Objectives: Rural (71%) India has little access to quality Prosthodontic care. Only treatment available for failing dentition is total extraction and construction of conventional complete dentures. This sets up irreversible residual ridge resorption (RRR) making denture cripples out of many of them. The study aimed at examining the effectiveness of utilizing teledentistry to provide preventive interceptive Prosthodontic treatment (over dentures) by a general dentist at rural sites supervised by prosthodontists at a university hospital.
Methods: A comparative study was carried out in 60 pre-edentulous patients, 30 each at university hospital and a remote rural site. Over dentures were fabricated for all of them by identically pre-trained general dentists. Direct supervision at predetermined intervals was provided to dentist at the hospital. The remote dentists were guided using teledentistry unit of Amrita University. Evaluation was carried out by 3 independent examiners for diagnostic competency, quality of secondary impressions and trial dentures . A post insertion functional assessment by using Functional assessment of Dentures (FAD) criteria also done. Subjective evaluation was determined by completion of Oral Health-Related Impacts on Quality of Life questionnaire before starting treatment and one month post insertion. The data was analyzed using SPSS Version 11.5.
Results: There was no significant difference in scores of evaluating criteria in diagnostic competency, quality of secondary impressions trial dentures and post insertion functional assessment between two groups. Statistically significant improvement in the OHIP domains of functional limitation and physical and psychological disability was seen in both groups.
Conclusion: Preventive and interceptive prosthodontic treatment provided by sufficiently trained general dentist supervised remotely is a viable and cost effective approach .
A. Keepanasseril, Mathew, A., Chandrashekar Janakiram, and Muddappa, S. C., “Effectiveness of Remote- Interceptive- Preventive Prosthodontic Programme in Rural India”, Journal of Dental Research 2009, vol. 88. Amrita School of Dentistry, Kochi, India, 2009.