Lauren K Chin
 

Lauren K. Chin, RDHAP

Dental Hygiene House Calls

Gentle  |  Affordable  |  Convenient

 
 
 

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about

Lauren is a registered dental hygienist in alternative practice (RDHAP), which allows her to address access to care issues by bringing the dental hygiene appointment to patients who find coming into the office challenging. Unlike most RDHAPs, Lauren is credentialed to treat patients at California Pacific Medical Center campuses, and can offer her patients a hospital-based surgical private practice setting if needed. When she isn't treating patients, she's teaching as an instructor of periodontics and dental hygiene at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. She is also Executive Administrator of the Beyond Faces Foundation, a national nonprofit for children requiring facial reconstruction.

 

Prior to obtaining a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from University of the Pacific, Lauren earned B.A. degrees in both Journalism and Industrial Arts, with emphases in print and digital media, from San Francisco State University. She has worked for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation, with the Interdisciplinary Dental Education Academy, participated in clinical research, and continues to indulge in freelance projects.

 

Her journey thus far has made one thing abundantly clear: it is of paramount importance that people are good to themselves, and mindful of what is around them because how people are treated matters. It is critical to create healthy experiences for ourselves and each other. Lauren believes that the success of our environment is integral to our own success, which is why she strives to foster integrity, empathy, and respect by practicing those qualities personally and professionally.

 
 

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Frequently asked questions

 

SPECIALIZED HYGIENISTS: WHAT IS AN RDHAP?

A registered dental hygienist in alternative practice (RDHAP) offers an alternative to private practice, and in doing so addresses access to care barriers by serving vulnerable patient populations. With on-site dental hygiene, people who might go untreated can receive care. Examples of when house calls are beneficial:

 

Skilled nursing facilities & the like

Challenged mobility, cognitive impairment, limited manual dexterity, dry mouth, and complex medical histories are common within this population. Healthcare professionals understand that the health of the mouth impacts the health of the body, and that oral health is integral to sustained systemic health as well as quality of life.


Pregnancy & the family unit

Oral healthcare is an important part of prenatal care. Additionally, the health of each member in the family unit can be addressed so more time can be dedicated to recovery, bonding, etc.


radiation therapy

To avoid complications like osteonecrosis of the jaw, meticulous oral hygiene is required of those who have undergone radiation therapy of the head and neck.


Intellectual & Developmental Disability

If an environment has been established at home that best suits the individual then it makes sense to bring care to them.


MObility & Memory

If getting to a dental office is too risky (e.g. injury from falling, getting hopelessly lost) then house calls are an alternative.

 

schools

Eye exams are conducted in schools--why not dental hygiene, too? Parents don't have to take time off work, kids don't have to be removed from school, and disruption to the education process is minimized.


osteoporosis

Serious life-altering complications can arise in those with a history of bisphosphonate use who require oral surgery, and the best treatment is prevention in the form of good oral hygiene.


Veterans

Returning to civilian life can be daunting, which is why bringing services to the individual can be helpful.


Preoperative & postoperative care

Decreasing oral bacteria prior to surgery facilitates recovery, and maintenance while in recovery is helpful if the ability to engage in the activities of daily living are compromised.


Caregivers

House calls are suitable for those who find it challenging to come into a dental office. Caregivers are often the primary caretaker and unable to leave those in their charge unattended, which makes caring for themselves difficult.

 

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I NEED A DENTIST?

There are various reasons why a person might require a dentist. For non-emergencies, patients can either go to a dentist or have a dentist brought to them. That dentist can either be someone Lauren chooses or someone the patient chooses. For emergencies, patients can be seen at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco where Lauren has hospital privileges and access to a hospital-based oral surgical private practice. If the patient has a dentist they would like to be seen by then please convey that to Lauren as she is happy to work with the existing dental team.

 

What is the liability of the referring provider?

No more than when referring to any other specialist. Lauren carries her own professional liability insurance.

 

What doctor does lauren work for?

Dental hygienists (i.e. license RDH) that work in dental offices are employees that work for dentists. Dental hygienists that do house calls (i.e. license RDHAP) are independent contractors that work with dentists depending on the needs of the patient.

 

HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Step 1: Get an exam from a dentist or primary care physician (PCP).

Obtain the following statement on the letterhead of a dentist or PCP that reads: This is a standing order permitting Jane Doe to have dental hygiene services provided on-site by Lauren K. Chin with antibiotic premedication coverage as needed.

Step 2: Contact Lauren to schedule an appointment.

 

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Services

 

DENTAL HYGIENE PROPHYLAXIS

Commonly referred to as a “cleaning”, there are three types available: scale and polish, scaling and root debridement, or periodontal maintenance.

A patient’s oral health status informs what prophylactic treatment is selected.

