Mobile-Portable Hybrid Virtual Dental Home Project
b. How does the Virtual Dental Home work?

Virtual Dental Home Concept Map

Virtual Dental Home Concept Map

This model relies on the advanced training and community-based practice of allied oral health professionals.  In the Virtual Dental Home, the RDHAP, RDH, or RDA collaborates with a dentist to provide care.  Technology helps bridge the geographic gap between the community-based oral health provider and dentist.

Equipped with portable imaging equipment and an internet-based dental record system, the RDHAP, RDH or RDA collects electronic dental records such as X-rays, photographs, charts of dental findings, and dental and medical histories, and uploads the information to a secure website where they are reviewed by the collaborating dentist.  The dentist reviews the patient's information and creates a tentative dental treatment plan.  The RDHAP, RDH or RDA then carries out the aspects of the treatment plan that can be conducted in the community setting (see concept map above).  These services include:

The RDHAP, RDH or RDA refers patients to dental offices for procedures that require the skills of a dentist.  When such visits occur, the patient arrives with health history and consent arrangements completed, a diagnosis and treatment plan already determined, preventive practices in place and preventive procedures having been performed.  This allows the patient experience to be as seamless as possible and lets the dentist begin treatment right away.

In some cases the dentist may come to the community site and use portable equipment to provide restorations or other services that in California only a dentist can provide.  In either case, the majority of patient interactions and efforts to keep people healthy are performed by the RDHAP, RDH, or RDA in the community setting with consultation with a collaborating dentist, thus creating a true community-based health home.