Teledentistry in rural California: a USC initiative

J Calif Dent Assoc. 2003 Aug;31(8):601-8.


Dentistry, in a synergistic combination with telecommunications technology and the Internet, has yielded a relatively new and exciting field that has endless potential. "Teledentistry" emerges from the fusion of dental practice and technology and can take on two forms--real-time consultation and "store and forward." The first entity to put teledentistry into practice was the Army, which, in 1994, successfully undertook consultations between dentists and service personnel located more than 100 miles apart. Since then, various institutions and organizations in the United States and farther afield have practiced teledentistry, with varying degrees of success. The Children's Hospital Los Angeles Teledentistry Project, being run in association with the University of Southern California's Mobile Dental Clinic, seeks to increase and enhance the quality of oral health care that is provided to children living in remote rural areas of California, areas often severely underserved by dental health providers. The project has three phases: Phase I involves the establishment and organization of the teledentistry network; Phase II will introduce technologies to provide orthodontic consultation and treatment; and Phase III will expand the network and provide increased specialty care into further areas of California and beyond, providing services to more children in desperate need of dental health care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Child
  • Computer Systems
  • Dental Care for Children
  • Dental Care* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Mobile Health Units
  • Program Development
  • Remote Consultation* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Rural Health Services* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Telemedicine / classification
  • Telemedicine / legislation & jurisprudence