The 2024

Teledentistry Innovation
Awards

Who is helping transform oral health care?

Why the Tellies?

2024 continues to see growth in how dental providers and organizations understand the importance of telehealth capabilities in dental care and oral health.

Who has been helping to shape best practices, create new approaches, and make the technology work for real-world benefits? The Tellies is here to help dentistry learn from innovators.

Help the world learn from those leading the way. Please nominate your candidate for the MouthWatch Teledentistry Innovation Award, “The Tellies”.

Nominate an Innovator…

Award Details

The Teledentistry Innovation Award will be selected from
submissions received through these nominations. We are
looking to award Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Care
Programs and Educational Institutions. See further details on award
categories below.

Awardees will:

• Receive a cash grant of $1000
• Be invited to speak at the award ceremony and other
possible speaking opportunities
• Have their business, practice or program highlighted in a
press release and announcements from MouthWatch

Dentist/Specialist

GPs or specialists using teledentistry/virtual care in ways that have improved patient journeys and/or clinical workflows.

Hygienist

Hygienists implementing teledentistry to help expand access to care and improve patient care, in any setting, public or private.

Industry Innovation

Any person or organization innovating in the dental space where teledentistry/virtual care plays a key role.

Educational Institution

Dental/Hygiene schools, universities and other education providers integrating teledentistry into the curriculum or services they provide.

Oral Health Program

Organizations, public health programs, DSOs and other care delivery efforts that have utilized teledentistry/virtual care in ways that transform and enhance clinical care and patient experience.

Award
Eligibility

Nominees may be using any teledentistry application that remotely connects patients to providers, or providers to providers for coordinating care. The application can be in any setting: private practice, group practice, schools, senior care, medical/dental integration, dental specialists, dental vendors (such as labs) and in any dental professional role. International nominees are welcome!

Past Winners

2023

Swope Health
Oral Health Program Innovator:
Swope Health Mobile Dental Unit

In the 2022-2023 school year, the Swope Health Mobile Dental Unit (MDU) served 2700 children across the Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas school districts, employing a preventative RDH model that offers a comprehensive range of services.The RDH team captures all the IO photos and X-rays, which are then transmitted back to a dentist in a brick-and-mortar clinic asynchronously. This digital transfer facilitates efficient treatment planning and patient scheduling, ensuring that the necessary dental care is provided promptly.

Robyn Shafer, RDH
Dental Hygiene Innovator:
Robyn Shafer, RDH

Robyn Shafer, RDH, joined the Mainely Teeth team in October 2022, and has since served over 30 individual schools, working with students from kindergarten through 12th grade. With just three years in the field, Robyn has connected hundreds of students across Maine to care. Robyn Shafer’s rapid adoption of teledentistry has enabled Mainely Teeth to reach and triage patients who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to receive dental care. Using teledentistry, Mainely Teeth team members can easily access patient records, connect with patients remotely, share documentation with families, triage urgent cases, and refer patients to specialists, ensuring that everyone they see gets the care they need and deserve.

Middlesex College
Dental Education Innovator:
Middlesex College

Middlesex College’s faculty and students offer dental care for underserved populations at pre-schools and schools for special needs students in New Jersey. With on-site preventive treatment, synchronous and asynchronous communication with clinic dentists, and streamlined documentation, they are making a significant impact in improving oral healthcare access for this vulnerable community. Faculty and students are able to collaborate synchronously or asynchronously with an off-site consulting dentist using teledentistry, enabling the dentist to view charts from anywhere and seamlessly communicate with on-site students and faculty.

Dr. Nathan Suter
Dental Innovator:
Dr. Nathan Suter

Dr. Nathan Suter, Chief Innovation Officer and Dental Director at Enable Dental, accepted the 2023 Tellie in the Dental Innovator category for his commitment to expanding access to high-quality dental care and driving the seamless integration of technology into traditional dental practice, while showcasing its transformative benefits. Dr. Suter serves as an educator and advocate, helping practices integrate teledentistry into their services through seminars, webinars, and other educational formats, while also being involved in legislative efforts to shape and clarify regulations, making it easier for dental professionals to implement teledentistry.

Marko Vujicic
Dental Industry Innovator:
American Dental Association Health Policy Institute – Marko Vujicic

With a strong commitment to improving access to quality oral healthcare, the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, serves as a reliable source of data and evidence-based insights for dental professionals, policymakers, and the public. Marko Vujicic is a visionary leader dedicated to innovation in dentistry. As the driving force behind the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI), his leadership has fueled numerous advancements in the field of dentistry. Through meticulous research, data analysis, and evidence-based insights, Marko and the Health Policy Institute have become trusted sources of knowledge for dental professionals, policymakers, and the public alike.

