The Virtual Dental Home is a concept developed by Pacific Center for Special Care at University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA. The Virtual Dental Home creates a community-based oral health delivery system in which people receive preventive and simple therapeutic services in community settings where they live or receive educational, social or general health services. It utilizes the latest technology to link practitioners in the community with dentists at remote office sites.
The term "Virtual Dental Home" describes the system in which all the components of a health home are provided: tracking of people's needs and services, patient navigation; health promotion including education and integration of oral health considerations in the activities and services provided by the community organization, and access to technical or surgical services when needed. The word "Virtual" indicates that while all these services are provided, they are not all provided in a single place. Rather they are provided by a geographically distributed, teleheath connected team.
Virtual Dental Home Video
This video below describes a project demonstrating in California that registered dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAP), dental hygienists working in public health programs (RDH) and registered dental assistants (RDA) can keep people healthy in community settings by providing education, triage, case management, preventive procedures, and interim therapeutic restorations. Where more complex dental treatment is needed, the Virtual Dental Home connects patients with dentists in the area.
This system promotes collaboration between dentists in dental offices and community-based dental hygienists and dental assistants. Most importantly, it brings much-needed services to individuals who might otherwise receive no care.