For reference, a scale and polish is a basic cleaning. Root debridement, commonly referred to as a “deep cleaning", aims to combat gum disease (i.e. bone loss) by removing deposits further below the gumline. Periodontal maintenance is the kind of cleaning that happens after a deep cleaning to maintain health.


FLUORIDE VARNISH

Topical fluoride can be applied to teeth to strengthen tooth structure, as well as reduce tooth sensitivity and risk of cavities.


SILVER DIAMINE FLUORIDE

This liquid topical medicament can be applied conservatively to cavities to arrest decay and make teeth less sensitive.


Trays

Trays may be created for delivery of fluoride or lightening agents. Lightening of the natural dentition is a cosmetic service, while fluoride application is a preventive measure. For patients who will receive new restorations, it is wise to lighten teeth prior to obtaining the new restoration so that the desired shade can be matched.

 

Complimentary Services

Consultation

Before beginning treatment, a free consultation is performed. This allows practitioner, patient, and support team to become acquainted and ascertain the best course of action.


ORAL CANCER EXAM

An oral cancer exam is performed at each visit and involves observation and palpation of the head and neck as well as mouth.


RADIOGRAPHS

Digital x-ray images are taken conservatively.


ORAL HEALTH EDUCATION

Patients and caregivers alike receive tailored professional oral health education.

 
 

Preventive dentistry is becoming able to reduce the development of oral diseases and treat existing dental lesions non-surgically with capabilities previously not available. This new reality can have significant implications for vulnerable patients.

Lauren Chin, RDHAP is qualified by license, preparation, skill, and most importantly attitude to help patients in greatest need to maintain their oral health.

Having worked with Lauren, I have observed her decision-making skills and the way patients respond to her sensitivity and caring nature.

Lauren has experience teaching and can additionally offer help and training for caretakers. The combination of high quality on-site professional services and supportive care by at-home caretakers is a proven way to get improved results in health. Maintaining quality of life for as long as possible is Lauren’s goal.
— Nathan Kaufman, DDS

 

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TOOLS

 

Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes have a timer, pressure sensor, and are good for people with limited dexterity. Manual toothbrushes are comparable when used correctly. Specialty toothbrushes exist to facilitate care. At minimum, use new soft bristles each season and after a cold.


between teeth

Floss, floss picks, soft picks, proxabrushes, stimudents, waterpiks, etc.


Clinpro Toothpaste

Prescription high fluoride tri-calcium phosphate toothpaste for those with or without dry mouth. To be used without eating or drinking 30 minutes after use for best results.


CHLORHEXIDINE GLUCONATE

Prescription antibacterial mouth rinse. To be used one minute per day for one week per month without eating or drinking 30 minutes after use for best results.


Carifree CT3 Rinse

A mouth rinse containing xylitol to fight cavities, fluoride to strengthen teeth, and pH neutralization to impede the breakdown of teeth.


ACT RINSE

ACT  rinses contain fluoride, and ACT Dry Mouth rinse  is a fluoride rinse for those who experience dry mouth.


Listerine Zero

Alcohol-free rinse.


Baking soda

Baking soda rinses are good for pH neutralization after meals and soothing oral tissues in general but are also good to use before brushing in the event of vomiting (e.g. flu, pregnancy, chemotherapy, etc.). Dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup water.

 

Toothpaste

There are different over-the-counter toothpastes that accommodate those with an allergy or aversion to certain ingredients. For example, sodium lauryl sulfate-free toothpastes are suitable for those whose sensitivity presents as canker sores, or arginine, which neutralizes plaque biofilm, can be a fluoride toothpaste alternative.


XYLITOL

Xylitol (6-10 grams) helps fight cavities and can be found in stores and online.


Fluoride Varnish

A topical fluoride treatment applied to strengthen teeth, reduce cavities and decrease tooth sensitivity. For best results, avoid hard and hot foods for four hours after application.


MI PASTE

A milk-derived fluoride paste for sensitive teeth.


Carifree CT4 rinse

A two-part mouth rinse that has an antibacterial component as well as xylitol, fluoride, and pH neutralizing component.


Biotene

Biotene makes several products, one of which is a fluoride-free rinse for those experiencing dry mouth.


Bleach

Bleach rinses, freshly made at the moment of use, may reduce gingival inflammation and bleeding. Dissolve 1 teaspoon bleach in 1 cup water and use twice weekly.


Education

Oral health fact sheets are available in multiple languages courtesy of the California Dental Association.

 
 
 

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CONTACT

Lauren travels to patients who find coming into the office for treatment challenging. For those who prefer to be seen in a traditional office setting, Lauren treats patients in private practice at California Pacific Medical Center, 2100 Webster Street Suite 303, San Francisco, CA 94115.