The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice Of The DSO Industry – Episode 73

The Group Dentistry Now Show is joined by Enable Dental’s Vice President, Joyce Go. Bill Neumann and Joyce Go discuss:

  • How Enable Dental decided to develop their portable dentistry model
  • What patients benefit from this model
  • What makes Enable Dental unique
  • How has COVID-19 impacted portable dentistry
  • What challenges has Joyce encountered as a woman in the DSO industry
  • and much more.

To find out more about Enable Dental visit https://enabledental.com or email Joyce Go directly [email protected]

If you like our podcast, please give us a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review on iTunes http://apple.co/2Nejsfa and a Thumbs Up on YouTube.

Our podcast series brings you dental support and emerging dental group practice analysis, conversation, trends, news and events. Listen to leaders in the DSO and emerging dental group space talk about their challenges, successes, and the future of group dentistry. The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice of the DSO Industry has listeners across North & South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. If you like our show, tell a friend or a colleague.

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Full Transcript:

Bill Neumann:

Hey, I’d like to welcome everyone to The Group Dentistry Now Show. I’m Bill Neumann. And as always, really appreciate everybody tuning in today, whether you are listening to us on Apple or Google or Spotify or anyone of the number of listening platforms that we’re on, or if you happen to be watching us on YouTube, however you consume the content, we really appreciate you being here. Without an audience, we wouldn’t have a show. And of course, without great guests, we wouldn’t have an audience. Our next great guest that we have is Joyce Go. She is the vice president of Enable Dental. Joyce, thanks for being here today.

Joyce Go:

Yeah, thanks for having me, Bill. I’m really excited.

Bill Neumann:

I’m going to do a brief introduction to Joyce. The one thing I found out, which is pretty cool, is that we are both graduates of Clemson University. I graduated there. I won’t mention the year I graduated, but well before Joyce was there, and she actually got her master’s there. I got my undergrad there, but great school and we can compare football stories, but a wonderful place to go to school for sure. That’s something that we have in common, and we’re also in the DSO space. We can talk a little bit about the dynamics of the industry and how it’s changing and how maybe it gets a bad rap sometimes and isn’t justified. I believe 100% it’s not justified.

Bill Neumann:

Besides going to Clemson and getting her master’s and her master’s was in biological sciences, she went to undergrad at Texas A&M where she got her bachelor’s in English. Also, her background is in dentistry. She was a dental assistant and also a dental manager. Joyce, I gave just a brief introduction to you, so kind of fill in… I’d love for you to talk a little bit about your background, your experience as a dental assistant and dental manager, and talk a little bit about how you got into dentistry and obviously a passion, because now you’re in it and you’re with Enabled Dental.

Joyce Go:

Sure, yeah. Clemson, right? That was really supposed to be a stepping stone to dental school. I was pre-dent, wanted to be a dentist, thought that ever since I was 13, and went to became a dental assistant very, very early on. That’s why I actually got into mobile dentistry. I thought it would be a very cool thing to write about as I applied to dental school. Had experience with endodontic, some oral surgery, general dentistry. And then right when I felt like I was going to go to dental school, wanted to do something unique. I went to Africa for a little bit, did dental reach there, and then said, “Hey, what else can I do to make my resume look good and make me stand out?”

Joyce Go:

Mobile dentistry was what I thought would make me stand out, and little did I know that it actually is where my passion lied. That’s kind of a brief description. Started off as a dental assistant, knew nothing about senior, living went into nursing homes. Didn’t even know that’s what mobile dentistry meant, but we went into senior living facilities, had a knack for being able to provide care for the elderly population and then became dental manager about two months after starting. And then the rest of history.

Bill Neumann:

Okay. Dental school, you kind of pivoted and you wanted to stay in dentistry, but you actually ended up more on the management side of things. Let’s talk a little bit about Enable Dental. How long have you been in Enable and talk a little bit about your role there as vice president. First, tell us what it is. I know that it’s a portable dentistry company. I’d love for you to talk… What does that mean? Talk about the history of Enable and your role as a VP. It’s like five questions right there.

