VideaHealth, providers of a dental diagnostic AI solution, announce $20 million in Series A financing led by Spark Capital. Existing investors Zetta Venture Partners and Pillar VC also contributed to the round. The company has raised $26.4 million to date and will use the financing to massively expand VideaHealth’s groundbreaking AI-based diagnostics capabilities to dentists, with the goal of being the leading AI solution for more than 6,750 practices by the end of 2023.
“VideaHealth is bringing standardized care powered by AI to dental care,” said Alex Finkelstein, General Partner of Spark Capital. “The industry needs this type of innovation and the vision, advanced AI capabilities and market strategy of this team will improve dentistry both for professionals and patients, and we’re proud to be an early investor.”
VideaHealth helps identify and communicate dental diseases and other conditions to dentists while they are actively attending to patients. The solution is expected to achieve regulatory clearance for its AI-based clinical image processing within the coming months, something no other vendor has achieved on the market today.
A recent joint study with VideaHealth partner Heartland Dental, which supports over 2,400 doctors in more than 1,600 dental offices across 38 states, demonstrated that VideaHealth’s AI platform helped clinicians detect 46% more caries lesions (cavities) and reduced errors by 10%. VideaHealth lets dentists achieve faster, more accurate diagnoses and enables better preventative care, providing substantial cost savings for patients by reducing invasive care.
By Dr. Edward Harsini, DDS, owner of Smile Dental Clinics in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Harsini graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School in 1998. He is certified by UCLA Aesthetic Continuum, the 3M Imtec Mini DentalImplants and GRU/AAID Maxi-Course Implant Dentistry.
The first thing you need to build a successful practice is being in a centralized location that has easy access for patients. If you are in an area with 50 or more dentists, you need to find an area that you can create and build your business, and an area where you set yourself apart.
Second, you need to have a great team and great culture in the workplace. Having a great team can take off a lot of the stresses of owning a business because everyone does their job and they do it well. Creating a great working environment and work culture will keep your employees enthusiastic about their job and excited to come to work every day.
Lastly, you must provide great patient care. Most dentists work off of referral because it doesn’t matter how much advertising you do, you want your patients referring their friends and family. This also helps build upyour credibility.
Patient engagement is really important because if the patient isn’t engaged in the diagnosis, case presentation and treatment plan, then you are basically talking to yourself. You have to have patient engagement because they areultimately paying for the procedure. If they are a passive listener whateveryou say isn’t going to hit home. You have to understand their goals. Sometimes they don’t know their goal, but by asking questions you find out what their ultimate goal is.
DECA Dental Group, a leading dental services organization based in Dallas, announced the hiring of a new chief human resources officer, Lyndsay Lord.
DECA is all-inclusive and brings the best minds together to create an exceptional experience in the dental field. Lyndsay has extensive leadership experience from global brands including Hilti, Pepsi, Arrow Electronics, CoreLogic, Sabre, and most recently Team Car Care dba Jiffy Lube. In addition, her passion for building high-performing and values-based cultures makes her an exciting fit for the DECA team.
“We are excited for Lyndsay to join the team. As DECA continues to grow, she will be essential to fostering and preserving our people-centric culture that has been a key to our success,” said Dr. Sulman Ahmed, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of DECA Dental Group.
Last year DECA expanded their team by 61%. Dr. Ahmed continued, “We have always been a progressive company and are proud of the fact that 81% of our employees are women, 45% are minorities, and 30% are Hispanic women. Notably, 56% of our dentists are women. DECA’s workplace is all-inclusive and brings the best minds together to create an exceptional experience in the dental field.”
By adding Lyndsay to the team, DECA continues the growth and diversity within the company. She will be essential in developing and executing a strategy to support the overall business, specifically in areas of succession planning, talent management, organizational and performance management, as well as total rewards.”
With joining DECA, Lord said, “I’m humbled and honored to be appointed as the CHRO for DECA Dental Group. I am inspired by what DECA stands for and its unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. DECA’s modern approach to dental care, which offers quality care to every patient in a convenient location, is transforming dentistry. I’m proud to join their outstanding leadership team.”
GLDP, a Shore Capital Partners portfolio company, provides practice management services to more than 30 partner locations. GLDP provides best-in-class support in operations, recruiting, technology, marketing and collaboration among clinicians.
