop a treatment plan without actually having to see the patient in his office.
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It’s a savings in cost and time Amaya’s mother can appreciate.
“It works with my schedule, I mean, I have five kids. I work full time. So it does help us with that part,” said Dedre Hayes Cordero, Amaya’s mother.
It’s technology Karp believes will catch on.
“There certainly cou
ld be a future where this could be a new way to deliver care in rural communities or underserved communities,” Karp said.