A global taskforce of academic experts has concluded that teledentistry has the ability to give millions more people around the world regular access to dental services.
Brought together by the Oral Health Foundation and Unilever, the group found that teledentistry has the potential to remove or reduce many of the major barriers associated with access to oral healthcare, specifically in developing and emerging countries. The panel determined that teledentistry can be an effective method for education, dental referrals, early detection of disease, treatment planning and compliance, and treatment viability. Teledentistry was deemed especially useful where the access to dental professionals is limited or not evenly spread over a country or region. It was also seen as a cost-saving measure for the patient and the dental clinic.
While investigating the main barriers to dental access, a low number of qualified dentists in developing nations was listed as a substantial problem. The analysis revealed significant opportunities for evidence-based oral health advice that can be delivered by implementing specific teledentistry models.
To tackle many of the barriers associated with dental access, Pepsodent has launched a teledentistry initiative across Indonesia and Vietnam. The project aims to reduce oral diseases among the most vulnerable people by making dental access more inclusive, readily available, and financially affordable. The group investigated the major global barriers to accessing dental care and reviewed the most recent publications on teledentistry projects. The panel then suggested possible outcomes, as well as practical implications of delivering teledentistry services around the world.