If you need dental work or a checkup but think you can't get to the dentist -- maybe you're housebound due to an injury or don't have convenient transportation -- you can now get a dentist to visit you. Dental equipment and technology have enabled dentists to start treating people at home, much like doctors who can now make house calls for urgent issues. While some procedures still need to be done in-office, you no longer have to avoid the dentist for basic procedures. But is the dental house call all it's cracked up to be?

No Travel for You

This is a big pro for using a dental house call service. You don't have to worry about parking or travel to get to an office. However, your dentist will have to deal with parking in your neighborhood if it is tight, and that can affect whether the dentist will come back to your neighborhood for followup treatment.

Comforting Surroundings

Being in your own home can definitely be comforting in addition to comfortable, especially if the person who needs the dental work is a child. Familiar surroundings can help ease any fright that might be compounded by being in a clinical setting with lots of pictures of tooth problems and lots of equipment hanging around.

The drawbacks are that there's only so much equipment that the dentist can bring to you -- there will be times when you still have to go into the dentist's office for more extensive treatment -- and that means you may still end up having to deal with those clinical settings. Plus, the hygienic condition of your home could be less than optimal for dental work. For example, if you have a cat that sheds a lot of fur, taking an x-ray of your teeth won't be a problem, but doing a basic tooth extraction (which really can be done at home) might not be advisable if cat fur is floating around.

Potentially Lower Costs

A traveling dentist will have higher travel-related costs but lower overhead -- the person in your home doesn't need a chair reserved for him or her in an office during the appointment. That can translate into lower costs for you. However, the traveling dentist might not take insurance and might not offer payment plans, which means you need to work out how to deal with payments before the work is done.

If you'd like to find out if the dental procedures you need can be done at home, talk to your dentist. He or she may know of other dentists who can do the procedures you need -- and your dentist may actually have someone in the office who can go to your home -- or he or she can explain why you need to come into the office to have the procedures done.

For a dentist in your area, contact an office such as Pike Dentistry.