Funding to the West Virginia University Research Corporation to support the education of a specifically targeted audience (general dentists, particularly in rural areas) to lead to routine implementation of "vital pulp therapy" in carious teeth with pulp exposures. The proposed initiative will utilize the existing WVU School of Dentistry Rural Faculty members. Faculty will be instructed in the correct techniques, procedures, and data recording and collection using virtual classroom venues and teledentistry for continued support. By maintaining tooth vitality and preserving retained vital teeth in the general population, this project will reduce costs, eliminate the need for complex conventional endodontic procedures (NSRCT), and improve oral health. Vital pulp therapy should be the norm, but is not, due to lack of knowledge and minimal exposure to the technique by general dentists, who are isolated in rural areas; therefore, creating the need for policy and funding changes. This initiative will help assure advanced patient care to those most in need by demonstrating the ease of the procedure to providers. This proposal is aligned with the Innovation Fund’s vision of taking an existing idea and applying it in a new way to create new value and utilizes technology to expand the capabilities. The proposal will incorporate teledentistry as developed by the University of the Pacific (supported by the DentaQuest Foundation). Ultimately, this project will strategically link funding and patient care through its innovation almost immediately. The long term effect of this innovation will provide a lifetime improvement for the community in general which will lead to adjustment of public policy for patient care.
Friday, March 1, 2013 to Friday, February 28, 2014