The aim of the study was to test the reliability of mobile phone teledentistry in the diagnosis and treatment planning of dental caries of children in mixed dentition.
A total of 57 cases, aged 6-12 years, among six examiners were used yielding 342 comparisons. The patients were examined by a dentist who was calibrated in the recording of oral findings in children using the World Health Organization (WHO) oral health assessment form for children (version 2013), which served as the gold standard for diagnosis. Six paediatric dentists calibrated using the same WHO form served as the teledentistry group and made their diagnoses using only the images sent to them without the use of radiographs. The pictures obtained were stored on an online cloud platform (Google Drive). The sharing links for these pictures were forwarded to participating dentists using a social media application (WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook Corp., Mountain View, CA).
This study showed greater sensitivity than specificity, and though both sensitivity and specificity were constantly above 80%, it can be stated that the current model has a higher chance of false positive results than false negative results. The reliability of teledentistry in this study is greater in primary teeth than in permanent teeth.
Although the use of teledentistry without radiographs is not as accurate as clinical examination, mobile phone teledentistry offers acceptable reliability for the initial diagnosis of caries in children.