A new survey from the Department of Health shows keiki in Hawaii have the highest number of tooth-decay cases in the country.
They hope to change that by expanding the West Hawaii Teledentistry Pilot Project to Maui.
The tele-health system connects patients in rural areas, mostly low-income families, to dental teams providing diagnostic and preventive care they might not otherwise get.
"Better care, better access, and less expensive care. Timely care, preventative care. So I see it as any other health issue. We are now taking health to where people are, instead of expecting them to always come to an office. Particularity for those who are less mobile, the disabled, the elderly, kids that are in school. We don't want to take them out of school. It's about taking care to them. And that to me, that's the beauty of it," Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawaii Department of Health said.
The program is made possible through funding from the Hawaii Dental Service Foundation and a public-private partnership with the University of the Pacific's School of Dentistry.