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Dentistry during the COVID-19 Epidemic: An Italian Workflow for the Management of Dental Practice
Open AccessArticle

Can Teledentistry Improve the Monitoring of Patients during the Covid-19 Dissemination? A Descriptive Pilot Study

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School of Dentistry, Department of Health Sciences, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
2
Unit of Dentistry, “Mater Domini” Hospital, COVID-19 Reference Hospital for Calabria Region, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103399
Received: 19 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 12 May 2020 / Published: 13 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Public Health: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities)
The aim of this pilot study was to describe the advantages of telemedicine (TM) in dental practice during the current national emergency condition due to the Covid-19 dissemination. At Department of Oral Surgery and Pathology—Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, regional reference center for Covid-19—two groups of patients were determined: patients with urgent conditions (group U) and patients in follow-up (group F). Both groups were instructed to implement remote consultations using a messaging service (WhatsApp Messenger, WhatsApp Inc., Mountain View, California, USA) to send photos. A total of 418 photos were collected by 57 patients. Thirty-four photos were obtained by five patients in the U group after surgical procedures. All patients sent photos on the established evening, except for two patients who sent two photos outside the set days. In the F group, 384 photos were collected by 52 patients. None of them sent more photos than the number that was established by the protocol. Telemedicine allowed a monitoring of all patients, reducing costs and limiting human contact, decreasing the risk of Covid-19 dissemination. View Full-Text
Keywords: telemedicine; Covid-19; dentistry; WhatsApp; teledentistry; dental public health; community dentistry telemedicine; Covid-19; dentistry; WhatsApp; teledentistry; dental public health; community dentistry
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Giudice, A.; Barone, S.; Muraca, D.; Averta, F.; Diodati, F.; Antonelli, A.; Fortunato, L. Can Teledentistry Improve the Monitoring of Patients during the Covid-19 Dissemination? A Descriptive Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3399.

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