Joyce Go:

Enable Dental, portable dental company, people think it’s mobile and that it’s interchangeable. I probably have this conversation about 10 to 20 times a week. Portable dentistry is when you bring all the equipment and the dental stuff into a person’s home. You work out of their beds, their wheelchairs, their recliners. Very different from a mobile van that’s already set up. Kind of looks like an office, just in a van. We bring all the services to patients who can’t get up, a lot of bedbound patients, patients who don’t do well in unfamiliar environments and bring everything into a very comfortable environment. That’s our focus as our company. I’ve been here since 2015, so almost seven years.

Joyce Go:

We were very small back then. Started out of Austin, Texas and San Antonio existed then. Then I opened Houston and that’s kind of where things started to change for me for clinical to administrative. I was given an opportunity to open the Houston market and my heart was in access to care. And I said, “Oh, how cool. I’ll open Houston, then go to dental school.” Turns out that there was a massive need and I realized pretty quickly that you can make a big impact in dentistry without having to be the one to do the fillings, pull the teeth. You don’t have to necessarily be patient facing to make a really big impact.

Joyce Go:

I feel like I was able to help serve thousands of people in the Houston market in the few years that I started that in a way that I couldn’t as a dental provider seeing one patient at a time. Moved up in the company. Opened Houston. Did new markets. I opened our Dallas location. Our California helped open our Denver and Kansas markets. And now I oversee that team, the growth team. And as vice president, I do that, but I also do our business development, any type of partnerships, any organizations, people who are aligned with our vision of providing access to care, whatever that might look like, we like to be innovative and on the forefront of just disrupting the industry as we know dentistry to be.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, that makes sense. Talk a little bit about the partnerships. Do you somehow form a contract or a relationship with a senior living facility? I know it’s not just senior living, right? There’s special needs patients as well.

Joyce Go:

Yeah, sure. Our backbone is senior living and adults with special needs. That’s really who we serve, not the general population typically. Our partnerships vary. People can Google us and someone whose mom lives in a senior living facility can just sign a consent form and tell us where they are in the city and we go to them. Larger partnerships, it just depends on the organization. If you have organizations that want to provide care to a large population that cannot get to the dentist, then we provide custom solutions to do that, however that looks, whether it’s full suite or not.

Bill Neumann:

Individual can reach out in a specific market and you’d go to their home if they’re still in their home and you would actually visit them, or in a lot of cases, it would be a senior living facility that you would go into.

Joyce Go:

Right, yeah. A lot of business to consumer. Our B2B is senior living facilities. That’s pretty much how we started. Senior living facilities have a hard time transporting their residents to dental offices. They don’t have enough staff to have them go with them. They’re looking for alternative models and they reach out to us or vice versa and we let them know that we’re an option.

Bill Neumann:

Excellent. It’s a lot of fun. Is it hygiene work that you’re doing? Is it hygiene and extractions? Tell me a little bit about what work is actually done there on site.

Joyce Go:

Yeah. It’s pretty cool actually, and I was pretty amazed by it too, because I think mobile and you think like screenings and you think cleanings. We do full suite services. Anything that you would want as an 80 year old person, we could do at your chair side to everything from exams, x-rays, cleanings, all the way to extractions, dentures, alveoloplasty, fillings, crowns. You name it. We can do it chair side.

Bill Neumann:

Really cool. So everything.

Joyce Go:

Everything.

Bill Neumann:

That sounds good. You mentioned the markets. You started in Austin, right? You kind of spread out through Texas a little bit. And then was California the next move? Is that what it sounded like?

Joyce Go:

Texas first and then Kansas. We were in Kansas City, so both Kansas and Missouri because Kansas City is both, and then Colorado. And then California is actually our most recent. It’s a really massive state, so it’s probably going to be our next biggest state.

