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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


BISSESSUR, S  and  NAIDOO, S. A comparative analysis of traditional dental screening versus teledentistry screening. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2019, vol.74, n.1, pp.19-23. ISSN 0375-1562.

This comparative analysis determined the reliability of using intraoral cameras and communication technologies (ICTs) to screen primary school children for dental caries. METHODS: A concordance study assessed the diagnostic agreement between traditional and teledentistry screening of dental caries in 233 school children aged 6-8 years old from randomly selected rural primary schools. Clinical screening, scored for DMFT, was carried out by two trained and calibrated examiners. Two trained and calibrated teleden-tistry assistants (TAs) captured intraoral images, and stored the data in corresponding eFiles. After a two week wash-out period, the intraoral images were evaluated and scored for DMFT. Concordance and inter- and intra-exam-iner reliability were determined using the Kappa Statistic. RESULTS: The intra-rater agreement and reliability across methods was 98.30% and 95.09% for examiners one and two respectively, assessed as indicating 92.79% between random agreement and perfect agreement (p < 0.001). The high concordance level indicated that there was no statistical difference between the clinical screening and the screening teledentistry method. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the reliability of utilising teledentistry as a dental screening and diagnostic tool which can be valuable in the delivery of oral health care in South Africa especially with view to the implementation of the NHI.

Keywords : South Africa; children; dental caries; dental screening; ICT; telemedicine; teledentistry; DMFT; oral health care; eHealth.

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