Our story starts one night in 2004, at Wofford College, when our founder, Hitesh Tolani met his scholarship donor, the Honorable Dennis W. Shedd, a 4th circuit appellate court system judge of the United States. As a 22-year-old senior in college, when Hitesh asked Judge Shedd, “What can I do to thank you?”, Judge Shedd looked back at him and said, “You want to be a dentist? When you finally become one, you will have a skill that will empower you to treat and heal. When you use that skill to help those who need it most, consider me thanked!”
These words echoed in Hitesh’s ears throughout his training and instilled in him the responsibility and desire to pay-it-forward. However, Hitesh found the number of people who could not access dental care overwhelming. One day though, a friend emailed Hitesh asking him to read his recent dental x-rays to provide a second opinion and that was Hitesh’s inspiration for leveraging telemedicine to increase access to oral healthcare and to drive down costs. Hitesh felt this was a solution that could change and impact the entire profession and empower dentists to use their skills to treat and heal on a larger scale. For the next three years, Hitesh worked to pilot Virtudent, bring on board the key stakeholders needed to launch.