Setting up a mobile dental practice within your present office structure.
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Different service models have emerged in Canada and the United States to address the issue of senior citizens' lack of access to comprehensive dental care. Over the past decade, one such model, the use of mobile dental service units, has emerged as a practical strategy. This article describes a mobile unit, operated as an adjunct to the general practitioner's office and relying mainly on existing office resources, both human and capital, to deliver services at long-term care institutions. The essential components of a profitable geriatric mobile unit are described, including education, equipment, marketing research and development, and human resource management. Issues related to patient consent and operating expenditures are also discussed. Data from one practitioner's mobile dental unit, in Hamilton, Ontario, are presented to demonstrate the feasibility and profitability of this approach.
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