Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Users Online: 225

 

Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
     


 
 Table of Contents    
REVIEW ARTICLE  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-64
Teledentistry in India: Time to deliver


1 Department of Prosthodontics, Chandra Dental College and Research Centre, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Faculty of Dental Sciences, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Biochemistry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Prosthodontics, ESIC Dental College and Hospital, New Delhi, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication13-Nov-2013
 

   Abstract 

Teledentistry is rapidly gaining momentum in modern day dentistry although, it has its roots long back in the past. In the 1990's, concept of teledentistry was introduced and Cook in 1997 defined this as the practice of using video-conferencing technologies to diagnose and advice about treatment over a distance. Like other health professionals, dentists have seen a lot of change over the years from extractions and dentures to digital technology that is taking dentistry to other level - creating practice possibilities hardly imaginable even 10 years ago. In India, large number of population and school going children are lacking basic oral health education and services and subsequently affecting their health in various forms of disease and addiction toward the ill habits. Implementation of a telehealth system can improve primary health-care services hence widen the reach of specialty care as well as can expand the chances for utilization of medical education and training by health care professionals and community members. Utilization of these services and teledentistiry in India can set up a pivotal role in expanding and improving the oral health and other related ill habits such as smoking and tobacco chewing etc., in large extent.

Keywords: Diagnosis, digital acquisition, real time consultation, store and forward teledentistry, technology based dentistry

How to cite this article:
Chandra G, Rao J, Singh K, Gupta K. Teledentistry in India: Time to deliver. J Educ Ethics Dent 2012;2:61-4

How to cite this URL:
Chandra G, Rao J, Singh K, Gupta K. Teledentistry in India: Time to deliver. J Educ Ethics Dent [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Mar 30];2:61-4. Available from: http://www.jeed.in/text.asp?2012/2/2/61/121258



   Introduction Top


Dental science and technology has made remarkable advancement during the 20 th century. Like other health professionals, dentists have seen a lot of change over the years from extractions and dentures [1] to digital technology that is taking dentistry to other level - creating practice possibilities hardly imaginable even 10 years ago. In the 1990's, concept of teledentistry was introduced, Cook (1997) defined this as "the practice of using video-conferencing technologies to diagnose and advice about treatment over a distance". [2],[3]

Teledentistry is a developing area of dentistry that integrates electronic health records, telecommunications technology, digital imaging and the internet to link dental providers and their patients. The foundations of teledentistry lie in telehealth and telemedicine technologies that have been practiced since the 1950. [3] Teledentistry is the use of computers and modern day technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of dental problems. Earlier, diagnostic images were recorded and stored on film still in practice at many places. Likewise, patient records are written on paper and stored in files or computers, which are a very long and tedious job. However, this longstanding problem is effectively solved by the practice of digitalization. [1] Technologies to manage all dental information in a single, consistent format are starting to be marketed at an accelerated pace. Oral images can now be captured and stored in one step by digital acquisition without any paper or film. [1],[4] All financial transactions can be conducted at an easy-to-read electronic screen. Information from different sources can be retrieved and displayed on a single monitor at the same time, creating all sorts of new possibilities for improving patient care in general and the doctor-patient relationship in particular. Communication with any peer dentist is possible within minutes by e-mailing the patient details along with the images and X-rays for review and treatment planning for expert opinion. It is also possible to connect through social networking sites to any part of the world and discuss our problems. For purposes of research or quality improvement, an entire practice's records can be reviewed to identify all patients who have a certain condition that might be corrected by a new procedure or material. Confidentiality of the patient records increases many fold with the use of passwords. Even the cost factor is beneficial as there is only one time investment in the purchase of the system and it can be used to record data for years as compared with regular investment in the purchase and investment of paper records. Even the internet facilities are becoming commercial. Over the past decade, the technologies that provide health-care services at a distance have improved dramatically. They have become more commonplace and user-friendly. [5] In India, a large number of population and school going children are lacking basic oral health education and services and subsequently affecting their health in various forms of disease and addiction toward the ill habits. Implementation of a telehealth system can improve primary health-care services; hence widen the reach of specialty care as well as can expand the chances for utilization of medical education and training by health-care professionals and community. Telehealth systems can be set up in hospitals, clinics, private offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, homes, assisted living facilities, schools, prisons and health departments. As technology continues to evolve, teledentistry will definitely continue to expand. Utilization of these services and teledentistiry in India can set up a pivotal role in expanding and improving the oral health and other related ill habits such as smoking and tobacco chewing etc., in large extent. This paper presents a review about teledentistry and its scope and expansion in India toward a new dimension in oral health services at very low cost and efforts.


   Application of Teledentistry Top


Telehealth encompasses a broad foundation for medical and dental health services. Teledentistry has a wide variety of applications in patient care, education [Figure 1], research, administration and public health:
Figure 1: Figure on computor monitor showing diagnostic cast of a partially edentulous patient for education about smile line; shape of tooth and about any modification in natural dentition.

Click here to view





   Types of Teledentistry Top


There are two forms of teledentistry:

  1. Two-way interactive or real time consultation
  2. Store and forward teledentistry.


Two-way interactive technology or real time consultation

With the use of video-conferencing dentists and their patients can consult in real time at different locations with advanced telecommunication technologies and ultra-high-bandwidth network connections. For example, general dentists can consult with any peer dentist of particular specialization and plan out the treatment protocol. Two-way interactive technology allows a person at a remote or distant site to see or hear in real time images or sound occurring at an originating site. [3],[9],[10],[11]

Store and forward type of teledentistry

Information can be gathered and stored then forwarded or transferred to consulting clinicians or locations, this data packet may include the patient's history, digital photographs of the relevant areas and digital X-ray images radiographs, computed tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging, electrocardiogram etc., after all the required data is collected. [9],[10],[11],[12],[13]

In most health-care applications, whether utilizing store and forward or two-way interactive technology, clarity and detail of the data are the most important issues. [13] Speed of data transfer and the compatibility, interoperability, scalability, accessibility and reliability of the technology are also significant factors.


