Innovation That Matters

Mobile dental truck

Startup engages millennial patients with mobile dental care

Sport & Fitness

Mobile dental care aims to help millennials look forward to a trip to the dentist

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By now, most people are familiar with food trucks, mobile restaurants bringing tasty treats to different locations each day. But how about a mobile dental truck? Startup Lydian Dental aims to disrupt the dental industry with its mobile dentist’s office that brings dental care directly to the customer. Lydian hopes its hip, user-friendly approach will appeal to younger people and those seeking greater convenience.

Lydian already has four permanent offices in Texas and Arizona, where it offers a subscription service. Customers pay a monthly fee and can then access a variety of services at any time. The staff wears uniforms with quippy phrases and welcomes patients in a friendly atmosphere. Going even further in their mission to elevate the customer’s experience, the company decided to try something new. The partnered with design firm Rapt Studio to build RV-style mobile dental clinics with style. The creative team looked to the tiny house movement for inspiration. They came up with a design that featured wood panelled exteriors, lawn chairs, televisions and reclining patient chairs with a plaid upholstery. The idea was to make a trip to the dentist feel more relaxing and less threatening. Lydian also uses the mobile clinics to bring low-cost dental care to in-need communities.

Lydian currently has around 3,000 patients and 300 subscribers, but is looking to grow that number by partnering with businesses to provide on-site employer-provided coverage. The portable units are already proving popular with Austin tech startups looking to offer their employees the added perk of having dentists come to them. Lydian also hopes to appeal to millennial users with fun extras such as free toothbrushes, custom toothpaste flavors, and free chocolate bars branded ‘Flossify’. Lydian joins an increasing number of retail business that are looking to turn transactions into experiences, such as in-store AR experiences and a restaurant that allows diners to buy the furnishings as well as the food. Will this approach succeed in getting people to look forward to going to the dentist?



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