A 2015 study by AARP Medicare found that nearly 20% of senior citizens on Medicare were classified as homebound. Most of these seniors were homebound for reasons such as severe memory loss, dementia, having multiple hospitalizations, having chronic or severe health problems, or being on a cocktail of medications. All these reasons for being homebound also are reasons why seniors may end up lacking in oral health. Mobile dental health care options allow seniors who are homebound to enjoy their dental checkups in the comfort and safety of their own home.
Mobile Dental Health Care Services
Mobile dental health care services are especially useful for retirement communities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and assisted living communities. In these types of communities, the staff at the facility can arrange for a dentist to come out for a day to offer mobile dental health care services to all the patients or residents of the community on the same day.
The nursing staff will organize the residents who are participating appointments. The dentist will either visit patients in their rooms, or there will be a designated area for the dentist to be set up and the nursing staff will bring the residents in for their appointments.
Many mobile dental healthcare provides will also make private house calls for seniors and other patients who are homebound. These types of appointments can be made by the individual needing the services or their family member.
What Treatments Do Mobile Dental Healthcare Providers Offer?
The treatments mobile dental healthcare providers offer will be different from office to office. Most mobile dentists will offer cleanings, deep cleanings, dentures, fillings, x-rays, and even root canals and extractions.
Cleanings- Regular cleanings are routinely performed every six months. These cleanings involve a hygienist cleaning and flossing your teeth, scraping away plaque and tartar, and polishing. A dental examination will also be performed to check for any issues and a fluoride treatment is sometimes offered.
Deep Cleanings- Deep cleanings are needed when a patient has developed gingivitis or there is noticeable plaque and tartar that has broached the gum line. Deep cleanings including root planning and scaling which removes the plaque from the root of the tooth. Many mobile dental health care providers use an ultrasonic or laser tool for this process to minimize pain.
Dentures- Not having teeth can make eating and speaking nearly impossible. Mobile dental healthcare providers can bring all the materials they need for mobile appointments to have your dentures created and delivered to you.
Fillings- Fillings are used when patients have a cavity. Fillings restore teeth that have been damaged because of cavities. The tooth material that is decaying will be removed, the tooth is cleaned, and a filling material will then be used to replace the decayed tooth material. Gold, silver, plastic, composite resin, and porcelain materials are all options for fillings. Your mobile dental health care provider may offer one or all of these choices.
X-Rays- You will need an x-ray in mobile dental health care to determine the extent of any oral health problems. Mobile dentists can use x-rays to see wisdom teeth, tooth roots, bone, and any metal or previous dental work that may be in your mouth. X-rays are often needed for diagnostic purposes and for seniors who are suffering from tooth loss. Most mobile dental healthcare provider recommends updating your x-rays once per year. Some patients may need x-rays more often or less often depending on their oral healthcare needs and concerns.
Root Canal- A root canal is an option that can help to save a tooth that is decaying beyond a simple filling but not bad enough that extraction is needed quite yet. A mobile dental health care provider can remove the pulp of an infected tooth without removing the root or tooth.
Extraction- An extraction can be a simple procedure that involves pulling out a tooth; or it can be difficult, with surgical extraction being needed. Some teeth will be so decayed or damaged that they are beyond repair and need to be removed from your mouth. This is what an extraction is, the removal of the tooth. Some extractions are more difficult than others, especially when trauma or impaction is involved. These teeth need to be removed by cutting into the gums which require surgery.
Finding a Mobile Dental Healthcare Provider
If you are interested in finding a mobile dental healthcare provider and you are in the North Central Texas area, contact Brown Mobile Dental where they perform mobile dental health care for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and private residences. You can even get started online by clicking here!