David Kanas closed his Roseville dental office eight years ago when he retired, but he says he's still practicing -- this time on the road.
He discovered a need for his services from patients who aren't able to travel or are immobilized by physical or health problems.
Such is the case with his visit to The Pines senior living facility in Rocklin where 89-year-old Doy Cahoon has a room.
The retired firefighter needs a walker to get around, and was dreading a visit to a dentist when he had problems with old dentures. He's more comfortable with an old-fashioned house call.
"I love that ... that type of service, it made it a lot easier," Cahoon said.
Kanas, 72, says there is a growing population of elderly dental patients who can't get to a dentist.
"They are in wheelchairs, they are in beds, strokes ... it's impossible even if you can get them to a dental office, to get them into a chair," Kanas said.
He says his patients respond better to dental work if they can stay in their own homes. And it's more enjoyable for him to interact with patients who are close to his age.
"It's very enjoyable to talk to these people, they have stories you would not believe," Kanas said.
Mobile dental hygienist Judy Boothby has done mobile teeth cleaning and disease prevention for 20 years and was assisting Dr. Kanas with Cahoon. She says a mobile dentist is a big help for her patients.
"When there's a need for extraction or dentures it's nice to have some ... reliable dentists to call on," Boothby said.
Kanas has expanded his service overseas, most recently treating nearly 700 impoverished children in the Marshall Islands with a group called Canvasback Missions.
He says he'd do things differently out of dental school knowing what he knows now.
"It's so rewarding, that I wouldn't even set up an office now, I'd go right directly into this," Kanas said.
He said with the exploding number of aging baby-boomers, the need for mobile dentistry will only grow.