A local company offers a unique solution for anyone that dreads spending a day at the dentist, or finds traveling to medical appointments difficult.
Founded in 2021, St. Petersburg-based Home Dental to You (HDTY) brings dentistry services to a patient’s home or a company’s office building. While focused on preventative care such as exams, x-rays, photos, cleanings, fluoride treatments and teeth whitening, the business also offers an innovative cavity remedy.
Speaking to a panel of local business leaders for the St. Petersburg Greenhouse’s 1 Million Cups event Wednesday, Joleyn Carriveau, lead hygienist, explained how her company provides a comfortable and convenient alternative.
“You don’t have to drive to an appointment,” said Carriveau. “There’s no waiting room. It’s very safe, and we use state-of-the-art technology.”
Carriveau and Tampa-based Dr. Kirk Parrott, DDS, came up with the idea for HDTY after Florida approved teledentistry in 2019. The two partners each have over 20 years of experience in their respective fields.
The company, explained Carriveau, does not operate a van or bus. Instead, it rolls dental carts into a home, office or assisted living facility and serves patients of all ages. In addition to typical exams and x-rays, she said HDTY offers a topical cavity treatment that only costs $35 per tube and stops 95% of decay in two treatments.
“Not everybody wants to go into a dental office and get numbed, drilled and the bill,” added Carriveau. “All those fun things.”
Home Dental to You accepts seven major insurance plans and offers private payment options. There is also a grant available for people that cannot afford services.
While the company typically partners with outside dentists for referrals, Carriveau said HDTY plans to add an “on-site” dentist by the end of the year. She said the business primarily serves patients in Pinellas County but also travels to Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
When asked if she had any regional competition, Carriveau said, “not really.”
“No one’s crazy enough to do this,” she added with a laugh.
The company focuses on serving senior living facilities, explained Carriveau, like St. Pete’s Princess Martha apartments – as those residents tend to be less mobile. She said that even though able-bodied people enjoy the convenience of mobile services, those with diminished physical and mental capabilities can benefit the most, and Carriveau is a certified dementia provider.
She relayed that many people simply cannot travel to a brick-and-mortar dentist’s office and often go without care. Carriveau also noted that oral health directly influences a variety of diseases and conditions.
“So, having a healthy mouth equates to a healthy body,” she said.
Carriveau said the pandemic slowed HDTY’s growth in its first year, as offering in-home medical services was such a risky endeavor. However, she said the company’s client list is growing exponentially, and she now worries about the dental hygienist workforce shortage.
She added that she prefers to work with seasoned hygienists, as they must “think on their feet” and make quick decisions regarding patient care.
HDTY’s prices, said Carriveau, are comparable to those in a traditional dentist’s office. The company does add a mobile fee but offers a discount when seeing two or more patients at a facility. She also noted the services take up a minimal amount of space.
Carriveau, a Greenhouse Entrepreneurial Academy graduate, told the panel she is in “growth mode” and wants to perfect the model locally before expanding to other areas or creating a franchise program. She asked for assistance with referrals, specifically in larger facilities.
Driving, unloading equipment, disinfecting the area and then packing it all up can be cumbersome and time-consuming, she said, which underscores the benefit of serving multiple people in one location.