   Advantages of Teledentistry Top


Analysis of the various studies on teledentistry concluded about cost-effectiveness compared with other mode and it also improved access and quality of care by facilitating better and timely information to the dentists, which improved decision making and produced better communication between the dentists and their patients.

Technologies provides a growing population of underserved patients with much-needed oral health services and benefits all the members of the digitally linked oral health-care team. There are many advantages of the rapidly growing use of technology in the modern era of dentistry and it is taking the field to new heights as listed:




   Limitations to Teledentistry Top


Teledentistry has yet to be accepted as a widely used or fully accepted adjunct to dentistry. Many constrain are also there for example, technical, legal, educational and insurance etc.




   Scope in India Top


India is developing country and most of the population belongs to rural background where some of the basic amenities of daily routine life are missing, especially primary health education and services. Development in the modern telecommunication and information technology in our country has changed the various prospect of life in the form of knowledge and awareness. These resources can have a cumulative effect in Indian population toward the transition and transformation of teledentistry. Primary health center and community health center can be equipped with modern telehealth and teledentistry to facilitate the education and better services in the society. Students and teachers from schools and college at various levels and even social workers from gram panchayat can be educated and trained toward the importance and functioning of telehealth with connectivity to higher center and experts. Government should take the initiative to highlight the importance and benefits of teledentistry in the society by providing infrastructure and basic facility by diverting some of the responsibility of higher institutions and centers located all around the states.

Government of India is also focusing on rural and distant service for medical and dental graduate by new amendment in the parliament and already passed the gazette for practice of minimum 1 year as an intern in rural background. Major objective of this issue is to reach and provide basic health need and standard to the most required population with good care along with exposure of the doctors in rural set up. In this situation, it will be really a great challenge for budding doctors to maintain their academic excellence and adapt the situation. Success and implementation of this kind of proposal will be difficult until we are not capable of utilizing the modern technology and connectivity with a higher center and experts. All answers lies in the expansion and development of this field in the form of teledentistry and telemedicine.


   Summary Top


Dentistry has definitely reached a new horizon with a fast and technology savvy pace. Utilizing current teledentistry technologies, oral health care providers can digitally acquire and transmit diagnostic data to a distant dentist for triage, diagnosis and patient referral. Day by day, the use of this new field is attracting dentists across the globe and bringing the fraternity closer as well as improving the quality of the services rendered. However, with few drawbacks and constant efforts to combat them, teledentistry has a very promising future and a long way to go.[14]

 
   References Top

1.Bauer JC, Brown WT. The digital transformation of oral health care. Teledentistry and electronic commerce. J Am Dent Assoc 2001;132:204-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.Cook J. ISDN video conferencing in postgraduate dental education and orthodontic diagnosis. Learning Technology in Medical Education Conference 1997 CTI Medicine. 1997:111-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Chen JW, Hobdell MH, Dunn K, Johnson KA, Zhang J. Teledentistry and its use in dental education. J Am Dent Assoc 2003;134:342-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.Benson BW. Teleradiology. Dent Clin North Am 2000;44:359-70.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.American Telemedicine Association. Overview of telemedicine. American Telemedicine Association. Available from: http://www.american telemed.org/news/overview.htm. [Accessed on 2006 Mar 22].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Brown NA. Brief history of telemedicine. Telemedicine Research Center, telemedicine information exchange. Available from: http://www.tie.telemed.org/articles/article.asp?Path=articles & article=tmhistory_nb_tie95.xml.[Accessed on 2010 June 1]  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.American Telemedicine Association. Defining telemedicine. American Telemedicine Association. Available from: http://www.americantelemed.org/news/definition.html.[Accessed on 2010 Mar 29]  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Florida Statutes-Regulation of Professions and Occupations. Dentistry, Dental Hygiene and Dental Laboratories. Title XXXII; 2005.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Clark GT. Teledentistry: What is it now, and what will it be tomorrow? J Calif Dent Assoc 2000;28:121-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]    
10.Folke LE. Teledentistry. An overview. Tex Dent J 2001;118:10-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]    
11.Farman AG, Farag AA. Teleradiology for dentistry. Dent Clin North Am 1993;37:669-81.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]    
12.Bhambal A, Saxena S, Balsaraf SV. Teledentistry: Potentials unexplored. J Int Oral Health 2010;2:1-6.   Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Golder DT, Brennan KA. Practicing dentistry in the age of telemedicine. J Am Dent Assoc 2000;131:734-44.   Back to cited text no. 13
[PUBMED]    
14.Biegel S. Virtual health care: Unresolved legal issues. J Calif Dent Assoc 2000;28:128-32.  Back to cited text no. 14
[PUBMED]    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Jitendra Rao
Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dental Sciences, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-7761.121258

Rights and Permissions


    Figures

  [Figure 1]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
  
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


    Abstract
   Introduction
    Application of T...
    Types of Teleden...
    Advantages of Te...
    Limitations to T...
   Scope in India
   Summary
    References
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed3829    
    Printed52    
    Emailed1    
    PDF Downloaded725    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal