Teledentistry in inner-city child-care centres

J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12(4):176-81. doi: 10.1258/135763306777488744.


In Rochester, NY, telehealth centres were established in six inner-city elementary schools and seven child-care centres. The teledentistry project complemented the existing telehealth model. Using an intraoral camera, telehealth assistants record digital images of children's teeth (768 x 494 pixels) and send the images to a computer at the expert dental site (the Eastman Department of Dentistry at the University of Rochester). The paediatric dentist at the expert site reviews the images, and provides referral and treatment recommendations. Subsequently, the telehealth assistant contacts the child's parents or guardians and assists them to obtain appropriate dental care for their child. In the pilot study, we screened 50 children. In the first nine months of 2005, we screened 123 children. The results of our initial teledental screenings of children aged 12-48 months attending inner-city child-care centres revealed that almost 40% had active dental caries, mainly early childhood caries (ECC). For the first time, many children attending inner-city child-care centres have had their teeth examined at an early age and been given prompt feedback on the need for dental care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Day Care Centers*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Care for Children / methods*
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • New York
  • Pilot Projects
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Urban Health