Teledentistry: Dental hygiene students’ knowledge, attitudes, and curriculum recommendations

Caroline D. McLeod, Reuben Adatorwovor, Jennifer L. Brame, Benjamin A. White, Jane A. Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Research has shown an increase in dental hygiene (DH) students’ knowledge and attitudes toward teledentistry (TD) after TD training in states with permissive but not restrictive DH scope of practice policies. The purpose of this study was to identify self-reported knowledge and attitudes regarding TD among the DH students at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill before and after an educational intervention and student recommendations for TD curriculum placement. Methods: A faculty presentation and video demonstration, followed by small group discussions and a large group debriefing session were conducted at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry in March 2019. Participants were invited to complete a survey before and after the educational session. McNemar’s matched pair test was used to compare the proportion of the participants’ pre-and post-test responses. Results: Survey participants (n=30) included first year and second year DH students. There was significant difference (p<0.001) between pre and post self-reported knowledge of TD as well as a significant difference in participant’s response (p= 0.012) about facilitating consultation with health care specialists through TD in NC. There was a significant difference in favorable responses (p=0.0394) that TD could increase reimbursement to dentists to enhance the provision of more services in NC. Students identified didactic courses (43%), simulated cases (47%), and integration into the DH community rotations (66%) as potential ways to incorporate TD into curriculum. Most students (93%) identified DH restricted scope of practice as a barrier to TD implementation in NC. Conclusion: The educational session resulted in increased self-reported knowledge and demonstrated positive attitudes toward the adoption of TD into multiple facets of DH curriculum. A major barrier to its adoption into practice is the DH restricted scope of practice in NC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dental Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, American Dental Hygienists Association. All rights reserved.


  • access to care
  • dental hygiene education
  • dental hygiene students
  • teledentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dental Hygiene


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