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Times Union –
Aspen Dental will open its doors on Saturday, June 25, to provide a day of free dental care for local veterans.
The second annual outreach event is part of Aspen Dental’s Healthy Mouth Movement, a program that helps veterans who are unable to access oral health care due to barriers like finances, availability, time and insurance – especially since most vets don’t qualify for dental care at the VA.
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PR Newswire –
Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today that Stanley M. Bergman, the Company’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, recently joined Shirley Shils, members of her family, and University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine officials for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Edward & Shirley Shils Clinic.
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If you’ve ever had a dentist inform you that you need a pricey procedure that wasn’t even on your radar screen, you’re in good company.
When you went in for your regular cleaning, maybe you were told you that you needed a more extensive and expensive “deep cleaning” treatment. Or perhaps the dentist insisted on placing a crown on a tooth with a small cavity instead of just filling it.
Or, maybe you were urged to replace your old mercury fillings even though they were intact.
These examples are part of a disturbing upselling trend dubbed “creative diagnosis” in a recent issue of ADANews, a publication of the American Dental Association (ADA).
Upselling in dentistry isn’t a new phenomenon but it appears to be on the rise. For one, dental school tuition has been increasing, and the average dental student now graduates with $241,097 in debt.
Meanwhile, dentists’ incomes have steadily declined over the last decade. Average general practitioner dentists’ earnings decreased from $215,876 in 2005 to $180,950 in 2013. This may be partly due to the fact that people get fewer cavities than they did in
the past, which means they have less need for dental treatment.
As a result, some dentists try to make up for lost income by recommending more expensive procedures and treatments than may be warranted.
While the mantra in dental school is to treat active decay first, notes Gigi Meinecke, DMD, a dentist in Potomac, Maryland, and a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, “I’ve seen dentists who will prioritize large ticket items (such as crowns, deep cleanings, or laser whitening) over treating active decay. X-rays seem to be a frequent up-sell procedure.”
Healthy patients need a full set of dental X-rays no more frequently than every two years, according to the ADA.
Besides excessive X-rays, other upselling tactics you should be on the lookout for include:
Filling replacement. “Without the presence of a recent or current change in overall health, it’s really rare that a person who has been receiving regular dental care would suddenly need to have all their fillings changed — that should raise suspicion in a patient,” Meinecke says.
“Deep” cleaning. “If you’ve been getting your teeth cleaned faithfully every 6 months since forever and someone says you need a deep cleaning, I’d get a friend to recommend another dentist and move on,” Dr. Meinecke says. “If the diagnosis is independently corroborated then go with it.”
Crowns instead of fillings. Having a crown put in is more expensive than a filling — and not always warranted — so this recommendation is a red flag.
“Most patients have a sixth sense about shady dealings,” Dr. Meinecke says. “If you’re feeling uneasy, be polite, make your exit, and seek a second opinion.”
The bottom line: “Most dentists are honest and entered this profession because they want to help people, but every profession has its bad apples,” Dr. Meinecke says.
“Patients should be as careful in selecting a dentist as they are in selecting their friends. If you don’t feel a dentist is trustworthy, genuine, a good listener, or respectful, find another one. There are lots of us out there.”
Read more: Dental Ripoffs: Beware the Upsell in Dentistry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Contact: Erin Hughes
Email: [email protected]
In a new video released today, Doug Brown, President, CEO and Director of Affordable Care, Inc. and Vice President of the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO), encourages members to attend the ADSO Summit at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, from April 20-22. Register today, as deadlines for booking hotel accommodations at the guaranteed ADSO block rates are approaching.
In the video, Mr. Brown describes the ADSO Summit as one of the most valuable opportunities of the year for dental professionals. He highlights some of the networking opportunities, such as the several planned breakout sessions, saying that it is a “great way to interface and have contact with colleagues within the industry.” You can watch the full video here.
Fifteen years ago, Mr. Brown helped bring together a group of industry leaders which led to the formation of the ADSO. He has served in various leadership positions within the ADSO, and he currently serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs. He has led large Dental Support Organizations since 1998 and has previously worked for Arthur Young & Company, several large retail companies, and a management consulting firm that he co-founded.
About the ADSO
The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) is a non-profit organization that represents ADSO is an international trade association whose members support more than 12,000 dentists across the country. ADSO supports its members through research, education and advocacy; enabling them to foster innovation, collaboration and a vibrant market where DSO-supported dentists can provide quality oral health care.
For more information and to register for the conference, please visit www.theadso.org. Follow the conversation on Twitter with #ADSOSummit.
What is the most important thing readers should know about oral care?
People don’t realize the importance of routine oral exams as it relates to their overall health. Research shows that more than 90 percent of systemic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, have oral manifestations. Dentists supported by Dental Support Organizations (DSO’s) have access to world-class continuing education and cutting edge technology.
What is the most common misconception about oral health?
The physician community realized a long time ago that they would have a lot more time to focus on patients if someone else was supporting their administrative functions. Solo dentists spend an average of 20 percent of their time doing non-clinical business activities like billing, which is why there is a major shift toward having Dental Support Organizations (DSO’s) carry out these functions.
How does oral health impact overall wellness?
In addition to keeping their patients disease-free and pain free, modern dentistry has made incredible advances in cosmetic dentistry, implant placements and braces-free orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign. All these advances have provided a powerful boost to both comfort and improved self-esteem. Today’s dentistry is much different than just a few decades ago.
What new technology in oral health are you most excited about?
Most dental offices now use digital x-ray machines. CT scanners are gaining usage as are scanners to eliminate goopy impressions for crowns, etc. Of course, this technology comes at a price (literally) which is another reason why dentists choose the support of a Dental Support Organization (DSO) as we can negotiate better pricing from vendors.
Rick Workman, D.D.S., Immediate Past President, Association of Dental Support Organizations