- Felicia Matlosz
FRESNO, CA – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) on Friday, August 5, will distribute Byte oral health kits to bring attention to the importance of dental health – including the role of teledentristy and teleorthodontics – as students begin a new school year in the 31st Assembly District in Fresno County and the Central Valley.
The kits will be given out as part of a Back-to-School event presented by Parent University of the Fresno Unified School District. The kits are provided by Byte, a California at-home clear aligner company that has been a longtime advocate for telehealth and teleorthontics for underserved and disenfranchised communities.
Parent University will be distributing backpacks that include school supplies. The event will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Maya Cinemas, 3090 E. Campus Pointe Dr. in Fresno.
Before the Back-to-School program, Assemblymember Arambula on Friday will lead a virtual roundtable to highlight the need to increase access to telehealth and teleorthodontics in Central California’s underserved communities. IdeateLabs is convening the roundtable in which Assemblymember Arambula will be joined by Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, a distinguished Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA; Dr. Jay Khorsandi, Byte’s Chief Dental Officer; and Fresno-area community leaders and members.
Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula said: “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that the availability of telehealth increased patient visits with physicians, proving that video appointments are a viable choice. We must increase access and affordability of this option -- including in the areas of teledentistry and teleorthodontics – to better serve patients, especially those in vulnerable communities and rural regions. By doing this, we will promote the importance of health care and improve the quality of life of everyone.”
Dr. David Hayes-Bautista will discuss the findings of a 2020 University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study on telehealth and teleorthodontics and the access, affordability, and safety for the Latino community. He said that 80% of Latinos don’t have access to a dentist in their local area: “Lack of Latino dentists, lack of insurance, high costs makes dentistry inaccessible to Latino Communities. Teledentistry may provide access and affordable options for underserved communities.”
Dr. Jay Khorsandi said: “Crisis has a way of breaking down barriers, and where some industry experts were once reticent to try teledentistry, they made a quick and aggressive pivot towards remote care. Dentists in our network saw a remarkable uptick to people seeking remote care during COVID-19, which isn’t surprising considering that telehealth encounters have risen by 2,000 percent in some places. We hope this trend continues so that every community, no matter the zip code, can get access to oral health care - which leads to a better well-being and higher quality of life.”
The American Dental Association has published official guidance encouraging dentists to use telecommunication technology to support dental care where possible. At the start of the pandemic, one survey found that 78 percent of patients are likely to engage with teledentistry services by 2025.
Media members interested in observing the roundtable should contact Felicia Matlosz, Assemblymember Arambula’s Communications Director, for a link to the discussion. She can be contacted at (559) 304-9286.
Byte is a leader in the at-home clear aligner market. Byte was acquired in January by Dentsply Sirona Inc. (XRAY). With a growing team of over 500 employees globally and headquartered in Los Angeles, Byte’s nationwide network of licensed dentists and orthodontists prescribe and oversee every customer’s treatment plan, delivering a top-rated consumer experience and results in up to half the time and cost of traditional methods. At under $85 per month, Byte has found a way to make the inaccessible, accessible — providing an easy, convenient and affordable way to upgrade your smile. For more information on Byte, visit: www.byteme.com.