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E37: How Dental House Calls are Like Dentures

On this week's podcast, I wanted to reflect a little on my recent induction as a Fellow into the American College of Dentists. It was a huge honor to be inducted alongside some amazing colleagues who have been practicing for multiple decades. I was shocked when I first found out I’d be receiving this honor. I remember back to dental school when some of my faculty had their name, DDS, followed by FACD embroidered onto their jackets. These faculty were people I held in high regard because the American College of Dentists exists to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism, and leadership in dentistry. To me, the most important of those is ethics.

So with me reflecting a good deal on ethics this past week, I was inspired to share some advice with all of you that I shared with my students. Right now, the very first cohort of students moving through my Dental House Call Practice Academy. They recently finished one of the very first lessons about identifying your ideal patient for your house call practice. We spend a lot of time talking on this podcast about who it is that you’re looking to serve in your dental house call practice. We do so because it’s important. Everything we do in our practices should be for that patient.

In my opinion, dental house calls are like dentures. Dentures are a replacement for no teeth, they’re not a replacement for teeth. Someone with the best denture in the world would still be better off with a healthy dentition, right? Or even a moderately restored dentition. Dental house call practices are a replacement for the LACK of ability to go to a dental office, they’re not a substitute for going to the dental office for those who are able. As a house-call dentist, I am committed to providing access and ethical care to all patients. That's why I want to share some advice about identifying your ideal patient for your house call practice. While there is a market for convenience, it's important to reserve in-home services for patients who are best served at home.

I hope this reminder is helpful for you as you consider offering dental house calls. If you have any thoughts or opinions on whether dental house call practices are like dentures, feel free to email me at I'd love to hear from you! Also, whether you decide to pursue in-home dental care or not, please consider supporting those in need of it by contributing to the Home Smile Care Foundation. Visit for more information.

Thank you for considering dental house calls and for listening today. I appreciate you!

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