Four dental professionals were recognized by MouthWatch for their innovative use of teledentistry within their practices and organizations.

MouthWatch honored 4 pioneering teledentistry practitioners and programs, naming them winners of its fifth annual Teledentistry Innovation Awards.

Also known as the Tellies, the awards recognize individual dental providers who improve the state of oral and systemic health by actively using teledentistry.

“During the past year of recovery, we’ve seen a tremendous uptick in teledentistry innovation and adoption,” said Brant Herman, MouthWatch chief executive officer and founder. “Each of this year’s Tellie winners represents diverse types of teledentistry programs, but all are focused on improving access to care and patient outcomes.”   

The Tellies also highlights how teledentistry is being implemented across a broad spectrum of dental care, including public health, private practice, and organizational settings.

The 2021 Teledentistry Innovation Awards winners were named in the following categories: Dental Education, Dentist/Specialist, Dental Hygiene, and Oral Health Program (non-profit or business).

Shibani Sahni, BDS, MMSc, from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, won the Dental Education category. 

Sahni helped the Harvard School of Dental Medicine launch a teledentistry pilot program to establish continuity to its special needs dental care program and expand the teaching modality for its students. The pilot was a success and is being expanded.

Kwame Watson, DMD, founder of Kare Mobile, won in the Dentist/Specialist category. Watson pioneered teledentistry to make mobile concierge dentistry more efficient, productive, and profitable.

Michelle Vacha, RDH, BS, from Community Dental Health, won in the Dental Hygiene category. Vacha founded Community Dental Health to increase access to care in underserved populations using teledentistry.

Yogita Thakur, the chief dental officer of the Ravenswood Dental Health Center, won in the Oral Health Program category. Thakur used a grant to pilot a teledentistry program called Virtual Dental Home using telehealth’s asynchronous, store and forward principles.

Nominations for next year’s Tellie Awards are currently being accepted online.

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