Mobile dentistry reaches Detroit, thanks to Ford philanthropy

There’s no vehicle in the Ford Motor Company photo that accompanies this news, which is too bad, because this is all about a vital, and portable, health service that yours truly could seriously utilize right about now. It’s long been a regrettable reality that people living in some urban areas often lack easy access to important areas of health care, especially dentistry. For a long time, if a community dentist wasn’t in your neighborhood, you were probably condemned to poor hygiene and likely tooth loss unless you joined the armed forces or something. That’s still true in too many locations today but some people, some of them working for Ford, are doing something about it now.

Hygiene on Wheels, Inc. and My Community Dental Centers will each receive a custom Ford Transit van converted into a mobile dental office later this year. The mobile units will be equipped with technology – including digital x-rays, intraoral cameras, tele-dentistry capabilities and more – that allow the businesses to provide preventative dental care, emergency procedures and dental hygiene education to insured, uninsured and underinsured patients alike.

Hygiene on Wheels Inc. and My Community Dental Centers are the co-recipients of new Ford Transit vans converted into mobile dental clinics under the Motor City Kares Initiative, a collaboration between Ford, Michigan-based Delta Dental and Kare Mobile, with support from the Lightship Foundation. The minority-led dental providers will use the Ford vans under a $500,000 agreement to provide high-quality dental care to historically Black areas of southwest Detroit, including the Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods. The two-year pact will require the providers to spend at least half their time treating patients in southwest Detroit. The Transit vans will be outfitted by Motor City Kares to incorporate digital x-rays, intraoral cameras and teledentistry capabilities, among other services. This is all good, because poor oral health is substantively linked to broader medical issues, including cardiovascular disease.

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