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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.