“We are excited and honored that he chose GLDP as his partner. This is our second affiliation in Northwest Indiana, and we’ll continue to look for similarly impressive partners in 2022,” said Jeff McCall, CEO of Great Lakes Dental Partners on the new affiliation and the company’s plans for expansion.
GLDP is actively seeking dental office partnerships in the Midwest and is backed by Shore Capital Partners’ $112.5 million Fund I to support its continued growth. Ideal affiliation opportunities include owner doctors who want to partner with functional experts to grow their practices.
About Great Lakes Dental Partners Great Lakes Dental Partners is a dental support organization (DSO) committed to offering dentists and dental specialists the opportunity to focus on the clinical aspects of dentistry, providing exceptional care for every patient.
With a centrally located support center, operational best practices, access to the latest dental technology, and a best-in-class continuing education program, GLDP is dedicated to advancing dental healthcare in the Midwest.
About Shore Capital Partners Shore Capital Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on microcap healthcare and food & beverage investments. Shore supports management partners with capital, business development expertise, and industry knowledge to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions, and generate value to shareholders. Shore targets investments in proven, successful private companies with superior management teams, stable cash flow, and significant growth potential, including organic and growth through industry consolidation. More information visit www.shorecp.com.
Response from Dr. Michael Gulizio, DMD, MS and founder of NYC-based Core Smiles.
Building a practice these days is more difficult than it was when I started my practice (which was about 16 years ago). At the time I was considering building my own practice, an oral surgeon told me something that I never forgot — that it takes a year to build a day — which meant that for new dentists starting a private practice, it would take a full year of practicing until you would get to the point where you could book a full day of patients.
Today, unfortunately, this is not the case.
The introduction of private equity and venture capitalism into the dental ecosystem has changed the playing field. Dentists graduating right out of dental school are taking positions with corporate-run practices, such as “Tend” and “Dental365.”
They attract young dentists with a decent starting salary because these corporate entities are funded by hedge funds, angel investors, and private equity firms. They put quite a bit of money into the practices they develop by investing in beautifully-designed clinics, the latest technology, and street-level storefront space (which, as you know in NYC, is priced at a premium).
Unfortunately, dentists who work for corporate entities are very restricted in their ability to practice as intended. The reason I know this is because one of the participants in the program that I run at NYU told me that he cannot implement some of the concepts we are educating him on.
When I asked why, his response to me was that the corporate model is purely run to ensure production numbers are met on a daily basis (which, of course, is how corporate-run entities work) and that the very refined procedures taught in my program simply “take too much time” to execute properly in a corporate setting. Some of these procedures include basic adhesive dentistry — such as porcelain inlays and onlays and porcelain veneers. As a result, this model inherently affects the quality of dental care.
Another paradigm shift that has evolved more recently is that many practices, including my own, are incorporating dental specialists on-site. For example, my area of expertise is prosthodontics, the specialty that addresses major bite problems, TMJ treatment, reconstructive implant dentistry, and, more exclusively, esthetic dentistry; however, I am not equipped or trained in periodontal procedures.
When patient treatment requires periodontal intervention, I have had to refer my patients to a periodontist in another office, and, invariably, almost every single time, patients have complained to me that they do not like having to go to another clinic. I now have a periodontist in my clinic — not only is this better for patient convenience, but it is the optimal way to address patient treatment because, on occasion, I will need to work chairside with the periodontist to ensure that my patient gets the best result.
By Dr. Rick Callan and Dr. Jerry Cooper, Promethean Dental Systems.
Promethean Dental Systems began in 2019 with the primary goal of improving dental education using advanced simulation. Our team of experienced dental educators, technology specialists, and practice management experts has created a myriad of educational experiences designed to maximize the learning potential throughout the entire dental life cycle: from pre-admissions to retirement.
Using digital dental technology, dental practice software, virtual didactic presentations, and hands-on simulation (both traditional and haptic), we seek to provide our colleagues the opportunity to increase their knowledge of dentistry, enhance their hand skills and technical expertise, and improve the efficiency of their practice.
