Teledentistry and online referral system in Indonesian primary health care center during the COVID-19 pandemic: A narrative review

Ninuk Hariyani, Namita Shanbhag, Ekawati Wasis Wijayati, Arie Wahyu Prananta, Dini Setyowati, Retno Palupi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aims: This review aims to map the needs and challenges in the application of teledentistry and online referral system encountered by dental health care professionals in Indonesian primary health care centers (puskesmas) to provide safe dental health service to the population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: Literature search was undertaken of both in Indonesian and overseas context related to teledentistry. Narrative review of the literature was written to present the challenges, solutions, and application of teledentistry at Puskesmas to optimize oral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Online referral system and teledentistry are options to help dental health service delivery in the pandemic era. While it has been adopted in many private clinics, there are many challenges to adopt it at the puskesmas level due to a lack of infrastructure, human resources, and budget allocation. While the Indonesian government has plans to support the digitization in the education and health sector, this pandemic shall pose an opportunity for Indonesian health department to develop and facilitate the use of teledentistry and online referral system. During this situation, health cadres can bridge the relationship between Puskesmas and the poor community through the help of teledentistry. Conclusions: The government commitment in applying online referral system and teledentistry in Puskesmas is needed. Dental education institutions can help to supply human resources, who are capable of developing and carrying out the most suitable teledentistry application for all stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Health system access
  • Pandemic
  • Referral system
  • Teledentistry


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