Objectives: To assess the reliability of synchronous audioconferencing teledentistry (TD) in making tentative diagnosis compared to definitive clinical face-to-face (CFTF) diagnosis; and whether agreement was influenced by dentist’s experience, caller-patient relationship, and time of call. Methods: All patients calling the TD hotline during COVID-19 pandemic, triaged as emergency/ urgent and referred for CFTF care were included (N=191). Hotline dentists triaged the calls, made tentative audio-dentistry (AD) diagnosis, while dentists at point of referral made the definitive CFTF diagnosis. Cohen’s weighted kappa (κ) assessed the extent of agreement between AD vs CFTF diagnosis. Results: There was significantly very good pair-wise agreement (κ = 0.853, P < 0.0001) between AD and CFTF diagnosis. AD diagnosis of pulpitis and periodontitis exhibited the most frequent disagreements. Tele-dentists with ≥ 20 years’ experience exhibited the highest level of agreement (κ =0.872, P < 0.0001). There was perfect agreement when mothers mediated the call (κ = 1, P < 0.0001), and very good agreement for calls received between 7 am-2 pm (κ = 0.880, P < 0.0001) compared to calls received between 2-10 pm (κ = 0.793, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Remote tentative diagnosis using AD is safe and reliable. Reliability was generally very good but varied by dentist’s experience, caller-patient relationship, and time of call.

Fuente: Journal of Dentistry
Available online 26 April 2022, 104144