|Mobile Dental Systems
b. Where is the best location to park the van at a site?
The ideal location for a mobile dental program is that place where the van is most accessible to the target population and where a commercial-weight mobile dental vehicle is best accommodated. Considerations include:
- Is there a place to park the vehicle that is close to where the patients will exit the building to receive services or where they will arrive via public transportation? Because of weather and safety concerns, you wouldn't want patients to walk far to get to your van.
- Is there a cement pad on which to park and level the vehicle? In high temperatures, asphalt will soften, causing the van to and damage the asphalt surface.
- Is there available shore power for utilities? Shore power will save wear and tear on the van's generator, reduce expenditures for fuel and provide a quieter on board environment. You may wish to request or require that an agency provide shore power hookup.
- Is there a place to dump dirty water? If the van is to stay in a location, it may be necessary to purge the dirty water tanks. If there is not a bathroom on board, you will need to find a drain to a sanitary sewer. If there is a bathroom, you will need to be find a dump site for black water (sewage) in the nearby area.
- Can the site be reached by streets and bridges that allow for the size and weight of your program vehicle, e.g., no low bridges or tight turns? Map the route and do a trial run to check for Department of Transportation restrictions and heights for overpasses.
- Is the vehicle to be kept onsite overnight? If so, be sure the area is well-lit and secure.
- How far does the staff have to travel to reach a remote location? Factor that in to the cost to the program and if staff have to car pool to get to the location.