Potential of teledentistry in the delivery of oral health services in developing countries
In developing countries, access to qualified medical personnel especially oral health care specialists by inhabitants of rural and remote areas remain a challenge due to the fact that these personnel are mostly located in urban communities. Teledentistry is an approach that will eliminate the problem of distance between qualified oral health care personnel and potential patients in rural and remote communities. The objective of this review is to investigate the history of teledentistry and its practical application in overcoming the rural-urban oral health care problems.
A scoping search of literature using keywords associated with telemedicine and teledentistry and its application was undertaken via PubMed and Scientific electronic Library Online (SciELO). Literature published in English in the last 10 years (2008 – 2018) were selected. The review summarises the available literature related to origin and method of delivering teledentistry and its use in dental practice and education. It shows that teledentistry has the ability to improve access to and delivery of oral health care at a relatively lower cost as well as supplementing traditional teaching methods in dental education. However, despite the promising nature of teledentistry in improving oral health care provision, it is associated with some attending problems and challenges.
Keywords: Telemedicine, Teledentistry, Rural, Remote, Developing countries
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