By: Ayesha Bibi, Mehwash Kashif
As active members of the Pakistan dental community, we would like to bring into knowledge the importance and role of mobile dentistry. Mobile dentistry answers the following questions.
- Why do children cry while sitting on a dental chair and don’t open their mouth for examination?
- Why do elderly people and handicapped refrain from visiting the dentist often although they are in need?
- Why do some people need just a prescription for toothache?
Dentist phobia, unable to follow the appointments, early diagnosis and prompt treatment; all these problems can be solved to an extent if mobile dental clinics run in Pakistan and provide dental facility on people’s doorsteps.
Mobile dentistry is a treatment modality which is one of the best ways to solve the access to care dilemma that is faced by so many people today.
- The chances for success are far greater than those of a traditional dental clinic office because it is cost effective than traditional dentistry. In traditional model, a dental patient makes an appointment, travels to the dental clinic, and receives treatment and returns home. But, if the dentist and staff arrive at a facility where the patients are already located, such as a school, community centre, elder care facility or manufacturing facility, then individuals can be treated on-site with minimal interruption of their day or without the complex logistical issues surrounding transportation of the elderly and disabled individuals. More patients can receive care on the spot who might otherwise go without or receive only symptomatic care.
- Children can cope with their phobia by regularly experiencing dentist visits at schools or other community centers.The mobile dental clinic must contain at least two treatment rooms with an intraoral x-ray in each, a central sterilization area, a staff restroom, a panorex, a central suction and compressed air systems. It must have enough generator capacity to power the facility, as well as fresh and wastewater storage
- These mobiles can provide facilities like emergency pulpectomy, a traumatic restorative treatment (ART) or permanent restorations, impressions and prescription writing. They must follow infection control protocols. Staff must be well trained to ensure proper public health.1Different websites are providing this facility to rent mobile dental vehicles in foreign countries.
- It is recommended that the government should take initiative to launch this facility nationally. It is also recommended that social media should create awareness among people regarding mobile clinic. In Pakistan there are no mobile dental clinics, and even medical outreach clinics have limited capacity. They have limited number of mobile dental units which will only treat civilians, if they pay for them.
- At the government level, mobile dental units should be non-profit and their purpose should be to meet the needs of people who cannot find/afford a dentist. In conclusion, mobile dental clinics will be of great value for patient care and their comfort.