Teledentistry Implementation in a Private Pediatric Dental Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Purpose: (1) Implementation of teledentistry in a private pediatric practice during COVID-19 pandemic, (2) Evaluate dental care that was assessed and managed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Urgent dental care provided during the recommended deferment of elective dentistry (3/16/20-5/17/20) was documented. Encounters were documented by type and management (conventional vs. teledentistry). Results were summarized using descriptive statistics. Associations were compared with Chi-squared or Fisher's exact test. Results: There were 137 emergency patient encounters during the study period. The types were: orthodontics (32 percent), caries (22 percent), eruption concerns (18 percent), trauma (16 percent), "other" (12 percent) (i.e., ankyloglossia, aphthous ulcers). Almost half (48 percent) were managed with teledentistry. The highest utilization of conventional dentistry was caries (70 percent), and for teledentistry was "Other" (75 percent) and eruption concerns (60 percent). Conclusion: Nearly half of emergency encounters in this sample were managed with teledentistry. Teledentistry was a necessary modality of care during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and has uses and implications beyond the triage of acute dental emergencies.
Brecher, EA; Keels, MA; Carrico, CK; Hamilton, DS
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