Teledentistry: a new oral care delivery tool among Indian dental professionals - a questionnaire study

F1000Res. 2022 Jun 16:11:666. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.122058.1. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

Background: The sudden massive spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to a major public health emergency and changed the scene of the health care globally. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most dental treatment procedures were considered as major sources of infection transmission. Thus, the current survey aimed at evaluating knowledge, awareness and attitude of dental professional of India towards teledentistry. Methods: A pre structured questionnaire was framed and distributed among 600 dental professionals of India using email, WhatsApp and other social media modes. SPSS version 17 was used for data analysis. The Chi-Square, student t test and one way ANOVA test were applied to assess the association between qualification, type of practice and participant response. Logistic regression analysis was also carried out. Results: In total, 431 dental professionals completed the survey. Overall, 94.7% of dental professionals were aware about teledentistry and agreed it is useful in fulfilling needs of the community at great amount. A statistically significant difference was found for questions related to the application of teledentistry for all branches, whether it is a good tool to assess oral hygiene in remote areas and its usefulness in training in primary health care centre when comparison was done among dental professionals and specialist in different branches of dentistry. Conclusions: Within the limits of the study, findings show that study participants exhibited good knowledge and awareness regarding teledentistry. The participants exhibited positive attitude towards teledentistry but at the same time expressed the uncertainty in challenges which they may face in teledentistry. Lack of training, advanced infrastructure, good connectivity and network are main issues they were concerned about. The other important point of concern is many participants felt teledentistry cannot be applied for all branches of dentistry. Future research should focus on this aspect of teledentistry.

Keywords: Health education; Oral care in rural area; Tele dentistry; Telemedicine.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Dentists
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine* / methods

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.19915021

Grants and funding

The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.