Orthodontic treatment effective through teledentistry

In times when patients don’t have easy access to basic dental care, orthodontic care is even less accessible. Can teleconferencing be one of the solutions?

It is certainly a viable option, according to a team of scientists who presented their study at the recent American Association for Dental Research (AADR) meeting.

One group of Medicaid-eligible children were treated at the Yakima Valley Farm Worker's Clinic in Toppenish, WA by a general dentist who was supervised by an orthodontist via teleconferencing. Another was treated by orthodontic graduate students with direct orthodontist supervision at the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic in Seattle.

Both groups of children had significant orthodontic improvement and there was no difference in outcome between the two methods.

The results suggest "teledentistry is a viable approach to reducing the severity of malocclusions in populations of disadvantaged children where referral to an orthodontist is not feasible," states a study abstract.

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