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Teleodontology for pediatric patients


The term teleodontology, introduced for the first time by Cook in 1997, defines the practice of using videoconferencing technologies to provide remote consultation and diagnosis.

With the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns, the attention towards teleodontology and telemedicine in general has greatly increased, in fact, new technologies and cutting-edge diagnostic tools allow patients to be guaranteed high-precision diagnostic levels.

How teleodontology works

Teledentistry is characterized by the acquisition and management of patient data aimed at diagnosis and treatment.

A telehealth consultation can be conducted in two different ways:

  • in real time, therefore in synchronous mode, based on an online call conference in which the dentist and the patient initiate a remote dental medical consultation;
  • a store forward method which involves sending, in asynchronous mode, the folder and the diagnostic images that are collected by the dentist for consultation and planning of the dental treatment.

Telemedicine and pediatric dentistry

Teleodontology can also be a valid aid in the pedodontic field, especially in emergencies.

A recent study published in the Pediatric Dental Journal examines the practices of using teleodontology in the pediatric field.

The research was conducted by examining the publications present in the electronic databases ScienceDirect, MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, British Medical Journal, Biomed and Cochrane and which focused on the use of mHealth and teleodontology in its broadest sense.

The review included original research, reviews and meta-analyses according to pre-established keywords and above all focusing on pediatric clinical cases.

The benefits of telemedicine

Research has shown that the use of teleodontology has advantages that cannot be overlooked, especially for younger patients.

The main benefits of a teleodontic consultation are:

  • immediacy of an intervention in remote locations and with few facilities that practice pediatric dentistry
  • monitoring of complex situations in real time
  • prevention of the most common dental diseases among children
  • reduction of dental anxiety

During the Covid-19 pandemic, telemedicine appointments have increased significantly, in particular consultations relating to pediatric dentistry have made it possible not to neglect oral health, especially in children.

Thanks to simple mobile phones or webcams it has been possible to carry out diagnosis and treatment planning for many young patients.

Telemedicine certainly cannot replace face-to-face medical examinations, but it is confirmed as a valid support for traditional methods to improve the overall well-being and health of patients, especially those of pediatric age.

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