Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Teledentistry to the Rescue

Teledentistry describes the use of technology to facilitate communication and oral health care between patients and dental providers in separate locations. Implementing teledentistry practices can enhance oral health care delivery and improve access to care. How familiar are you with teledentistry technology? Learn more here.

Teledentistry to the Rescue

Teledentistry describes the use of technology to facilitate communication and oral health care between patients and dental providers in separate locations. Implementing teledentistry practices can enhance oral health care delivery and improve access to care. How familiar are you with teledentistry technology?

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Help for Remote Areas

Teledentistry provides a unique way to overcome the barriers of geography to deliver long-distance treatment, clinical training, and continuing education for dentists, dental hygienists, midlevel practitioners, and advanced dental therapists at remote clinics.

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Broad-Based Benefits

In addition, teledentistry is expected to facilitate greater use of dentists and nondentist providers (such as dental hygienists or midlevel practitioners) in nontraditional settings, and is thereby likely to improve early diagnosis, triage, treatment, and referral of patients. For dental and dental hygiene schools, teledentistry allows for the evaluation of patient information (with or without the patient present), permitting interaction and feedback between educators and students, thus improving students’ interprofessional and critical thinking skills.

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Barriers to Overcome

The most significant barrier to nationwide telehealth adoption is the traditional system of state-by-state licensing, because there is no law to clarify the role of the teleprovider and his or her liability. High cost of equipment poses another barrier. Presently, the cost for virtual teledental consultations is not reimbursed by insurance companies.

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Hope for the Future

While use of telehealth technologies has not yet become an integral aspect of oral health care delivery, it is bound to play a larger role in the future. As such, it is imperative that medical and dental providers support the use of telehealth by dental hygienists and midlevel practitioners in nontraditional settings, where access to care for underserved communities presents challenges.

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