Reaching Out – Traditional vs Digital Models for Multiplying the Special Care Dentistry Workforce

Dr Zikra AlKhayal

Dr AlKhayal is a consultant in pediatric dentistry at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh Saudi Arabia. She has over two decades of experience in dealing with medically compromised children and children with special health care needs. She has been instrumental in establishing the oral health component of the Saudi Hemophilia Society and is an active organizer of community oral health outreach programs. Lorena Sepúlveda, Chile

Dr Sharat Pani

Dr Pani is Program Director of Pediatric Dentistry at Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh. He has published extensively on the role of digital communication in preventive dentistry. Currently he is involved with the development of a mobile phone based teledentistry platform that will allow for special care dentistry consultations in far flung areas.


The advent of mobile phone based internet platforms has revolutionized multimedia communication. The use of platforms for group messaging offer the dentist to consult with colleagues and specialists across the globe. There is however, a need to understand the emerging relationship between existing models of outreach and the newer digital models of communication. This workshop will illustrate using data collected in Saud Arabia, how mobile phone teledentistry can be integrated into existing outreach networks. The workshop will also show the success and limitations of such a hybrid model and demonstrate how teledentistry can be used as a workforce multiplier for special care dentistry.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the use of teledentistry in the diagnosis and management of patients with special health
  • Assess how to expand the reach of existing networks by integrating teledentistry and mobile phone based consultation services
  • Understand the limitations of technology and the liabilities of such an approach
  • Comprehend the functioning and setting up of cloud based store and share platforms for diagnostic imagining
  • Critically evaluate existing evidence for the use of such a hybrid platform