Mobile-Portable Hybrid Introduction

Some programs combine elements from a fixed site dental clinic with a mobile van model and the use of portable equipment to create a hybrid system that is adapted to a particular need. Such systems range from hauling a dental trailer full of portable equipment and parking at a site to set up the equipment, to a complex system of varying size units that are transported by truck and rolled into a facility to simulate a dental operatory in a fixed location. They can be designed to be basic set ups or high-tech operatories. An important element for some programs is to design the system to offer choices to fit a variety of purposes and settings. This allows flexibility in site selection, scheduling, hours of operation, staffing and selection of equipment and supplies to reach a broad and diverse patient population. It also presents challenges for scheduling, storage, transporting staff, and billing.

This chapter provides example of programs that use various hybrid models, noting some of the benefits, limitations, and other considerations. Although specific programs are highlighted, the developers of this online manual do not endorse any particular program.

Apple Tree Mobile DentalApple Tree Dental represents a highly successful, complex system of care for people with special needs that involves much community involvement and has been replicated in other sites under different names.

USC Mobile Van
program highlights the use of mobile coaches, fifth-wheel trailers, portable dental units and teledentistry to provide service-learning experiences for dental and dental hygiene students and services to over 25 communities thoroughout California.

Rochester's Collaborative School-Based Dental Program
highlights school-based and other outreach dental programs, consisting of a year-round full-time school-linked community outreach dental center, part-time satellite clinics, mobile dental trailers and on-site portable school dental clinics.