The curriculum of the dental schools in the United States is regulated by the American Dental Education Association through a recurring seven-year accreditation cycle. Although the standards for accreditation are established by the American Dental Education Association, how a school achieves these standards is determined by the school itself. Dental education has traditionally included the teaching of the basic sciences and necessary dental knowledge through a series of didactic lectures.
This is followed by many hours of instruction and practice in a simulated environment utilizing a dental typodont. Following the successful completion of these exercises, a student is permitted to practice these newly acquired skills on a patient in a closely monitored clinical setting. Graduates from ADEA accredited dental schools must pass a national board examination which affirms the knowledge of the science, materials, and techniques required of a professional dental practitioner. To acquire a license to practice in a particular state, each candidate must also pass a clinical examination which tests their diagnostic acumen, technical knowledge, and hand skills.
Dental materials and techniques continue to evolve, enhancing our ability to provide patients the opportunity to experience optimal oral health. Technology is changing not only the way we treat our patients, but also the way we educate our students. Contemporary learning theories and advances in the understanding of the cognitive process serve as guides on how to improve learning and enhance skill acquisition. Dental education and the dental profession should maximize the benefits of these important discoveries.
Promethean Dental System’s multi-modal approach to learning combines modern learning theory with state-of-the-art technology. We believe students learn best, and retain information (and skills) longer, when they learn the information (or skills) in a variety of ways (multi-modal). This learning is best accomplished over a period of time, with properly spaced exposures to the information or task. Appropriate, timely feedback is also critical to the learning process.
In addition to the time-proven use of the typodont for simulation of dental procedures, Promethean Dental Systems has implemented the use of the Simodont Dental Trainer.
The Simodont Dental Trainer is a virtual-haptic simulator that provides a more realistic dental experience for its operator: virtual in the sense that you are working on something that isn’t really there, and haptic as a life-like sense of touch and feel. Add to these attributes the Simodont’s ability to create a self-learning environment, providing immediate feedback, both outcome and informational feedback. This coupled with the purely objective assessment provided by the Simodont makes it an ideal tool for both teaching and assessment. We also are strong believers in the adage that “Assessment Drives Learning.”
Growing a dental practice can be hard work. In fact, it takes more than just being confident in your abilities to grow and manage this type of business successfully – you need an understanding of the strategies that are crucial for creating patient relationships as well as dental marketing strategy.
A dental practice needs to be proactive in order to thrive. It’s not enough that they have the best equipment or services and provide high-quality care each day; marketing is just as important if you want people coming into your office on a regular basis.
There are many strategies for marketing with varying results, but using combination methods will yield better outcomes than trying one strategy without another complementing it effectively.
Here are three dental marketing strategies:
1. Ask your patient for reviews Online reviews have been a key part of making business decisions for some time now, but the importance is growing. More and more people rely on online review sites when looking to buy products or services; this includes dental care providers. Google weights Maps search results based on review ratings – making it a key advantage (or disadvantage) for your SEO.
If you have an average 3.2 star rating on Google, and a competitor has a 4.7 rating, they’ll have a better chance of ranking above you. In addition, maintaining positive reviews can help build customer loyalty and attract new patients by improving brand perception in their eyes; however, negative feedback could hurt both current and prospective patients.
2. Start a Google Ad Campaign Google Ads is a platform that allows you to have your ad displayed when someone searches for certain keywords e.g. dentist in + location. When using this type of advertising, it’s important not only do you target location-based keywords but also use descriptions and headlines to highlight unique offers or other features about your practice which set you apart from others.
3. Sign up for competitor emails and newsletters You can learn a lot about your competition by listening to the way they communicate with their customers. You might be surprised at what you hear. On average, how often do they follow up after phone calls or emails? What type of promotions and discounts do these other dentists offer to prospective patients—do they have any loyalty programs set up.
Another important question would need answering here: “How does this particular office make referrals?” Is there an app involved somehow – maybe something like Groupon where people get discounted services instead-or just word of mouth alone?
Everyone is happier when their pay is appropriate for their work. Yet I hear from far too many associates who don’t understand how their compensation is calculated – or how much it can vary. .
