Introduction/Planning Planning
a. What are the pros, cons and costs of mobile and portable programs?

This table compares some pros and cons of:

Hybrid models combine elements from both mobile and portable systems to increase program flexibility and address some of the limitations of each.

This table compares the average capacity and costs for fixed clinics, mobile clinics and programs using portable equipment.

Mobile and portable systems can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, portable equipment can be used to educate children how dental equipment works, for dental screenings at health fairs, in schools for dental sealant programs, in homebound settings to provide dental care, or in disaster relief situations. Mobile vans start out as big empty trucks and then are customized for specific purposes. There are vehicles used as health education classrooms on wheels that go from school to school or for combined medical/dental screenings or immunizations. Others are designed to be complete mobile clinics to provide full-service dental treatment. You need to first decide the purpose of your program and potential for growth before you can determine which delivery system will be the most efficient and cost-effective.

The focus of this manual is primarily on mobile and portable systems that are used to provide clinical dental services (not just screening and education).