The benefits of mobile dental clinics

Regular dental appointments are important for maintaining oral health. But this can be difficult for individuals and families who don’t have great access to care or aren’t able to travel to a dentist’s office.

Mobile dentistry units are traveling care vehicles that help bring dentists and staff to their patients, instead of the other way around. They set up shop at workplaces, schools, communities without dental offices, and other areas where care may be less accessible. 

Oral health care on wheels

Mobile clinics are a valuable and effective tool for supporting the oral health of children, older adults, and underserved communities, including people in rural or low-income areas without dedicated local clinics.

There are two different types of mobile dental clinics:

  • A large vehicle, similar to a mobile home that has been customized into a dental care unit. This type of mobile clinic can visit multiple locations in one day.
  • A dental care unit that is transported from location to location on the back of a large truck. The type of clinic typically stays in one location for a week or two at a time.

Either way, these traveling clinics create access to oral health care for populations that might not otherwise have it.

The number of mobile clinics has increased in recent years, in part because pandemic safe-distancing guidelines made it more difficult to provide dental services inside schools and workplaces.

Mobile clinics provide a wide range of services

The exact services offered will vary from clinic to clinic, but mobile care units are capable of providing a wide array of services and treatments. A mobile clinic may offer:

  • Cleanings
  • Sealants
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Root canals
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Dentures
  • X-rays

Finding a mobile dental clinic in your area

If you have dental coverage, check to see if there’s a mobile dental clinic covered by your plan. For those without coverage, try reaching out to your state’s health department. They may be able to help locate a government- or charity-funded mobile clinic near you.