Maine launches virtual dental program for children

The state of Maine recently launched a virtual dental service program to increase access to dental care for children, ABC affiliate WMTW reported May 13. 

The Children's Oral Health Network of Maine, a collaborative group of organizations and individuals working to ensure proper oral health for the children in the state, was given $650,000 in federal funds to launch the program. 

The program establishes a "virtual dental home," which children become patients of but receive preventive and early intervention care in school and primary care settings. Dental practitioners use telehealth technology to share photos, images and assessment results with dentists at their 

office locations. The dentists then complete the exam remotely and create a treatment plan for follow-up care as needed. The Children's Oral Health Network of Maine said the program's model eliminates logistical barriers that parents face with getting their children to a dental office.

Two pilot programs have been established so far, serving Somerset, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Kennebec counties. Three more sites are planned to launch by August to service five more counties.

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