What is a home visit dentist?
A home visit dentist is a dental professional who can provide various forms of treatment in the home, thus allowing the patient to remain in comfortable, familiar surroundings rather than having to make their way to the surgery. This type of treatment is often available for people who have mobility issues or psychological problems that prevent them from leaving the house on a regular basis. Cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening and veneer placement, will not be available as part of mobile dentistry, mainly because most cosmetic dentists will not feel the need to travel to see their patients because they won’t be carrying out regular treatments like check-ups and fillings. Furthermore, this type of service does not come under the terms of general medical treatment and this means it needs to be carried out in a surgical environment.
Home visits are particularly useful because it means people with mobility issues have access to treatment without needing to worry about transport or the level of care they are receiving, and those that suffer with severe dental phobia may find it less traumatic to have their check-up at home. Although it may be hard to believe how badly a phobia can affect someone, fear of the dentist is quite a common problem among adults in the UK; around a quarter of the population have some level of dental phobia which makes it difficult to arrange appointments like the other three quarters would. Dental phobia amounts to much more than slight nerves in the run-up to surgery; some people with issues like this won’t even be able to speak about dental treatment or talk to a professional over the phone without becoming anxious and worried.
If you have problems with mobility or a debilitating phobia that makes it difficult to arrange dental treatment, you should call the Pearl Dental Clinic and speak to a member of the team about the home visit options available to you. If you live in the Kingston area of London you should not find it difficult to arrange an appointment; contact the clinic today to get your dental problems sorted out as soon as possible or simply to get your teeth checked over.
Will my normal dentist be able to provide this service?
Most dental clinics will have a list of patients who need to be treated at home and they should be able to arrange appointments to help them out; this is not always easy if they are working with a small team of staff and resources are reduced but for the most part NHS dentist should be able to provide this service. If you are registered with a private surgery then it is more likely that you will have access to home dentistry; although, you should try to attend an appointment in person if you are able because this leaves time and resources available to patients who really need it. If everyone decided they couldn’t be bothered to visit the dentist even though they were perfectly able, then there would not be enough dentists to go around and people who really needed help would miss out.
What sort of people would need a home visit dentist?
Dental phobics – if it is not dealt with at some stage, dental phobia can develop into a crippling condition that makes life very difficult, especially if the patient is in desperate need of treatment for things like gum disease or tooth decay. This type of fear is typically associated with bad previous experiences at the dentist or just fear of the unknown. Treating the patient in their home where they are comfortable with the surroundings can make all the difference and could help them look at dental treatment more positively for the future.
Wheelchair users – although almost all dental clinics will be wheelchair accessible these days it can still be difficult to arrange an appointment if there is more than one person in a wheelchair or not enough carers to assist them. Of course, wheelchair users are always welcome to make an appointment and attend at the surgery if they are able to but it can sometimes make it easier just to take care to them rather than wait for them to turn up at the clinic if they are struggling with transportation.
Disabled people – people with serious illnesses and other mobility issues will certainly find it hard to visit the dentist regularly and it can even be traumatic if their condition is particularly difficult. Home visit dentists are vital in this capacity because people with disabilities need to keep up with their oral hygiene, just like the rest of the world, so it’s important to monitor their condition and maintain regular contact for the good of their health.
Residents of care homes – at most residential care homes it will not be possible for a single member of staff to accompany each individual resident to the dentist when they need to go, and equally, it is not really practical to try and transport everyone at once just for a check-up. Mobile dentists will often spend several hours at each home performing routine maintenance and some minor surgical procedures to make sure that each patient receives a high level of care and further instructions to keep them in good health.
Agoraphobics – this is a type of social anxiety that means a person finds it difficult or even impossible to leave the house for one reason or another; whilst it is not the responsibility of the dentist to try and treat the psychological effects of this condition, they can help keep them in good dental health while they try to deal with their other problems. Agoraphobics may not necessarily have mobility problems but issues affecting the mind can really have a huge effect on the body as well.
Mobile medical care is a vital part of all-round, good quality dentistry and most dentists would agree that provisions should be made for patients who have problems attending regular appointments. Good oral health is important because it supports general health and well-being and it can also affect self-esteem levels. If you can’t get to the dentist personally for some reason you should think about arranging this type of care to keep your teeth in good condition.