Teledentistry is the use of information technology and telecommunications for dental care, consultation,[1] education, and public awareness (compare telehealth and telemedicine).


In 1994, the Department of Defence introduced the Total Dental Access Program (TDA) for the Army.[2] The goals of TDA were to increase soldier’s access to care and reduce associated costs. At the time, they used what was called the plain-old-telephone-system (POTS).

In the early nineteen nineties, videoconferencing, e-mail, fax, and telephone calls were used but more recently , video conferencing and high-quality image transfer have become easily accessible. These, and the considerable improvements in digital camera technology, have provide radical new opportunities.

Nearly a third of all Americans don’t visit a dentist regularly enough, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.[3] There are many reasons for this, most notably; affordability, access and fear.


Teledentistry can provide easier, cheaper and less intimidating way to connect with dentistry. Teledentistry can also be used to assist general dentists with speciality work[4] and improve services to underserved populations such as in rural or less developed areas.[5]


  1. Clark, GT (2000). "Teledentistry: What is it now, and what will it be tomorrow?". Journal of the California Dental Association. 28 (2): 121–7. PMID 11323836.
  2. Rocca, M. A.; Kudryk,, V. L.; Pajak, J. C.; Morris, T (1999). "The evolution of a teledentistry system within the Department of Defense". Proceedings / AMIA ... Annual Symposium. AMIA Symposium. Frederick, MD, USA.: 921–4. ISSN 1531-605X. PMC 2232632. PMID 10566495.
  3. "Oral Health Isn't Much Of Americans' Concern, Poll Finds: One-Third Didn't See The Dentist Last Year". Medical Daily. 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  4. "Teledentistry Shows Potential to Assist Rural Communities". NIH. December 24, 2008.
  5. Chen, Jung-Wei; Hob-Dell, Martin H.; Dunn, Kim; Johnson, Kathy A.; Zhang, Jiajie (2003). "Teledentistry and its use in dental education". Journal of the American Dental Association. 134 (3): 342–6. doi:10.14219/jada.archive.2003.0164. PMID 12699048.

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