Teledentistry from research to practice: a tale of nineteen countries

Maha El Tantawi (Coresponding Author), Walter Yu Hang Lam, Nicolas Giraudeau, Jorma I Virtanen, Cleopatra Matanhire, Timothy Chifamba, Wael Sabbah, Noha Gomaa, Sadeq Ali Al-Maweri, Sergio E Uribe, Simin Z Mohebbi, Noren Hasmun, Guangzhao Guan, Ajith Polonowita, Sadika Begum Khan, Massimo Pisano, Passent Ellakany, Marwa Mohamed Baraka, Abdalmawla Alhussin Ali, José Eduardo Orellana CentenoVerica Pavlic, Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


AIM: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated teledentistry research with great interest reflected in the increasing number of publications. In many countries, teledentistry programs were established although not much is known about the extent of incorporating teledentistry into practice and healthcare systems. This study aimed to report on policies and strategies related to teledentistry practice as well as barriers and facilitators for this implementation in 19 countries.

METHODS: Data were presented per country about information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, income level, policies for health information system (HIS), eHealth and telemedicine. Researchers were selected based on their previous publications in teledentistry and were invited to report on the situation in their respective countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Italy, Libya, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe.

RESULTS: Ten (52.6%) countries were high income, 11 (57.9%) had eHealth policies, 7 (36.8%) had HIS policies and 5 (26.3%) had telehealth policies. Six (31.6%) countries had policies or strategies for teledentistry and no teledentistry programs were reported in two countries. Teledentistry programs were incorporated into the healthcare systems at national ( n  = 5), intermediate (provincial) ( n  = 4) and local ( n  = 8) levels. These programs were established in three countries, piloted in 5 countries and informal in 9 countries.

CONCLUSION: Despite the growth in teledentistry research during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of teledentistry in daily clinical practice is still limited in most countries. Few countries have instituted teledentistry programs at national level. Laws, funding schemes and training are needed to support the incorporation of teledentistry into healthcare systems to institutionalize the practice of teledentistry. Mapping teledentistry practices in other countries and extending services to under-covered populations increases the benefit of teledentistry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1188557
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Oral Health
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2023


  • teledentistry
  • global oral health
  • oral health policies
  • COVID-19
  • healthcare system

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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