Dr. Hazel Glasper is the comprehensive dentist and owner of Revive Dental, based in Marriottsville, Maryland, and has recently been selected as the spokeswoman on oral health for the American Health Association. She has been practicing comprehensive dentistry for over 20 years and is doing exceptional work in her industry.
Two years ago she launched the Comprehensive Continuum, geared towards educating the dental community, and the Teach Me Dental Campaign, geared toward educating the public. Since 1999, she has made notable accomplishments to change the face of dentistry including encouraging dentists to study the principles of comprehensive care and take a more comprehensive approach with each patient.
“I have a developed a process that promotes the proper education of each patient, the thorough diagnosis, and the execution of treatment. We know what oral conditions cause systemic problems and what systemic diseases have oral manifestations. As a comprehensive dentist, my primary goal is to prevent these diseases or certainly improve the overall health of my patients.”
According to Dr. Glasper, if dentists follow health, function, and aesthetics from a comprehensive approach they will discover that:
1. The focus will not be on teeth, but on health. Our perception and value to our patients will improve.
2. The patients will be healthier and our role as doctors; not just dentists, becomes clear. We will improve many common health problems—heart disease, cancer, cognitive issues, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and lung conditions. When we practice in this way we reinforce the fact that “dentistry is a branch of medicine.”
3. Simply because we are treating more conditions and diseases, our practice will financially benefit from the additional services that we provide.
4. Dentistry becomes less stressful and more purpose-driven.
As we shift the focus to the everyday small business owner, or solopreneur, there are scores that have health insurance independent of their past employer or who may not have health insurance at all. We asked Dr. Glasper to share sound advice on how insurance affects our dental health:
Dr. Glasper: It is important to know that dental insurance is not the same as medical insurance. One of the issues I highlight often is the fact that there is a “dental healthcare crisis.” If an employee has considerable dental needs, most dental insurance covers very little. The average yearly benefit of most dental insurances is approximately $1500, and that figure has not changed for many years. Most individuals have significant dental needs that can quickly exceed $1,500 a year. The dental office should offer their patients financial options to assist with their out of pocket expenses.
1. Choose A Comprehensive Dentist – one who is looking at the entire picture. Most HMO/PPO insurances promote treating a large volume of patients versus delivering quality care.
2. Educate Yourself On The Available Treatment Options – realize most dental insurance companies have dental plan administrators or customer service reps with little to no dental training. This lack of training can cause a lack of proper communication between the insurance company and dental offices. These limiting plans tend to dictate treatment that is not always the best option for the patient.
3. Ask Your Dentist for a Complete Examination – due to the reimbursement rate, to the dental(most of the time being ½ or ⅓ of the UCR (Usual and Customary) fee for most of these plans, an alarming consequence is less time being spent on diagnosing, educating, and treating the patients.
4. Speak To Your Employer – about negotiating and offering dental insurance that allows you to choose the dentist you want to provide care for you and your family- not a plan that limits access.
5. Let Your Lobbyist Know – that you get the connection between oral health and overall health so they can start pushing for better coverage for dental care. There will never be more benefits allotted for this until we let our government know we see it as important. The objective here is not to imply that dentists are cutting corners due to insurances, but to help them better understand how to navigate their treatment in the best interest of patients and strengthen their practices, notwithstanding the limitations of dental insurances.
In the near future, Dr. Glasper will be offering workshops in dental schools, for juniors and seniors, on the business of dentistry. In addition, she will also be offering office-coaching for new and existing dentists to help them better understand the practice of comprehensive care and improve their business model.
Roz A. Gee (@RozAGee) consults as The MediaMatch Maven™ of The Rated Gee Agency with service sectors in media relations, brand readiness, and speaking and training. Roz has masterfully mixed over 20 years of cumulative experience and has worked professionally for industry titans such as General Electric, AT&T, AOL, IBM, and Northrop Grumman. Schedule a complimentary analysis at www.MediaMatchMaven.com. You can also find her on Twitter (@RozAGee) and Facebook.