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Teledentistry is the provision of real time and offline dental care such as diagnosis, treatment planning, consulting and follow-up, via electronic transmission from different sites.1

Teledentistry provides an opportunity for patients in remote locations to have their dental information reviewed by dental specialists.

An example of a computer system that can provide such a service would one consisting of an intraoral camera, fame grabber, scanner, desktop personal computer, colour printer and an Internet connection via a regular phone line.


More sophisticated systems might involve the use of hospital information systems (HIS). Whatever the structure of the system, the obvious advantage of teledentistry is the remote linking of patients with dental care specialists.

This was one of the goals of the Web-based Teledentistry consultation system developed for the United States Department of Defense dental clinics at various sites in the USA and Europe. Specialist review consults, including dental images or radiographs, sent to them and provide diagnosis and treatment plans. This project is known as the Total Dental Access (TDA) and it focuses on three areas of dentistry – patient care, continuing dental education and dental laboratory communication.2

At Temple University School of Dentistry, CMSWeb, a Web-based clinical information system has been developed to make computer-based oral health records available on the Web as part of its efforts to make teledentistry a reality.3


  1. Chen, J. W.; et al. Teledentistry and its use in dental education. J Am Dent Assoc. 2003 Mar;134(3):342-6

  2. Rocca, M. A.; et al.  1999. [WWW] The Evolution of a Teledentistry System Within the Department of Defense. http://www.amia.org/pubs/symposia/D005388.PDF (25TH September 2003)

  3. Schleyer, T. K.; Dassari V. R. Computer-based oral health records on the World Wide Web. Quintessence Int. 1999 Jul;30(7):451-60

Useful Links

  • Teledentistry
    Webpage on teledentistry by Jordan Dental Center.

  • Examples of Teledentistry
    Examples on how teledentistry consultations are carried out.

  • Teledentistry and video-conferencing
    An article by Paul Downes.

  • The Future of Teledentistry
    An article by Jeffrey M. Birnbach, published in the Journal of the California Dental Association.



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British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee
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Last Updated: 10 August 2006.

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