Perceptions of Australian dental practitioners about using telemedicine in dental practice

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    © 2015 British Dental Association. All rights reserved. Objective This study aimed to explore Australian dental practitioners' perceptions of the usefulness of teledentistry in improving dental practice and patient outcomes.Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study involving an anonymous electronic survey of a sample of 169 Australian dental practitioners. We designed a 24-item, 5-point Likert-scale questionnaire assessing perceptions of dentists in four domains: usefulness of teledentistry for patients; usefulness of teledentistry for dental practice; capability of teledentistry to improve practice; and perceived concerns about the use of teledentistry.Results Of the 144 respondents (response rate 85%), 135 completed responses that were suitable for analysis. More than 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that teledentistry would improve dental practice through enhancing communication with peers, guidance and referral of new patients. The majority also felt that teledentistry is quite useful in improving patient management, and increasing patient satisfaction. A substantial proportion of respondents expressed uncertainty with technical reliability, privacy, practice expenses, the cost of setting up teledentistry, surgery time and diagnostic accuracy.Conclusion Dental practitioners generally reported optimism and support to the concept of teledentistry and its integration into current dental practices. Addressing how teledentistry can benefit specific practice issues, would encourage more dentists to use telemedicine in routine practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-29
    JournalBritish Dental Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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