Ms Judith Ottaway1
1Perth Children’s Hospital, Nedlands, Australia
The increasing adoption of artificial intelligence by clinicians in the form of Tele-Dentistry, has allowed the virtual exchange of oral and dentally-related clinical information. Relevant information may include the diagnosis of dental caries, diagnosis of trauma and infection, assessment of oral hygiene, orthodontic screening and the formulation of remote treatment plans.
Dental Monitoring is a Telehealth technology software which allows dental clinicians assess and determine orthodontic treatment needs, without the patient being present. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to offer alternative treatment modalities at the Dental Outpatient Clinic at Perth Childrens’ Hospital. The inability of patients to attend appointments during the lockdown in early 2020 removed the capacity to review vulnerable patients with active appliances.
To provide a potential solution, a pilot study of patients undergoing Rapid Maxillary Expansion and subsequent Fixed Appliance Therapy was undertaken to review the efficacy of digital dental monitoring. The study also assessed the accuracy of orthodontic treatment outcomes, with the goal of reducing the number of patient presentations, while maintaining or improving patient oral health standards. Using Dental Monitoring, the study measured the number of clinical presentations, oral health status and clinical tooth movement, comparing those results with patients undergoing the same treatment without Dental Monitoring (i.e. in face-to-face reviews in the outpatient clinic). The methodology required patients to provide photos and videos using a smartphone through a platform that tracked tooth movement and collected data relating to oral health, hardware breakages and appliance activity. Through the Dental Monitoring application, the clinician viewed patient treatment progress, provided clinical direction and professionally reviewed the patient remotely, reducing the need for frequent maintenance appointments. Results will be presented at the Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association 6th International Conference.
Judith Ottaway is a Senior Dental Therapist with more than thirty years’ experience working in specialist and general dental practice, as well as the hospital environment. Registered as a Dental Therapist with AHPRA, Judith continues to provide a wide range of clinical activities that include working with the child and adult patient on private, public and priority populations.
She currently holds the position of Dental Clinic Coordinator in the Department of Dental Medicine – Perth Children’s Hospital. This senior role requires her to apply her extensive experience within a health service provider to manage areas of governance, policy, business processes and budgeting.
Judith is a Life Member of the Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapy Association (ADOHTA) and she is the current holder of ADOHTA’s National Professional Advocate Leader of the Year Award (an award that recognises those oral health practitioners that exemplify commitment to oral health care in Australia).
As a Director of Edge Professional Development, Judith also operates a business which provides continuing education seminars and workshops to the dental community throughout Western Australia. She is a well-known, highly respected and motivated member of the broader dental community.