Dental care access and the elderly: What is the role of teledentistry? A systematic review

Luca Aquilanti, Andrea Santarelli, Marco Mascitti, Maurizio Procaccini, Giorgio Rappelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

A high level of unmet oral health needs is very common among elderly people. In a society that is getting older and that has been hit so hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the development of new strategies aimed at enhancing general and oral health status should be crucial in order to promote healthy aging. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the feasibility of Teledentistry in communities or in a domiciliary setting where elderly people live. A structured and systematic research was performed on the major electronic databases for studies published in English until 30 June 2020: the PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, and CINAHL databases. A total of 13 articles were identified through database searching using combinations of keywords. Out of 13 papers, eight abstracts were reviewed to assess if they were coherent with the aim of the study, and full texts were retrieved. After abstract reviews, seven articles were selected for closer inspection. Of these, six were assessed for eligibility. Four papers were aimed at assessing patients and health practitioners experiences about Teledentistry, three studies reported a cost analysis and cost description of Teledentistry in residential aged care facilities, and two studies investigated the feasibility and accuracy of Teledentistry for diagnosis dental pathology. The implementation of Teledentistry in residential aged care facilities and in home-assistance programs could be a viable tool for the management of oral care in people who cannot access dental care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9053
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020

Keywords

  • Dental public health
  • Elderly
  • In-home assistance
  • Oral care access
  • Public health
  • Residential aged care facility
  • Teledentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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