Technology has mobilized almost all aspects of our lives including dentistry. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more dental patients and dental practices are seeking mobile dental clinics, tele-dentistry, and house calls.
Although doctors and dentists paying home visits is not entirely a new thing, most patients traditionally receive care at dentist offices which are equipped with comfortable dental chairs, waterline, light and all other big and small equipment and supplies. Thanks to recent advances in technology, many dental equipment can be portable and can be used in a truck, trailer, and home.
In this article, we will explain different types of mobile dentistry and how they work.
Teledentistry – Zoom with Your Dentist
Teledentistry (or telehealth in dentistry) is a category of solutions that use electronic information, imaging, and communication technologies to service patients’ oral health at a distance. The encounter can be synchronous or asynchronous. In a synchronous setting, the dentist examines the patient in real time using a video chat. Typically, a dental hygienist or dental assistant is with the patient and uses an intraoral camera so the dentist can visually inspect the area of interest. In essence, it is like a Zoom meeting with your dentist. In an asynchronous setting, the dentist would review radiographic images and photos/videos later. Teledentistry has been used in remote areas where a dentist is not readily accessible or for specialist consultations. It helps to help avoid the first trip to assess the patient’s condition.
In the early months of COVID-19, 71% of patients had considered telemedicine while half had already gone through with a virtual appointment. The telemedicine upward trend began even before the COVID pandemic and according to Medical Economics, 83% of patients expect to use telemedicine even after the pandemic resolves. According to the State of Reform, telehealth grew 1,393 percent between 2014 and 1028.
Dental Innovations of Virginia provides teledentistry as an option when our patient has a dental emergency or needs treatment plan presentation. It is much easier to see the mouth and show examples via video than trying to explain only verbally.
Mobile Clinic on Wheels: Your Dentist in an RV
With a mobile clinic on wheels, dental services are provided via a specially equipped trailer or truck (28 to 30-foot truck) that can be driven to/relocated to different locations. Inside the mobile clinic, you will basically find the same basic equipment at a typical brick-and-mortar dentist office: full-functioned dental chairs, small and large equipment, sterilizing area, and office area. The mobile clinic oftentimes is connected to the Internet via Wi-FI cellular service.
Dental Innovations of Virginia operates our Mobile Clinic on Wheels to serve larger patient communities such as long-term care facilities or retirement communities.
Home Visit/Housecall: Your Dentist with a Dental Carry-on Bag
For patients with limited mobility, or with other difficulties traveling to a dentist office, your dentist can visit you at the comfort of your home instead. Most dental equipment such as dental engine, dental chair, light system, ultrasonic, suction, and x-ray machine are available in portable versions.
Dental Innovations of Virginia provides home visits through partnerships with area community home care services. It is incredibly special when we are welcomed by our patients who have a hard time coming out of their home.
How can I get mobile dental services by DIVA?
Please see our DIVA Mobile page for more info, or call us at 703-454-5656. We will gladly walk you through the process to determine what service fits your needs and next steps. It is just as simple as scheduling an appointment.