Teledentistry: what is it now, and what will it be tomorrow?

J Calif Dent Assoc. 2000 Feb;28(2):121-7.


A few years ago, teledentistry involved calling an expert on the telephone for advice. Now it involves consulting experts using the Internet. This article explains the basic ideas underlying teledentistry. It involves the local dentist digitizing and electronically transmitting drawings, diagrams, photographs, and X-rays to a specialist. Along with these data, the dentist will most likely need to fill out a standard consult form from the specialist's Web site. In return, the specialist will develop and return a confidential consultation report to the dentist or physician requesting help. For this service, a time-based fee will be paid to the expert. Unfortunately, it is likely that some doctors will use the Internet to set up and seek direct patient contact, thus becoming "cyberdentists." In most cases, cyberdentistry will not be in the best interests of the public. However, teledentistry should not only be a practice builder for the local dentist, but also has the potential for helping dentists better serve their patients while increasing their own knowledge.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Dental Care
  • Dentistry* / trends
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Information Systems
  • Internet
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Practice Management, Dental
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Remote Consultation
  • Telemedicine* / trends
  • Telephone