Introduction: Socially disadvantaged children have limited access to orthodontic services. We examined the feasibility of a general dental practitioner providing interceptive orthodontic services to disadvantaged children with real-time supervision from an orthodontist using teledentistry.
Methods: Pretreatment and posttreatment orthodontic study models of 30 children treated by a general dentist using teledentistry and 96 children treated by orthodontic residents directly supervised by orthodontic faculty were scored with the peer assessment rating (PAR) index.
Results: Both groups had significant improvements in PAR scores: 35.6% in the teledentistry group and 44.1% in the direct supervision group (P <0.001). There were no significant differences between the groups before treatment or after interceptive orthodontic treatment.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that interceptive orthodontic treatments provided by sufficiently prepared general dentists and supervised remotely by orthodontic specialists through teledentistry are a viable approach to reducing the severity of malocclusions in disadvantaged children when referral to an orthodontist is not feasible.