Hello there! I'm so excited to introduce you to the ResiDENTAL Movement. We made up the silly term “ResiDENTAL” because it more playfully describes my work of residential dental care or dental house calls.
I own a dental home care service in Buffalo, NY, called AccommoDental. And I travel into people’s homes or residential facilities to provide dental care to them right then and there. My services are primarily for people who cannot safely get to the dentist’s office. We are now living in a time where the idea of a dentist in your home can be a reality, although I have found a lot of people still find it mystifying.
In big cities, dental house calls have been offered for DECADES. Generally, developments take place in major cities and tend to reach smaller cities over time. Dental house calls are no exception.
Let's make dental home care normal
In my hometown of Buffalo, NY, I am the only traveling dentist in town. In the majority of communities, NO ONE is doing dental house calls. At-home dentistry is NOT wildly popular but it needs to be! My mission here is to make dental home care normal instead of novel or just a niche. So I decided to record a podcast to encourage you and other dentists to offer at-home dental services.
The reason I’m hoping the ResiDENTAL Movement catches traction is that millions of people need dental home care today. There are currently four million American adults who could be described as “homebound.” These people may have special needs, cognitive impairment, or limited mobility. Maybe they have autoimmune disorders, dementia, or extreme anxiety. Or maybe they’ve always been healthy and are now just elderly and safer at home.
Sadly this figure doesn’t even account for all of the children with these same conditions who are safer at home, too. You probably know and even love someone who falls into one or more of these categories. I know I do.
Follow me each week as I share new episodes about the Residential Movement. Some weeks, you’ll hear from me A fellow house call dentist sharing more of my experience and offering actionable tips that you could implement into your residential dental practice, and answer questions that you send me.
In other weeks, you’ll get to hear from friends of mine, too. I’ll share conversations between myself and other traveling dentists or conversations between myself and other business professionals. I’m always trying to learn more to better serve my patients and I want you to learn alongside me.
Why dental care isn’t widely available in homes
There are several factors and a bunch of complicated answers to this question, but here I’m going to focus on the one variable we may be able to influence:
There just aren’t enough house-call dentists!
You’re a dentist and there’s a good chance that residential dental care is probably just as foreign to you as it is to the general public. I made it through all four years of dental school without even hearing about dental house calls or dental home care. I didn’t know that in-home dental care was a career option until I was a resident.
There is hardly any accessible dental home care information out there.
Even once I had finally heard about it, there was hardly any accessible information out there. I had to track down a house-call dentist and reach out to her personally for advice. She’s a busy lady, so she told me to buy her book. I bought it and it helped me in some ways, but it wasn’t cheap or easy to get my hands on.
Today, between google and the public library you can learn almost anything. Information has never been more abundant and accessible. Still, there is a huge scarcity of information out there for house-call dentists or aspiring to be one. That is another reason to follow the ResiDental Movement podcast. If you’re ever going to consider incorporating dental house calls into your career, you’re going to need some help.
“Need doesn’t equal demand. Is this even a viable business option?”
Let me offer some reassuring news. After more than a year in business, I can assure you, there IS a demand for home dental care, a huge demand! Some families have been waiting YEARS for your at-home dental services and just haven’t been able to call you.
When AccommoDental opened, patients called us to schedule appointments with tears of joy and relief because they were finally able to get the dental services they had been waiting FOREVER to get! AccommoDental is booked out for weeks and weeks. More than half of our visits are to see new patients because we’re growing and thriving. There is a demand for residential dental care in my dentally saturated community and I’m sure there’s a demand in yours.
When I started AccommoDental, I had zero business training. I knew absolutely nothing about running a business. I couldn’t have told you the first thing about QuickBooks or taxes or anything. I hadn’t tested the market or done any responsible preparation like most intelligent people may have done. I didn’t have a mentor or paid consultant. I was just a lone shark in a blue ocean but luckily you don’t have to be. I'm here to help you.
If you’re wondering how many patients you might be able to see during the day, visit grab my FREE scheduling template called "A Day in the Life of a House Call Dentist." It's based on my days as a house-call dentist. It’ll help you imagine what your life could look like if you decide to offer these services.
I hope I’ve started to convince you that there is not only a significant need for dental home care but demand for dental home care. Also, I hope that you now know you could play a role in the ResiDENTAL Movement.
Whether you decide to pursue dental home care or not, you can still support the patients who need at-home dental care by contributing to Home Smile Care Foundation. This is an organization founded by loved ones and myself to provide grants to patients who cannot afford dental home care. Check out homesmilecarefoundation.org for more information.