It’s relatively easy to understand a straight salary, typical for those working in public health, academia, or government agencies. It gets more complicated for those paid in whole or on some percentage of their overall productivity in the office, which is the more common scenario for dentists employed in private practice or DSOs. Pay is typically based on total production, billable production, or total collections in these cases. To understand how variable take-home pay can be, let’s start by defining a few key terms:
Total production: the amount the practice can be paid based on the practice’s fee schedule
Billable production: the amount the practice can collect (dictated by a third-party payor)
Collections: what the practice actually collects for the procedure
Collection percentage: (collections/production) x 100
You should first consider the total production versus billable production. If the total production is equal to the billable production, it can be assumed that the practice is not a participating provider with PPO or DMO plans. If these numbers are quite different, it will be important to ask a few questions:
How will patients be distributed in the office? Will the associate see all the PPO/DMO patients while the practice owner sees fee-for-service patients primarily?
How does each plan pay? Does the practice struggle to collect from specific plans? Do some reimburse at lower rates? Is there an opportunity to renegotiate or potentially drop the lowest paying plan(s)?
An example of associate pay
Ms. Smith comes in for a crown. The practice’s fee schedule for a crown is $1,500. This is the total production. Ms. Smith’s PPO allows a maximum of $1,000 for a crown and the practice CANNOT collect the difference from the patient. That makes the billable production $1,000. Per the plan, the payor pays $500, and Ms. Smith’s practice bills $500. She pays $450, and the practice writes off the final $50. That means the total collection for this treatment was $950 out of a possible $1,000, for a collection percentage (of billable production) of 95%.
Dental support organization Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is joining healthcare professionals nationwide in recognizing American Heart Month by raising larger awareness of the link between oral health and heart health with campaigns in February targeted toward patients and its own team members.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Heart Association. There is increasing research indicating the connection between oral health and heart health is even more pronounced than experts previously thought. About 90% of middle-aged adults and more than 74% of young adults have one or more risk factors for heart disease. Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and gum disease or oral inflammation.
Periodontitis is a severe gum infection affecting 740 million people, making it is the sixth-most prevalent disease worldwide. One study showing the association between periodontal disease and atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases suggests that the risk factor of gum disease may initiate the development, maturation and instability of atheroma in arteries and conversely when the condition of one disease improves, it positively impacts the condition of the other. Early diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease can greatly impact and improve the status of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.
A new report from the National Institutes of Health summarizes that Americans’ oral health has largely worsened over the past 20 years and that movement toward integration of dental and medical services is an important strategy to improve patient care. Gary Pickard, Pacific Dental Services’ senior director of government and industry affairs, was a contributor on the report.
“Pacific Dental Services continues to lead the way in highlighting the connection between oral health and overall health, or what we call the Mouth-Body Connection, and the importance of dental-medical integration,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV, founder and CEO, Pacific Dental Services. “Our goal throughout American Heart Month is to continue educating our patients, team members and communities we serve about the importance of maintaining good oral health. A healthier smile lowers the risk of heart disease, which in turn creates a healthier heart.”
“The release of the Model Rule is another positive step in getting dental therapists into the field to provide effective, equitable and community-informed treatment to historically-excluded populations,” said Tera Bianchi, program director for the Dental Access Project at Community Catalyst, a co-chair of NPDT.
The Model Rule will provide guidance to policymakers, state licensing agencies, dental boards, Tribes, dental and nonprofit organizations, and other interested stakeholders in states that enacted dental therapy legislation and are planning regulatory implementation. This publication is another valuable tool for the development of state-level infrastructure for dental therapy education, practice and implementation. Other fundamental resources include model dental therapy legislation and the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s (CODA) national dental therapy education standards.
Kristen Mizzi Angelone, senior manager at The Pew Charitable Trusts, said, “The Model Rule provides evidence-based guidance that states need to develop rules to regulate the licensure and practice of this growing dental profession in the U.S. Along with the model legislation and CODA standards, this publication offers state stakeholders a foundation of dental therapy resources and reference materials as they move to authorize the practice of dental therapy, educate dental therapists, and then integrate these providers into their dental delivery systems—improving oral health and increasing access to care.”
Dental therapists, skilled dental professionals similar to physician assistants in medicine, have been working around the world for 100 years and in the U.S. since 2005, beginning in Alaska Native communities. They are currently authorized to practice in a dozen states around the country, but many states have yet to complete the complex rulemaking process.