Mobile Dental Systems Vehicle Design
f. What non-dental equipment is needed?

Long workdays can sometimes occur in mobile programs. A food refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker can be an enhancement that staff will appreciate. Keep in mind that an additional refrigerator may be required for some dental supplies. A hand-held vacuum for cleaning comes in handy. What office equipment is needed? Is a photocopier necessary? Most programs now use cell phones for communication.

Will you use an on-board computer for digital radiography, health record storage or billing? Many vehicles are hardwired with high-speed cable to allow use of multiple computers and digital equipment. An electronic dental record eliminates your need to transport patient records. Digital radiographic records can be stored within the electronic dental record. Some mobile vans hook up by satellite to their home offices and others use self-contained electronic dental records stored on the computer in the mobile unit. Both work well. If you use an electronic record from a remote site, make sure your connectivity is robust enough to handle the size of the data sets to be transferred. If not, you will be waiting a long time for information.

There are a number of considerations to prepare for potential emergencies:

  1. Have a locked and secured case of emergency medications. Keep the case locked in a cabinet but with ready access.
  2. Have an emergency oxygen cart with demand valve and keep in a secured place so that it remains stable during transportation
  3. You may benefit from an emergency kit that includes, gloves, masks, eye protection, surface wipes, antiseptic handwash, temporary restorative material, plastic instrument, cotton rolls, 2x2 gauze, suture setup, biohazard bags and sharps container.

Don't forget to plan for placement of soap dispensers, cup dispensers, towel holders, etc.

Breakdown of equipment can interrupt or halt your production. Keep maintenance equipment on hand! Very small Allen wrenches, hammer, screwdriver, duct tape, and rubber bands sometimes can keep you going until technical service is available. Having an extra vacuum pump, motor, batteries, fuse or gasket can maintain service and revenue for an otherwise lost day.