Research shows that there is a strong link between heart diseases and gum disease. Gum diseases and tooth decay can affect the quality of life for the elderly. Regular dental care ensures that aging patients remain hearty and healthy.
However, more often than not, they do not seek dental treatment due to various disabilities. An at-home dentist ensures that housebound and elderly patients receive proper dental care. Equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, they provide dental care in the comfort of their home.
This article takes you through at-home dentistry, its benefits, services, and more. Not sure how this works, we also show you the entire process from making an appointment to the dental visit.
Do Dentists do House Calls?
Not all dentists do house calls. Only a mobile dentist has the training or equipment to treat you at home. They make house call visits to
- Independent living homes
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Retirement homes
A mobile dentist can do dental treatments in beds or wheelchairs where ever the patient feels comfortable. They do almost anything that is done in an office.
What is Mobile Dentistry?
The practice of providing dental care for a patient in their own home is called mobile dentistry. This makes it possible for seniors and bedbound patients to receive dental care. They are a mobile dental clinic equipped with portable technology that allows a dentist to provide quality care. It may include:
- Wheeled dental units
- Sterilization units
- Handheld Xrays
- Custom dental chairs
This enables the dentists to diagnose and treat various dental issues at home or at-site. Mobile dentists are also highly qualified to treat dental emergencies at your house.
Why Choose a Home Dental Care?
There are many reasons why a patient may choose at-home dental care instead of a clinic. The most important of them are disability and advanced age. People with disabilities find it hard to travel to a clinic and, above all, wait for their turn. Other patients who may require are people with:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Visual impairments
- Cognitive disabilities
Fitted out with state-of-the-art mobile equipment, home dental care provides the same quality of care as a traditional setting. This allows them to be independent while availing dental care in the confines of their home.
In-home dentistry also helps the dentist understand the home environment. This makes it easy to adjust their treatment. Home visits also benefit people who are low on time. Since there are no waiting times, patients on a time crunch can still work and not lose their oral health.
How Does At-Home Dental Care Work?
Not able to visit a dentist for some reason? An at-home dentist will come to you at your own home. While the choices are limited, they should be able to perform any essential treatment. However, keep in mind that not all dentists do home visits.
You need to find a dental service that specializes in at-home dentistry. Google and Yelp can do the leg work for you and find some relevant dentists close to you. Here’s how it works.
Schedule Dental Exams
You should be able to book an appointment online or via phone. Once your appointment is booked, the dentist will contact you to discuss the timings of the visit. Do not wait in case of dental emergencies. In-home dentists are experienced in handling any dental emergency.
Dental Team Visit
The visiting dental professionals perform an evaluation, including x-rays in the patient’s home. If any immediate treatment is necessary, they will get it out of the way in the first visit. In case the patient needs any continued care, they will work with you to schedule another visit. For example, in the case of dentures, impressions need to be sent to the lab. And the denture will be fitted in the follow-up visit.
Mobile dentists also do routine cleaning for maintaining proper dental health. It also helps protect against decay. You will be required to make a follow-up appointment as and when needed. They also instruct the family members or the caregiver about the oral care needed for the patient.
Routine Follow-up Visits
According to the experts, you need to do a routine dental checkup every six months. And a periodic cleaning every three months. Regular dental exams and cleanings are vital for good oral health.
They will also schedule any follow-up visits, including periodic checkups. Any logistics related to the schedule will be taken care of by them.
What Does a House Call from a Dentist Entail?
A mobile dentist specializes in treating a patient from the comfort of their own home. They work with the patient for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental diseases.
A house call with your dentist includes an oral assessment wherein they evaluate your oral and general health. Then they formulate an oral therapy (prevention and maintenance) for continued treatment. They will also treat you within the scope of their practice.
In case of any issues with your dental prosthetics, a visiting prosthodontist should be able to help you. However, it may take multiple visits from a dentist.
Benefits of At-Home Dental Care
Though the reach of mobile dentistry is not as broad as a traditional setting, it has quite a few benefits. Above all, it enables seniors and the disabled to access dental care from within their homes.
Here are a few benefits of at-home dental care:
Quality Dental Care
Mobile dentistry helps seniors, and people with limited mobility to receive quality dental care. Limited mobility includes bedridden, homebound, and those who use wheelchairs. Often in a traditional setting, it is difficult for them to receive proper dental care. Furthermore, you can get the work done fast with fewer distractions.
Compassionate Dental Care
For people who cannot leave the confines of their home, at-home dental care is quite useful. It is also helpful for special needs people who feel disoriented in a new environment. The unorthodox environment also reduces the stress level associated with a dental visit.
Much like a clinic, a mobile dental clinic offers a wide variety of treatments to its patients. Of course, there are accessibility issues, but a specialist would handle those. From routine cleaning to root canal and extraction, mobile dentists offer comprehensive services.
Not all dentists will be able to fit in your emergencies. But your mobile dentist will always be equipped for any dental emergency that may arise at any time of the day. And it also provides a stress-free environment to seniors.
Oral Care for Elderly Patients and Homebound Patients
Dental care for the elderly is quite different from that of others. More often than not, their dental needs are not met. The mobile clinic is equipped with dentists who specialize in treating seniors and other bedbound patients. They bridge the gap by providing geriatric care and much-needed attention.
Dental Services for Home Bound Patients
All at-home dentists should be able to provide routine cleaning and assessment. Apart from that, they also perform the following dental procedures.
- Oral exam
- Digital x-ray
- Tooth extraction
- Assess and treat tooth pain
- Filling (for tooth decay)
- Root canal treatment
- Fix broken or loose dentures
- Denture adjustments
With mobile dentistry, you can receive quality dental care in the conform of your home.
Can You Fill a Tooth at Home?
It is not advisable to fill a tooth without the supervision of a dentist. Home tooth filling kits do not work as efficiently as those done by dentists. However, if you cannot visit a clinic, a mobile dentist can do a tooth filling in your home.
Can Tooth Extraction be Done at Home?
It is never safe to do a tooth extraction at home without a dentist being present. The chances are that you may end up breaking the tooth, and parts of it can still stay inside. If you are in pain, either visit a dental emergency. Or contact an at-home dental clinic. They will perform the tooth extraction in the comfort of your home.
At-home dental care is an alternative to the traditional setting for seniors. And it is also a godsend for people confined to their homes like the disabled and special needs.
The main advantage is that the patients do not need to leave the comfort of their homes. They can also avoid the long queues and wait in waiting rooms. At-home dentistry brings dental care right to your living room.
On the downside, they can be expensive but not by a considerable margin. However, the quality of dental care at both at-home and a traditional setting remains the same. And so are the services. In a home environment, they are much more portable and handy.
Here at Smile Perfection, Dr. Pandhi can perform nearly all the same procedures during dental house calls as in his office: fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, restorative work, and periodontal treatments, including root planning and scaling. To schedule an appointment or speak with our team about our dental house calls in the Tucson, AZ area, please call 520-293-2166 or fill out the form on our Contact page.