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3 Questions for Advising Prospective Patients

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Prospective patients will call your at-home dental service and ask

“Am I a candidate for in-home treatment?”

As much as I love offering at-home services, I believe it’s most important to make sure the patient is receiving the care that is best for them.

When a patient is looking for your recommendation, ask these three questions to help them decide what to do.

“Can you physically get to the dental office?”

There are a million scenarios in which patients may find themselves unable to leave the house and get to a dentist.

Are they laid up after a leg surgery for a while?

Maybe they never leave the house due to an autoimmune disease.

Are they in hospice care?

Are they pregnant and on bed rest?

Maybe they use a wheelchair to get around, but they live on the third floor of a walk up.

If they cannot physically get to the dentist, they are absolutely best-served at home. These people need you and you want to be there for them. Go ahead and book that appointment.

If a person says they are physically able to get to the dentist, ask question two.

“Can you get to a dentist’s office safely?”

If a person's trip to the dentist’s office would be dangerous, they would also be best-served at home. For example, I live in Buffalo where it snows a lot, so many of my elderly patients will drive to their dental office in the summer, but want me at their house for a 6 month cleaning in the winter because they have osteoporosis and don’t want to risk slipping on ice.

Another example of a risky situation, would be in the case of a patient with dementia. Sure, they may be able to walk, but their family might have to really physically force them into the car. That’s a risky situation, too. If it sounds like it’s safer for patients to stay home, book the appointment.

If a person is physically able to go and can safely go to the dentist, ask question three.

“Why would you like at home care?”

Maybe this patient is seeking at home care due to mental health concerns. This is a valid reason someone may be best served at home. Dental anxiety is very real, so being at home for dental procedures is appealing to those who experience it.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten phone calls from people who are driving in their car on their way to Pilates and are asking about in-home care strictly for convenience. This is when I advise against booking an appointment.

Just as traditional chairside dentistry isn’t right for everyone, in-home dental care isn’t right for every person either.

I recommend that if a person is able to go to a dentist, they should. The mobile equipment is more limited than equipment in a traditional office setting. I describe my services as an alternative to NO dental care, not a substitute for dental care in a traditional setting.

If after hearing my recommendation, someone still wants to make an appointment, we book it. Who am I to turn them away? It’s ultimately their choice. There’s never harm in an at-home consultation.

So those are the three questions that usually help patients decide whether my at-home dental services are right for them.

Whenever patients or prospective patients ask questions, be clear and be honest. This is useful advice for any part of your life. Clarity and honestly allow people to make informed decisions for themselves.

As always, whether you decide to pursue dental home care or not, please consider supporting those in need of it by contributing to the

which offers financial assistance for those who cannot afford dental home care.

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