Melissa Turner, BASDH, RDHEP, EFDA, wears many hats. She is a dental influencer, advisor, consultant, thought leader, author, speaker, and the chief hygiene officer for Cellerant Consulting. She is also a cofounder of the National Mobile & Teledentistry Conference and the American Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance and creator of the I Heart Mobile Dentistry Facebook community. But the simple underlying mission of all of Melissa’s work is to improve the dental experience for both patient and provider.
Melissa is one of the leading experts in mobile and teledentistry. She states, “As the dental industry faces new challenges and rebuilds itself through our collective 2020 experience, right now is proving to be a pivotal moment in dentistry—a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rebuild, redefine, and refocus our individual selves, our community, and industry. It is my hope that I can help guide the dental industry during this time—through promoting the use of alternative care delivery models such as mobile dentistry, through discovering additional patient-provider touchpoints through teledentistry, and through promoting workplace wellness, diversity, and inclusion within our teams and communities.”
I Heart Mobile Dentistry
I Heart Mobile Dentistry is a private Facebook group, but all health-care professionals, social workers, corporate leaders, educators, researchers, and others are welcome to join. It aims to provide its members with support, mentorship, education, networking, and even discounts. The Facebook page was created in November 2017, and as of this writing there are 2,637 members.
There is a shift toward mobile dentistry, which allows greater access to care and also greater opportunities for dental hygienists. But don’t let the thought of working out of a cramped van with outdated equipment scare you away from mobile dentistry. Affordable, ergonomic, and easy-to-use equipment along with teledentistry make mobile dentistry much more attractive than you may have thought.
Teledentistry is a must for mobile dentistry, along with easy access to cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant software. This allows you to communicate instantly with other providers and acquire and store information. The CDT codes have been updated to include teledentistry services.
The I Heart Mobile Dentistry group includes posts from members looking for advice on starting their own mobile dentistry ventures, member spotlights, equipment for sale, information on upcoming mobile dentistry and teledentistry events, member requests for information and recommendations, volunteer opportunities, and information on Melissa’s podcast, Dentistry Gone Wild. In other words, there’s something for everyone, even those of us not bold enough to venture out into mobile dentistry.
On an exciting note, in 2021 Melissa will be launching additional Facebook communities in an effort to expand the brand outside of mobile dentistry. The expansion is called I Heart Dentistry and is a network that will acknowledge underrecognized subgroups within the dental profession, support the individuals who make the industry what it is today, and celebrate diversity, inclusion, and community. Launch is right around the corner, so stay tuned!
Learn more about the National Mobile and Teledentistry Conference
Check out the American Mobile & Teledentistry Alliance
Kirsten Brancheau, BA, RDH, has been practicing clinical dental hygiene since 1978. She earned an associate’s degree in applied science in dental hygiene from Union County College in 1977 and a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Montclair State University in 1988. She is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Brancheau is also a freelance proofreader, editor, and writer. She can be reached at [email protected].