2022

Kwane Watson
Dentist/Specialist:
Dr. Jin Xiao
Dr. Jin Xiao has transformed the clinical examination process by pushing the limits of teledentistry and combining teledentistry and artificial intelligence. Dr. Jin Xiao is among the first to incorporate artificial intelligence into existing teledentistry technologies, making teledentistry more effective, productive, and accessible to the communities she serves. This combination has transformed how she screens for dental caries outside a traditional clinic setting, making diagnosing and formulating treatment plans as convenient and accessible as possible.
Tiffany Grant, RDH
Dental Hygienist:
Tiffany Grant, RDH
As an advocate and champion of teledentistry for almost a decade, Tiffany Grant has traveled around the country presenting on the topic of teledentistry and has helped launch several successful teledentistry programs for associations, dental schools, and non-profits throughout the United States. She began delivering teledentistry at the first Missouri pilot program serving schools, nursing homes, and FQHC primary care offices. Tiffany is now using teledentistry in the private practice setting at Green Leaf Dental Care to expand hygiene hours and make dental care more accessible for those in her community.
Fones School of Dental Hygiene, University of Bridgeport
Educational Institution:
Fones School of Dental Hygiene, University of Bridgeport
The Fones School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Bridgeport was awarded a $225,000 grant that enabled their students to provide dental care to children, the homeless, senior citizens, veterans, and pregnant women, using teledentistry. They plan to continue this effort by making teledentistry and mobile dentistry a clinical rotation experience for all second-year students. Additionally, the Fones School of Dental Hygiene has developed a program that educates pregnant women on their heightened risk for oral health problems while providing on-site treatments to those in need.
Apple Tree Dental
Dental Organization:
Apple Tree Dental
 
Apple Tree Dental has made teledentistry an integral part of their dental services to underserved areas in North Dakota and Minnesota. Their incorporation of teledentistry played a crucial role in their mid-pandemic projects that targeted triaging urgent dental concerns and providing services to children with special needs including autism, developmental delays, and rare genetic conditions that typical dental offices are not comfortable treating. Virtual consultations were crucial to the success of their projects, as Apple Tree Dental recorded increases in pediatric patients seen, reduced wait time for appointments, and more productive in-clinic time. In-office visits were also more accessible to patients and their parents, saving them time, money, missed work time, and the need to arrange for childcare.
Floss and Gloss
Oral Health Program:
Floss and Gloss
Teledentistry has been a pivotal part of The Floss and Gloss Program from the Purchase District Health Department. Their teledentistry rollout in 2019 has allowed them to expand oral care accessibility to school aged children across Western Kentucky. The Floss and Gloss program has since grown and is now part of 38 different schools. This year, the teledentistry program will have two dentists and will be introducing SDF treatments on qualifying children in their pilot program to treat tooth sensitivity and slow tooth decay.
Kwane Watson
Dentist/Specialist:
Dr. Kwane Watson
 
Dr. Watson has pioneered methods to utilize teledentistry in a way that makes mobile concierge dentistry more effective, productive, and profitable – while also enhancing the experience for patients. He has greatly impacted the city of Louisville, KY with his practice Kare Mobile and continues to be a leader within the community with his outreach and work through his non-profit On-Demand Kare.
Harvard School of Dental Medicine Graduates
Educational Institution:
Harvard School Of Dental Medicine
The disruptive nature of the pandemic provided an opportunity to rethink and redesign courses at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM). Dr. Sahni, a faculty member at HSDM who has been a dentist for over a decade and a half, saw the importance of teledentistry and teaching students about modern treatment options and technology.
Ravenswood Family Health Center
Oral Health Program:
Health Ravenswood Family Health Center
In 2012, a grant from San Mateo F5 and a partnership with Arthur A. Dugoni Pacific School of Dentistry, enabled Ravenswood Family Health Center to pilot telehealth services with the goal of increasing access to diagnostic and preventive services. As part of this project, Ravenswood partnered with preschools in the community where services were provided by a dental hygienist. Additionally, Ravenswood implemented synchronous teledentistry visits to provide same-day preventive and diagnostic visits for children 12 months to 3 years of age who were seen in their pediatric medical clinics.
Michelle Vacha
Dental Hygienist:
Michelle Vacha, RDH, BS
Throughout Michelle Vacha’s journey in meeting the needs of her community, she found that teledentistry was the best way to increase access to care. Her goal is to increase access to care to underserved populations by going into schools, institutions such as nursing facilities, and rural counties, and to bring oral health care into overall health care. She sees that teledentistry can help dental teams collaborate with physicians treating diabetes, surgeons performing joint replacement, and emergency rooms seeing trauma victims and oral pain. Below, Michelle shares her inspirational motivation for starting her nonprofit, Community Dental Health.
Dental Innovator: Dr. Scott Howell
Dr. Scott Howell has created a robust oral health program at AT Still University/Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). The program Dr. Howell helped to launch has trained hundreds of students in teledentistry. Students learn about the concept of teledentistry and examine how they can use it to reach a diverse patient population while also evaluating digital records collected via teledentistry. 
Hygiene Innovator: Jingjing Qian RDH, EA
Jingjing Qian RDH, EA was instrumental in developing and implementing a COVID response Guided Oral Hygiene program that continued oral care to long-term care residents who would otherwise not have these critical services. When the pandemic hit, Jingjing and her fellow team members could no longer go in-person to provide dental hygiene care to residents of the long-term care facility. Jingjing and her dentist, Dr. Brooke Fukuoka, partnered with the on-site caregivers to ensure these patients would still receive regular oral hygiene services.
Oral Health Program Innovator: University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health
The University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health has produced significant studies on teledentistry. But their innovation has not only been reflected in research but in real-world implementation in oral health programs. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic generated a rapid expansion of the EIOH teledentistry program, allowing patients across multiple service lines to maintain contact with their providers when it was not safe or possible to receive care in person.
COVID-19 Response – Provider Innovator: Dr. Barry Raphael
During the pandemic’s height, many professionals were pausing dental procedures and maintenance appointments because the close proximity of face-to-face interactions posed a very real risk of transmission. Dr. Barry Raphael, a practicing orthodontist for over 30 years, decided to pivot instead of pause. With his patient’s safety as a top priority, he implemented teledentistry. All intraoral photos are submitted remotely, new patient records are completed electronically, and all consultations are conducted through a web-based platform. 
COVID-19 Response – Oral Health Program Innovator: Advantage Dental from DentaQuest Care Group
Teledentistry was long supported through Advantage Dental’s outreach and mobile programs. The recent teledentistry rollout across their practice locations was even more crucial in addressing urgent care needs during Covid-19. Through virtual consultations, patients had easy access to clinical expertise when practices were open only for emergencies. As practices reopened, Advantage Dental saw the numbers reflect that their teledentistry platform improved the patient experience, saved time for patients and providers, and helped bring convenience for patients already facing access challenges.

