Dentist visit at home – Made possible by mobile dentistryThanks to modern dentistry, many dental procedures that were once considered unrealistic, exceptionally difficult, or even impossible in the relatively recent past are nowadays considered routine. Composite fillings that can make one’s teeth look like new, carefully dosed bleaching solutions that can return even heavily stained teeth to a pearly white state, and implants that can make tooth gaps look like they were never even there in the first place are just a few examples of the incredible scientific strides that modern dentistry has made. Nowadays, in the age of mobile technology, dentists can also opt to “go mobile” and fit virtually everything a modern dental practice needs into one to two special suitcases that they can take directly to their patients’ homes, upon request. This all sounds very futuristic but does it even make sense for a dental practice to “go mobile”?
Who benefits from dentist visits at home?Younger and healthier patients generally do not mind making a trip to the dental practice for their regular check-up visit every 6 months. For some (likely few), the periodical dentist visit even marks an interesting departure from the boring routine of everyday life. For others, however, who are no longer mobile (senior citizens, disabled persons, people in need of constant medical care), the trip to the dental practice can become a very strenuous and time-consuming exercise. To help this group of patients out, an increasing number of dentists are now offering dental services directly in their patients’ homes. For senior citizens, these home visits can also occur in their nursing or assisted living facilities and have the added benefit of stress reduction by not moving older patients outside of their physical comfort zones. Also, such home visits avoid the need for fairly costly specialized transport vehicles to and from the dental practice. Finally, having the dentist “go mobile” also helps patients suffering from dentophobia with calming down before and during their dental treatments by not exposing them to the sounds and smells of a dental practice.
What can a dentist do during a home visit?Dentists can make home visits for a variety of reasons including regular check-ups, specific procedures to address acute dental problems, and preventative treatments such as professional dental cleanings. Though modern technology has made the majority of a dentist’s standard equipment portable, the number of dental procedures that can be performed outside of a dental practice is still lower than that of procedures that can be performed inside a practice. In general, dentists can offer the following kinds of dental procedures to their patients during home visits:
- Regular check-up visits
- Cleaning and/or replacement of dental prosthetics
- Treatment of gum inflammations
- Bad breath reatment
- Repairs of tooth replacements (e.g., crowns, bridges)
- Tooth extractions (incl. anesthesia)
How much does a dentist visit at home cost?Generally, dental care services that are performed in a patient’s home cost the same as those that are performed inside a dental practice. However, for home visits, additional costs come into play because of the time and effort required to reach a patient’s home and to deploy the portable dental care equipment. Dentist travel costs are frequently determined based on time and distance traveled.
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