Jenny Reed, RDH, BS, M. Ed.

Why mobile dentistry? ...

My answer is simple: there is an immense and growing need for it. We need more dental professionals to join this transformative movement, particularly for our aging population. According to the Wisconsin Oral Health Department, as of 2018, one out of every two nursing home residents with natural teeth had unmet dental treatment needs. This statistic speaks to the urgency of our mission.

With over 15 years of experience in the field of dentistry, the majority of which I spent in private practice, it wasn't until the COVID-19 pandemic that I truly recognized the pressing concerns facing our older adults in nursing homes. In 2020, I was invited by a nursing home facility to initiate a toothbrushing program, which opened my eyes to the dire need for professional dental care among residents. It was then that I realized the potential benefits of providing comprehensive dental cleaning services using scalers, but like many others, I was uncertain if this was possible.

Through extensive research and collaborative brainstorming with legal experts, I discovered that, as a registered dental hygienist, I could practice in the state of Wisconsin without the supervision of a dentist, thanks to the WI ACT 20 Law. This revelation marked a turning point in my career.

In 2021, RDH Communications LLC was born, and I take immense pride in the fact that, as dental hygienists, we've made a significant impact. We've conducted more than 300 dental screenings, delivered professional dental cleanings, applied prescription fluoride treatments to halt decay, and facilitated referrals to dentists within our communities.

As a dental hygienist, I cherish the opportunity to travel and meet incredible people within our communities. I collaborate with compassionate healthcare facilities, serve loving patients, work closely with hardworking legal guardians and diligent attorneys, and partner with kind-hearted dental offices that patiently and empathetically address the needs of our referrals. Mobile dentistry enables me to be a vocal advocate for those who may not have the means to express their dental concerns, bridging a crucial gap in healthcare and promoting overall well-being for our aging population. Together, we're making a positive difference, one smile at a time.

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln