Teledentistry is the delivery of dental care using telehealth information technology and methodology. Some examples include live video consultation and remote patient monitoring. Teledentistry services can include risk assessment, oral exams, self-management goal setting, and emergency care triage.
NNOHA has worked with health centers since Spring 2020 to develop and test a variety of strategies to deliver teledentistry services. This User’s Guide gives an overview of teledentistry, describes its use in health center dental programs, and includes practical tools for implementing teledentistry
What is Teledentistry?
Synchronous teledentistry is a “live” oral health visit. It includes a two-way interaction between a person and a provider using telehealth technology such as video.
Here’s an example of a synchronous teledentistry visit:
Asynchronous teledentistry is also known as “store and forward.” This includes transferring health information (i.e. radiographs, videos, photos) through a secure electronic communications system to a provider. The provider reviews and uses the information to evaluate a patient’s condition or render a service outside of a real-time or live interaction. (American Dental Association)
American Dental Association: Guide to Understanding and Documenting Teledentistry Events - January 2023
Whether in the planning stages or while trying to expand an existing program, there are many considerations when implementing teledentistry.
The resources and tools on this page will help health centers plan and implement teledentistry.
When implementing teledentistry, it is important to understand federal and state regulations. The following resources aim to provide general guidance related to teledentistry policies.
Compilation of State Laws and Regulations Addressing Teledentistry or Telehealth Conducted by Oral Health Practitioners. States A-I
Compilation of State Laws and Regulations Addressing Teledentistry or Telehealth Conducted by Oral Health Practitioners. States O-W
Teledental Practice and Teledental encounters: An American Association of Teledentistry Position Paper
Note: policies change and evolve frequently, each health center should make sure to stay up to date on their state’s specific regulations.
These Promising Practices highlight how health centers and safety-net oral health programs have implemented teledentistry.
ASTDD: Teledentistry Opportunities for Expanding the Capacity and Reach of the Oral Healthcare System
Below is a list of published literature related to Teledentistry.
The Virtual Dental Home. Improving the oral health of vulnerable and underserved populations using geographically distributed telehealth-enabled teams
Making a gift to the National Network for Oral Health Access is one of the easiest ways to positively impact our work, enhance our services, and help our community strengthen and increase access to oral health services. NNOHA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Join & Renew
NNOHA is the largest group of safety-net oral health practitioners in the country, and our members all share a commitment to increasing access to quality oral health care for underserved populations. NNOHA is committed to providing the highest quality resources and support designed to meet the unique needs of our members and their programs.