Objective: To evaluate GDP opinion about a teledentistry system to screen new patient orthodontic referrals.
Study design: Cross-sectional questionnaire.
Sample: Two hundred general dental practitioners (GDPs) were approached from Stockport, Rochdale, Oldham, Bury and Bolton in Greater Manchester, and High Peak in Derbyshire.
Method: A questionnaire about a teledentistry system for new orthodontic patients was developed, following interviews with eight GDPs participating in a teledentistry trial. The questionnaire was posted to another 200 GDPs who were asked questions on issues such as the efficiency of a teledentistry system; the usefulness of a teledentistry system from the patients' point of view; their view of a teledentistry system; and any concerns they had relating to security, confidentiality and consent.
Results: Seventy one per cent of GDPs thought teledentistry for orthodontic referrals would be a good idea. At least 90% of responders agreed or neither agreed nor disagreed that patients would benefit from such a system. Over half of GDPs agreed or strongly agreed that there would be implications on their surgery time, expense and equipment security.
Conclusions: GDPs generally supported a teledentistry system for new patient orthodontic referrals. Although perceived patient advantages were agreed, GDPs tended to be less sure about the impact on them in terms of set-up expenses, time in the surgery and appropriate remuneration.