In France, all incarcerated prisoners are required to undergo a dental examination (Ministère de la santé et de la protection sociale, 2004 and Ministère de la justice, 2004). However, only one in two prisoners benefits from this oral health check-up. Oral teleconsultation could improve the quality of oral care in prisons. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The focus of this study was therefore to apply oral teleconsultation as an experiment. Using an oral teleconsultation system, a dentist and a nurse were separately asked to give patients a score, according to how urgently their dental issue needed to be treated. This score will henceforth be referred to as the “dental emergency scores given”.
The separate dental emergency scores given by the dentist and the nurse were compared and the results demonstrate the following: – 36.7 per cent (11) of the two scores were equal – 53.3 per cent (16) of the two scores differed by 1 point – 10 per cent (3) of the two scores differed by 2 points. The average score of the nurse was 2.23 and that of the dentist was 2.13. The small disparity should not obscure the fact that 63 per cent of the diagnoses turned out to be incorrect.
Dental care could easily be improved with oral teleconsultation as a care plan could be developed for each patient.
The condition of one’s dental health is, of course, very important for general health, but it also affects social aspects. Good oral hygiene and health are very important when looking for a job after having been released from prison.
This is the first study on oral teleconsultation in prisons. Dental care is rarely studied on prisoners. Telemedicine in dentistry is just beginning all over the world. This study is the first step of an extensive project in the University Hospital of Montpellier and the Villeneuve-les-Maguelone prison.
Giraudeau, N., Inquimbert, C., Delafoy, R., Tramini, P., Valcarcel, J. and Meroueh, F. (2017), "Teledentistry, new oral care tool for prisoners", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 124-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-04-2016-0011
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