The University said that the four-year pilot project expects to address the access-to-care crisis in California by connecting patients in need with critical dental services.

The project, known as the Virtual Dental Home, will give participating dentists a simple yet secure means to electronically review patient’s dental records remotely with help from dental hygienists and dental assistants in underserved communities. After the review of records, the dentist will be able to recommend a plan for addressing the patient’s dental needs.

Paul Glassman, the director of the project and professor of dental practice at the Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry, said: “This care-delivery model provides a much-needed community-based virtual dental home for the state’s vulnerable people. As a result, these patients in need will be able to conveniently access dental services in their own communities and remove some of the barriers to receiving care in a traditional dental office setting.”

Marianne Haver Hill, president and CEO of MEND, said: “This telemedicine technology will allow us to connect more of our clients to needed dental care, even if a dentist is not immediately available on-site. MEND looks forward to a continued partnership with Verizon, the California Dental Association Foundation and the University of the Pacific to better serve our patients.”

Tim McCallion, west region president of Verizon said, “The Virtual Dental Home is an example of how technology can innovate and improve the delivery of essential health care services in our society. Verizon is proud to partner with the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, the California Dental Association Foundation, the California Healthcare Foundation and other supporters to bring this important health care project to the communities that need it most.”