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The merits of teledentistry: A narrative review

Kenza Khamlich, Lamia Bouchghel, Farid Bourzgui.


Telemedicine is defined by Medline as “Delivery of health services via remote telecommunications. This
includes interactive consultative and diagnostic services.” Telemedicine was introduced as MeSH in 1993. Thus,
telemedicine is not a new concept, and one of the earliest teledentistry projects was started by the US military in
1994 to serve the US troops all around the world. Literature documentation of teledentistry has steadily increased from an
early publication in 1990. Teledentistry is the use of health information technology and telecommunications for oral care,
consultation, education, and public awareness with the broad goal of improving oral health. In today’s circumstances of
the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the main concern is to avoid person-to-person contact. The word ‘tele’ means ‘distant’,
and therefore teledentistry satisfies the need for social distancing as has been advocated by the health authorities all
across the globe to contain the spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Therefore, it helps patients to continue their care during
quarantine and lockdown but also enables care to be provided to people in areas that are inaccessible or not covered by
health services. Future applications of teledentistry have the possibility of increasing utilization of oral care services,
decreasing financial and human costs and improving health outcomes. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the
applications of teledentistry.

Key words: Teledentistry, telehealth, telemedicine, oral health

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