Speaking Startup: Teledentistry takes root

Maria Kunstadter remembers hearing a speaker discuss the jaw-dropping statistics. Toothaches perennially rank among the leading reasons for emergency room visits, she said, driving $1.7 billion in annual emergency room spending.

“I kept thinking ‘That’s crazy,'” recalled Kunstadter, who’s a dentist. “‘Why do people do this? We need to do something better than this.'”

Kunstadter’s answer to that conundrum, The TeleDentists, is a startup that connects people with dentists for virtual oral health consultations in an effort to save them time and money. The Kansas City-based company has really taken root since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, fielding hundreds of calls some days, according to Kunstadter.

On this week’s episode of the Speaking Startup, we chat with The TeleDentists co-founder about her company’s origins, its pandemic-fueled growth and the future of telehealth.

Plus, as more municipalities across the state embrace mask mandates as a means of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, business owners in places without mask orders face decisions. We spoke with Hannibal restaurateur Tara Hausman about how she has approached that decision for her business.


The Speaking Startup podcast explores news and issues important to Missouri entrepreneurs. Find more Speaking Startup on our website or wherever you get podcasts.


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