1 Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, Taibah University Dental College & Hospital, Prince, Naif Ibn Abdulazia, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwrah, 42353, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Conservative Dental Sciences, Jouf University College of Dentistry, Al Aziziyyah, Sakaka , Al Jawf, 72345, Saudi Arabia
Teledentistry has gained popularity worldwide because it is cost-effective and increase accessibility to dental healthcare. This study assessed the self-perceptions of teledentistry among dental practitioners in Saudi Arabia and examinedany gender-related differences.
This cross-sectional study was conducted between January and December 2017 and recruited a convenience sample of dental practitioners, whose self-perceptions of the practice-related use of teledentistry were assessed viaateledentistry survey (TDS). The TDS consisted off our sections:efficiency in patient care, cost reduction,capabilities forimproving practice, and security and confidentiality.Data analyseswere conducted throughdescriptive statistics,internalreliability tests(Cronbach’s alpha), andchi-squaredtests of the TDS.
The response rate was 620/800(78%). Most respondents were female (62%), and 58% of themworked in the public sector. The internal reliability of the TDS was 0.85 for the whole sampleand 0.85 and 0.90 for males and females, respectively. Among the entire sample, 51% agreed that teledentistry reduced potential cost, and 65% reported shortened waitlists. More females (42%, p<0.001) than males (22%) agreed that teledentistry could help monitor a patient’s condition.More females (35%) than males (13%, p<0.001) considered that teledentistry would require additional appointments for imaging. More females(29%, p=0.0001) than males (22%) expressed great concern aboutpotential violations of confidentiality.
These findings suggest thatteledentistry in dental practiceis well perceived by practitioners in Saudi Arabia. Gender differences in perceptions are linked to certain aspects of teledentistry.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, Taibah University Dental College & Hospital, Prince, Naif Ibn Abdulazia, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwrah, 42353, Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966 504665331; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org