The Tellies 2020 Award Presentation and Interviews

2020 Full Awards Presentation

Awardee Interviews

Dr. Scott Howell

AT Still University/Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health

Award Category: Dentist/Specialist

Dr. Scott Howell has created a robust oral health program at AT Still University/Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). To date, the program Dr. Howell helped to launch has trained over 300 hundred 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. His program effectively pivoted during the pandemic by having students participate in one-week public health rotations. During this rotation, the students worked with diverse patients, including children in detention, children and adults with special needs, low-income seniors, and men in rehabilitation/reentry programs.

We noted that 81% of students reported feeling comfortable or very comfortable about using teledentistry after being part of Dr. Howell’s program and each year ATSU sees more and more students planning on using teledentistry in their practice. Over the last year, particularly as a result of COVID, the teledentistry program at ATSU-ASDOH expanded to work with AEGD and orthodontic residents.

Jingjing Qian RDH, EA

Your Special Smiles, Dr. Brooke Fukuoka

Award Category: Dental Hygiene

Jingjing Qian RDH, EA is awarded a 2020 Tellies in the Dental Hygiene category for being instrumental in developing and implementing a COVID reponse Guided Oral Hygiene program that continued oral care to long-term care residents who would otherwise not had 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 innovated. Working with her dentist, Dr. Brooke Fukuoka, she partnered with the on-site caregivers to ensure these patients would still receive regular oral hygiene services. Ms. Qian developed the Guided Oral Hygiene program through which caregivers were trained on how to gather information via teledentistry and then used live teledentistry interactions to help caregivers with patient-specific oral hygiene regimes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this teledentistry-enabled touchpoint was the only dental services many of these patients received for months. Her 2020 Tellies award reflects how individuals can respond to challenging times to still meet patient needs and create new care models that have long-term benefits.

University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health

Dr. Dorota Kopycka-Kedzierawski

Dr. Sean McLaren

Award Category: Oral Health Program

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. We note the innovative ways they have developed leveraging teledentistry to provide care to underserved patients in the Greater Rochester, NY region. Their innovative deployment of teledentistry in an access to health setting is part of a their long experience and highly successful track record in designing, implementing, and sustaining community-based oral health programs—including outreach programs that have been replicated nationwide. In addition, 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. We are awarding them the 2020 Teledentistry Innovation Awards for the Oral Health Program Category in the hope that their teledentistry success will also be a model to be replicated nationwide.

Dr. Barry Raphael

The Raphael Center for Integrative Orthodontics

Award Category: COVID-19 Response – Provider

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. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he had already been re-examining his traditional views on patient treatment and adopted a new integrative approach. 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. Dr. Raphael feels that teledentistry is an industry that could change how orthodontists approach oral health and patient treatment, especially when it is necessary to limit unnecessary face-time. Dr. Raphael and his team continue to integrate teledentistry into the orthodontics practice and set up methods of maintaining customer care while protecting both patients and practitioners. Dr. Raphael is awarded a 2020 Tellies for the COVID Response – Provider category for exemplifying how a provider can see opportunity in challenge by keeping excellence in patient care at the center.

Advantage Dental from DentaQuest Care Group

Kirill Zaydenman, Vice President, Innovation – DentaQuest

Todd R. Cruse, President – DentaQuest Care Group

Randy Blue, MPM, FAAPM, Vice President, Information Technology – DentaQuest Care Group

Fred Menko, Vice President, Marketing – DentaQuest Care Group

Sharity Ludwig, Director, Clinical Innovations – Advantage Dental from DentaQuest

Award Category: COVID-19 Response – Oral Health Program

The 2020 Teledentistry Innovation Award for Advantage Dental from DentaQuest Care Group highlights how teledentistry innovation can happen at every scale, from individual providers, to solo practices, to nationwide organizations. Advantage Dental and DentaQuest have long seen the value of teledentistry and how it can transform access to dental care. 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 facilitated with their providers and member service representatives, 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. The long term vision to roll out teledentistry as part of Advantage Dental’s services is well underway. They see themselves at the start of a journey with work ahead. Their Tellies award reflects their commitment to bringing technology to serve patients during a crisis like the pandemic, and beyond.