MouthWatch announced the winners of its first Teledentistry Innovation Awards, also known as the Tellies, during the Greater New York Dental Meeting in November. Designed to highlight how teledentistry is being implemented across a spectrum of dental care, the awards recognize providers who realize the full potential of connected dental care technology and who are reshaping the practice of dentistry and the global state of oral health, MouthWatch says.
“We were very pleased to celebrate the first annual Teledentistry Innovation Awards by recognizing three forward-thinking dental professionals who have implemented teledentistry in ways that are revolutionizing the practice of dentistry and the delivery of patient care,” said MouthWatch founder and CEO Brant Herman.
The first award went to Liz Best, grants administrator at the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry, who obtained a Human Resources & Services Administration grant to fund the implementation of teledentistry technology into the school’s curriculum. Working with TeleDent, NYU has incorporated teledentistry technology into second year coursework.
Now, more than 350 students each year are exposed to data collection, including intraoral images and videos for use in a teledentistry-enabled referral or consultation. This includes learning how to use an intraoral camera for image capture combined with clinical documentation suitable for review by a distant site dentist or specialist. Students then review data from a teledentistry visit and treatment plan remotely.
Future uses of teledentistry at NYU include medical and dental integration with rural clinics and putting the TeleDent systems onsite in medical settings across NYU’s medical campus, including pediatricians’ offices, speech pathology, and other non-dental provider settings. Offsite outreach programs also are incorporating teledentistry to improve collaboration and communication between providers and the dental school clinics.
Brittany Kinol, DMD, of Miracle Dental is the second winner. With two offices in the Pittsburgh area, Miracle Dental reaches children in a range of settings that are most convenient for them and their families. By coordinating care delivery with Head Start programs, schools, and public insurance carriers, Miracle Dental’s mobile hygienists use teledentistry to deliver preventive care to students in the most convenient way possible, MouthWatch reports.
This care allows for an efficient program while maintaining doctor supervision through live video conferencing and store and forward teledentistry. Patients in need of restorative care are connected to Kinol and her colleagues through the TeleDent platform for visual evaluation of any key clinical information. This remote evaluation and treatment planning make the future restorative visit more efficient and effective, MouthWatch says.
The third award was presented to Staci Stout, RDH, BSDH, of Smart Smiles, a school-based oral health program based in Utah that focuses on prevention. Its mobile hygiene program provides care to children at school to ensure they have access to oral healthcare. A team of hygienists equipped with portable preventive care equipment and teledentistry technology see children at more than 30 schools in the Salt Lake City area.
The team provides cleanings, fluoride, and all preventive care services. Intraoral images, video, and clinical data are collected and securely synced to the cloud. The collaborating dentist then reviews the data and creates a treatment plan that then can be shared with the students’ families. By connecting kids to care in a convenient setting, Smart Smiles has improved dental health for thousands of children while using a sustainable and popular care delivery model.
“We congratulate and think this year’s Tellie Awards winners for their commitment to using teledentistry technology to make a tangible difference in improving access to care and the state of oral health in their communities,” said Herman.
Nominations for next year’s Tellie Awards are now being accepted.