Dentistry via the web

The dental office of the future won’t need a dentist – just an internet connection.

Research being done at the University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society has bought the dream of oral-health check-ups done remotely over high-speed Internet connections a step closer. According to the Institute’s website, they have “tested the feasibility and reliability of delivering oral health checkups remotely via a teledentistry system”, and results from this research indicate that the use of teledentistry for oral health screens is feasible, being a reliable alternative to traditional examinations.

In a newspaper article (here) the University’s Associate Professor Rodrigo Marino explained that the system allows access to the world’s top dental experts.

The way teledentistry operates is an assistant at the patient end operates an intraoral camera to relay high- definition oral imagery to a dentist connected via a videoconferening facility. The dentist can then screen patients for oral diseases and conditions, and develop treatment plans in real- time that are analogous to traditional face-to- face examinations.

Patient trials conducted in the Australian Broadband Applications Laboratory revealed high levels of satisfaction with the service and provide a promising beginning for the delivery of remote oral health care.

“This is the closest we can get to a real-life examination. There is no physical presence but the technology allows us to talk with a real person, exchange files, pictures, X-rays, anything,” Marino told the newspaper.

The institute will test the technology in Victorian nursing homes next month.

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  1. Lets assume that they are making sure that each of these remote communities has a suitably qualified dental nurse with Certificate IV in Dental Radiography.. or a Hygienist/Therapist…… if not, then this whole thing is illegal in Australia???

  2. Obviously the ” anything” cannot include periodontal probing essential to determine extent of destruction subgingivally. Was there failure to mention such limitations or merely “Publication Bias” ? Technology to supply education for prevention of oral diseases has far more potential.


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