INTRODUCTION Over the ages, oral health care has been delivered to the community in different ways. The horseback dentistry of olden days has evolved into the most modern painless dental procedures. In India, about 70% of the population live in rural areas whereas 70% of the dentists practice in urban areas. We seldom find certain dental offices and few government establishments in rural areas, which lack the required infrastructure.WHAT ARE MOBILE DENTALCLINICS? A mobile dental clinic is used primarily when oral health care is be delivered to small pockets of patients that are scattered over a specific geographic area. The mobile clinic generally is parked at a facility such as a school, residential facility or community center.SALIENT FEATURES:- •Useful life is shorter than a fixed facility. •Requirement of water and waste disposal methods. •Dental equipment can be a traditional or a portable one. •Requirement of a generator on board to provide electricity.TARGETED POPULATIONS FOR MOBILE DENTAL SERVICES:- •Low-income individuals or families. •Isolated or very rural rural populations. •Persons in residential care facilities. •People who are “ homebound”, bedridden, very frail or receiving hospital services at home. •Persons with a variety of special health care needs. •Migrant and seasonal workers. •People who are homeless or temporarily displaced.WHY MOBILE CLINICS ARE PREFERRED OVER USUAL ONES? •Moderate start up costs. •It addresses the problem of transportation to the clinics. •It decreases missed appointments when run in conjunction with schools. •Services can be made available at multiple sites. •Services are made available to the needy population.   Even though mobile clinics are preferred over the usual ones, but they do have certain disadvantages. Let’s have a look at certain “disadvantages” of it:- •High maintenance costs may occur. •Difficult to access and store patient record. •Provides limited services and follow up may be difficult. •Requires permission for site use. •Difficult to use during monsoon. ESSENTIALS OF MOBILE DENTAL CLINIC:- The mobile dental clinic should be equipped with 2 dental chairs with all attachments and seating space for 15-20 people. 1.PORTABLE DENTAL UNIT:-•Dental chair should be portable and easy to handle. It should be able to be folded for easy transportation.  All the parts  should be detachable type and well balanced and sturdy. •Mobile suitcase unit: Fitted with aerotar and micromotor hand piece. •Scaler with 3 scaling tips. •Control box with transparent, regulated water tank and foot control.2.OPERATING LIGHT:- Two, intensity fixed with hinge on the top of the van. 3.DENTAL X-RAY UNIT:-  X-ray unit with digital arm timer and day light manual developer. 4.AUTOCLAVE:-  High speed automatic instrument autoclave. 5.METAL CABINETS WITH WASH BASIN 6.WATER TANK: 400 litres capacity. 7.HEALTH EDUCATION MODELSPARTNERSHIPS IN PROVIDING MOBILE DENTAL SERVICES:-Some of the group or  Individuals who could potentially be partners are:- •GOVERNMENT:-State/ Local, Health Department, Department of Social Service. •COMMUNITY:- Local community, Business Leaders, Foundations. •PUBLIC:- Patient Care  Advocate, Organizations that promote health. •POLICY:- Local and Community Policy Makers. •HIGHER/ PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION:- Medical schools ,Dental schools and Allied Health Schools.CONCLUSION A fully-equipped mobile dental clinic is to provide effective dental care at the doorsteps of underprivileged, rural population is the need of the hour. The key to a successful dental practice is a cohesive dental team, which will create an atmosphere of co-operation resulting in the achievement of the goals of oral health in the coming up years.REFERENCE Essentials of public health dentistry-Soben Peter

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