As the Millennial Generation Overtakes Baby Boomers, Dental Groups Adapt with Convenient Solutions

In today’s shifting healthcare environment, employers are increasingly using worksite clinics to ensure that their employees and employees’ families have access to timely, affordable, quality care. Many employers see a worksite clinic as a means of attracting and retaining valued employees.

According to the 2018 Mercer Worksite Medical Clinics Survey, a collaboration between Mercer and the National Association of Worksite Health Centers, employers’ top objectives for establishing a worksite healthcare clinic are:

  • having better control of their overall healthcare spending
  • reducing member health risk
  • reducing absenteeism and presenteeism
  • increasing employee productivity.

At the same time, one of the largest generations in history is about to move into its key spending years. According to projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, this year, Millennials – people born between 1981 and 1996 – are projected to overtake the Baby Boomer generation in terms of sheer numbers.  Having such a prominent position in the economy, the consumer landscape must adapt to their wants and needs. These ripples will be felt for generations to come.

Millennials have been raised on electronics, and literally have the world at their fingertips, therefore they prefer to do things with ease and flexibility. In other words, they expect convenience. Wellness is extremely important to them, and is a daily, active pursuit.  They also tend to be frugal, so special promotions and deals resonate with this customer base.

There has been an explosion of onsite health clinics, and this popular model is also expanding into dental. The $125b dental industry is highly fragmented and largely unbranded and needs to adapt to the changing demographics’ mindset and their oral healthcare requisites.

Thirty-six percent of Americans have not gone to the dentist in over a year, increasing their risk of later-stage health complications. Every $1 spent on preventative healthcare saves $8 to $50 in later-stage care. It is estimated that 196 million work hours are lost every year due to traveling to the dentist. The most commonly cited reason for not using their benefits is the hassle of travel time, work hours lost, and finding a trustworthy dental professional.

Onsite Dental’s fixed dental practice, one of their three delivery models.

In 2018, Group Dentistry Now reported on onsite dental models like, Onsite Dental. They have three distinct innovative delivery models, providing onsite dental care in fixed-site and mobile practices to more than 230,000 staff members at leading organizations in technology, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, entertainment and higher education. (Read article here.)

We also reported on Lydian Dental, which has both brick-and-mortar locations, as well as RV-style mobile dental clinics, bringing the dentist’s office straight to employees. Inspired by the tiny house movement, they designed this option for low-cost treatment in a laid back, campsite-inspired setting, catering to Millennials’ desire for a frugal, convenient, and memorable experience. (Read article here.)

Lydian Dental’s RV-style mobile dental clinics.

Now, another mobile dental practice is gearing up for expansion: HENRY The Dentist.

HENRY, which currently services over 70 companies, rolls up to corporate offices with a state-of-the-art mobile dental facility, providing employees with an in-network health-and-wellness perk. They partner best with office sites that have 500+ employees, where the majority of employees are enrolled in a PPO dental plan.

The first napkin version of HENRY was created in 2016 by founders Justin Joffe and his wife Alexandria Ketcheson. Neither is a clinician, in fact, this is their first business venture into the healthcare space. Their dental director is a dentist.

A year after the napkin version, their vision became a reality and the first mobile dental practice opened. In 2018, they launched two more mobile dental practices. On February 4th, 2019, they opened their first brick-and-mortar practice. The practice is open to the public and is available for any patients seen in the mobile practices that may need further treatments.

Now, the dental support organization (DSO) has announced the closing of $10 million Series A financing, led by Forerunner Ventures, to expand its fleet of mobile dental practices to companies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York and additional states across the US.  The funding will be used to accelerate growth of new vehicles to meet the demand from companies and patients. Existing investors Brand Foundry and Trail Mix Ventures also participated in the financing.

Collectively, over 60,000 employees work at the offices HENRY visits with their mobile dental practices, seeing 15-30% of employees utilizing the onsite services. By bringing an in-network dentist to employers, the dental group saves an average of 1,080 hours of employee time per year. There is no cost to companies to bring the mobile dental practice onsite. Each of their mobile dental practices is outfitted with a panoramic x-ray, massage dental chairs, Apple TVs with access to Netflix and HBO, and they offer patients a wide array of services.

The primary reasons cited for not using benefits is the inconvenience of finding and going to an in-network dentist, as well as the fear that many patients feel about annual checkups. The multi-site group is in network with all PPO providers. Valuing continuity and relationship development, their big promise is to keep the same clinical team assigned to an office.

Regarding the origin of the name, well, there is no ‘Henry.’  Since dentistry can bring anxiety and fear to many patients, the founders chose a name they believe stands for approachable dentistry. The favicon is an upside-down molar and symbolic of royalty, which is how they want their patients to feel.

The emerging dental group is positioning themselves as an additive to the dental industry; not taking away patients from established practices, merely providing access to care to patients who have dental insurance but are not currently going to the dentist due to inconvenience and fear.






















Sources: WSJ.comPEW Research Center, The Atlantic, HENRY The Dentist, Mercer 2018 Worksite Medical Clinics SurveyTechCrunch

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