Promising Practice

Virtual Dental Home Project

State/Jurisdiction: Hawaii
Setting: Community Virtual
Population: Adolescents & Young Adults Children Women & Maternal
Topic Area: Access to Quality Healthcare Safe and Connected Communities Telehealth Primary & Preventative Care
NPMs: NPM 13.2: Preventative Dental Visit – Child/Adolescent

The Virtual Dental Home System of Care (VDH) is a community-based oral health delivery system, developed in California, in which people receive dental diagnostic, preventive, and early intervention services in non-clinical community settings such as schools, WIC, Head Start sites, low-income community centers, and nursing homes. The VDH uses affordable, portable dental equipment and telehealth technology to link dental hygienists and dental assistants in the community with dentists in dental offices and clinics; providing access to a full dental team and comprehensive dental care. The community-based dental hygienists/dental assistants collect dental records (including intraoral photographs, teeth charting, and digital x-rays) and provide preventive care (teeth cleanings, fluoride applications, and dental sealants) for patients in community settings. The community-based clinical team uploads the patient information through a secure web-based cloud storage system for review by a dentist at a clinic or dental office. The records are not reviewed in real time, but at the convenience of the dentist (i.e. before and after office hours, during openings in the schedule including downtime created by patient cancellations). Based on the review, the dentists diagnose, complete the exam and develop treatment plans. In Hawaii, the Virtual Dental Home (VDH) model of service delivery was piloted to reach young children in underserved areas. The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), PCSC, and the West Hawaii Community Health Center (WHCHC) are collaborating on a 3-year VDH pilot project in Kona, on the island of Hawaii.

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Implementation Handout
VDH Article

University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
Paul Glassman DDS, MA, MBA Professor of Dental Practice Director, Community Oral Health Director, Pacific Center for Special Care
Practice Website