2019

Dental Innovator: Paul Labbe, DDS – Planet Dental

Dr. Labbe is a pediatric dentist with 5 office locations. He uses teledentistry to provide care to underserved children in his community. Teledentistry enables him and his team to conduct dental screenings at local schools and then in turn, provide the parents and guardians with diagnosis and treatment plans with the option to bring their children to one of his offices for restorative treatment.

Oral Health Program Innovator:
MiQuel McRae, RDH – ToothBUDDS

Miquel founded ToothBUDDS, a non-profit
that employs a team of dental hygienists to
provide oral care to underserved children in
her area – Many of which have some form
or oral disease. Miquel and her team
provide education, screenings, cleanings
and fluoride treatments in local school
settings. Thanks to teledentistry, they can
connect children with urgent dental needs
to a local dentist, so they don’t fall through
the cracks.

Hygiene Innovator: Angie Stone, RDH – Hylife Oral Health Alliance
Angie and her team of oral care specialists provide onsite hygiene services to elderly patients who live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and private homes. They use teledentistry to document each patient visit with intraoral photos and videos and to communicate with family members and participating dentists to ensure that their clients receive restorative care when needed.
PIONEER AWARD: Paul Glassman, DDS, MA, MBA, – University of the Pacific

Dr. Glassman is the first recipient in the newly created “Teledentistry Pioneer” category. He is the founder of the Virtual Dental Home Program, whereby he and his team at the University of the Pacific developed a more efficient way to connect patients to dental care through the combination of technology and innovation. This care-delivery model, combined with his efforts in education, in supporting legislative changes that support teledentistry and improve access to care have helped create a landscape where more and more programs and providers are interested in teledentistry and the opportunities it creates.

2018

Dr. Brittany Kinol – Miracle Dental
With two offices in the Pittsburgh area,
Miracle Dental reaches children in a range of settings that are most convenient for them and their families.By coordinating care delivery with Head Start programs, schools, and public insurance carriers, Miracle Dental’s mobile hygienists use teledentistry to deliver preventive care to students in the most convenient way possible.
Liz Best – NYU School of Dentistry
Liz is a grants administrator at the
New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry,
who obtained a Human Resources & Services Administration grant to fund the implementation
of teledentistry technology into the school’s curriculum. Working with TeleDent, NYU has incorporated teledentistry technology into second
year coursework.
Staci Stout, RDH, BSDH – Smart Smiles
Smart Smiles, a school-based oral health program based in Utah that focuses on prevention. Its mobile hygiene program provides care to children at school to ensure they have access to oral healthcare. A team of hygienists equipped with portable preventive care equipment and teledentistry technology see children at more than 30 schools in the Salt Lake City area.

Our Vision

MouthWatch creates tools for connected dentistry.

Our passion for connecting patients and providers led us to the develop the only software solution designed specifically for the implementation of teledentistry across a range of settings. By connecting all dental care providers through groundbreaking software, effective dental care delivery can now be unleashed no matter where a patient might be located. Using teledentistry, care providers are reaching new groups of patients, in a sustainable and profitable manner – addressing access to care issues for patients along with the business and care-delivery challenges that today’s dental care providers face.

TeleDent, the MouthWatch teledentistry solution, streamlines collaboration between patients, dentists, hygienists, specialists and other health care providers across a wide range of settings.

In 2018, we launched the Teledentistry Innovation Award to highlight the varied ways that teledentistry is being implemented across the spectrum of dental care and dental providers that are realizing the potential for connected dental care technology to reshape the nature of dentistry and oral health in the US and beyond!