Teledentistry for Arizona Children

Tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood especially for Arizona children.  Many Arizona Children start school with tooth decay, a disease that is largely preventable.  Early tooth decay can start in children as soon as the first teeth erupt and progresses with age.  By the time Arizona children reach 3rd grade, over 75% of them have experienced tooth decay. Arizona’s oral health workforce is challenged by the high dental needs of the state’s children, especially in rural areas which extend into 80% of the state’s land. Workforce solutions are complex and require a multi-level approach for improving access to care.

Recent initiatives to improve the oral health workforce have lead many partners to a readiness to promote strategies to enhance dental teams. These strategies include teledentistry practice. Teledentistry practice utilizes offsite collaborating dentists to coordinate dental care using electronic and communication technologies to reach children and populations in underserved areas.

You can learn more about how Teledentistry can help individuals, communities and providers by watching our video.

About the Author

Julia Wacloff, RDH, MS is the Dental Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Office of Oral Health. She works with ADHS leadership and management on a variety of public health functions as related to oral health. Prior to joining the ADHS, Ms. Wacloff served as an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Oral Health. There she participated as the lead epidemiologist for the Surveillance, Investigations and Research Team providing technical assistance and support to States with surveillance and research related to preventing oral diseases. She has over 15 years of experience in various public health settings providing needs assessment, policy development and quality assurance at local, state and national levels. Ms. Wacloff has held various faculty positions in dental and dental hygiene institutions. She earned her Master’s degree in Dental Public Health from Boston University; a Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene Education from the University of Minnesota and holds certificates in epidemiology and dental hygiene.