Remote dental patients in need of treatment can look forward to a trip to the teledentist, in a win for regional Victorians. The state’s first public teledentistry project launched in Shepparton on 4 December 2015.
The project, a clinical alliance between dentists at community dental agencies and specialist staff from the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (RDHM), launched at Goulburn Valley Health.
Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) CEO, Dr Deborah Cole, said it would allow DHSV to deliver dental services to remote and at-risk communities who find it hard to access dental services.
“Teledentistry is bringing dental care to patients who find it hard to access dental treatment, such as those who need to travel long distances to get the care that they need,” Dr Cole said.
“We’re keen to extend our reach to patients whose dental health is at risk because they are currently unable or find it difficult to access care.”
Victorian minister for health and ambulance services, the Hon. Jill Hennessy MP, agreed the new service meant Goulburn Valley residents will be able to access specialist dentist care when they need it and close to home.
“We believe all Victorians should be able to access high-quality healthcare, regardless of background or where they live,” she said.
Supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, the project identifies the most appropriate equipment and IT services needed for the delivery of teledentistry across regional Victoria.
“DHSV plans to develop pathways to allow RDHM specialist services to work with community dental clinics to develop the most appropriate treatment plan for patients who would have traditionally had to travel to Melbourne for care,” said Dr Cole.