A dental home is the office where a patient is comfortable and where they can get comprehensive, easily-accessible care from the same dentist(s), hygienist(s) and support staff. Dental homes are crucial for patients’ oral health and systemic health for many reasons.
Comfort and Quality Care
The relationship that is built from having a dental home is extremely important. Many people deal with fear and anxiety when coming the dentist and seeing the same dentist or hygienist can ease this nervousness. This makes it easier for patients to communicate with their dental care providers about any concerns or questions they may have.
Having this relationship helps the dental professionals know what changes they may have to make during treatment. For instance, a patient with sensitive gums or anxiety about cleanings near their gums may want their hygienist to numb their gums before treatment.
Seeing the same dental professionals and having an open line of communication between dentist and patient is very beneficial for the quality of care, as well as easing any anxiety about dental visits.
Frequent, Routine Care
Visiting a dental home for routine hygiene appointments and dental screenings is so important. Dentists and hygienists can help patients with any questions or concerns they have about their oral health. A dental home strengthens patients’ home care as well. Dental professionals can tell and show a patient what changes they may need to make when brushing and flossing at home. Then, they can follow up in six months to make any adjustments or give their patient a fist bump for a job well done.
Dental homes help to maintain the continuity of care. Dental professionals can establish a better baseline of what is normal for an individual’s oral health when they see them frequently. This makes it easier for dental professionals to notice small changes and catch the cause of those changes early.
Finding and then preventing or treating dental problems as early as possible will help prevent pain and infection. Dental professionals can often detect and treat cavities or other problems before a patient starts feeling any serious pain
A Place to Turn
When a patient wakes up with a toothache or other dental problem, they know to call their dental home and see what their recommendation is. This makes it much easier to treat and refer patients when they have an urgent problem. It helps get a patient seen by a professional in a timely manner as well as easing anxiety that comes from dental complications.
Complex care and referrals can be better tracked and taken care of when a patient has a regular dental home. This way, patients can receive comprehensive care in a quick and organized process. Dental offices typically have certain specialists they refer patients to and have systems in place to keep a patient’s chart up-to-date.