Bill Neumann:

What was the logic behind going from Texas to Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri? Was there any reason to do that? Was there just a partnership that formed there and it made sense?

Joyce Go:

No, actually. We only have recently done partnerships. I think the idea was that we… When we met, we want to provide access. We wanted to be a national option for people, right? We served senior living facilities that were national companies, so your Brookdale’s, right, for example. They just didn’t have a national option, so we found that a lot of people were trying to piece mail their dental offering, right? Depending on location, you found a local dentist. I think it was just within our company’s philosophy. Just our core vision for the company was to provide access and just scaling that solution.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah, makes a lot of sense. Again, I want to… Because this is pretty important. Besides the fact that I learned that you’re Clemson grad, the difference between portable dentistry and mobile dentistry. Let me just make sure I’ve got this definition right for the audience. When we go to these different DSO meetings, we all know the difference because normally you think of mobile dentistry and then portable you kind of think as a synonym. But portable is really all the equipment comes in. You take it to the patient versus maybe you have a rolling fan or you take that patient somewhere relatively close by, but you’re still moving them into mostly like a mobile van or something like that. That’s really the difference.

Joyce Go:

Yeah, pretty much, The history of mobile dentistry really started with schools, right, with children. Children are mobile, typically mobile. Run around. It’s not a liability for them to go into a van during like school hours or in areas where you can set up a mobile van. For the population that we serve, IDD, geriatrics, it’s difficult for them to go into a van, to go up a ramp, to go upstairs. And then for population that really, really needs us, which is your memory care, your skilled nursing, they’re just immobile, right? And it’s a liability for them to get out. Something as simple as for us to be like, it’s just outside, just go outside the facility.

Joyce Go:

If you’re in a place like Seattle or a place like Colorado in December, I mean, it’s not just going outside, you’re like going through snow. You’re in the rain. And really it’s just not a pleasant experience. People don’t like going to the dentist to begin with. We just bring everything to them, your dental unit, your dental chair, everything, your x-rays, right there wherever they are, whether that’s in a hair salon or whether that’s in their room. We’re pretty flexible.

Bill Neumann:

Yeah. Gosh, that must be pretty challenging. I mean, do you have special equipment? What are you using as far as the chair set up? I’m kind of curious a little bit about what that all looks like.

Joyce Go:

Yeah. I mean, thankfully, there’s a lot of companies now that are really understanding that alternative delivery models are important and dentistry included in that. There are portable dental equipment, right? Ours in particular looks like a little luggage bag that we lug in and we have kind of military grade equipment where we put in all of the supplies and your instruments. We just roll it in. Our team comes in and we roll it in. Wherever there’s space, we literally will work out of someone’s living room or their kitchen or their bedroom. We just bring everything in, set up. We have a little process and we can get set up in a few minutes and break down in a few minutes. It’s essentially setting up a dental office for every single patient.

Bill Neumann:

Talk a little bit about the needs of the patients, because you have an elderly population or adults with special needs. Do we see hygiene a big, big issue, or are they pretty good on the hygiene side in general?

Joyce Go:

In general, no. I’m mean, most people don’t want to brush or floss their own teeth, right? When you’re trying to brush or floss someone else’s teeth, it’s not really… It’s a difficult one, depending on the compliance of the patient. A lot of patients, they clench and grind. They won’t open their mouths for someone else. It proves to be very difficult for a caregiver who’s already working very hard to feed the patient, to transport the patient, to care for them. A lot of the times, the oral hygiene of the geriatric population is typically pretty poor across the board. Periodontal disease is pretty common in the geriatric population.

Joyce Go:

That’s what we find, especially in facilities where they haven’t really honed in on their dental service offering, right? It’s there if they need it, but usually people call on the dentist when something hurts. And by that time, there aren’t many options. There isn’t a lot of preventative happening because it’s not on the forefront. But I think that’s changing. For those facilities that have access, that prioritize and value dental, we do see that they are saving costs and helping people prevent pain and helping them eat and maintain the way they want to live, especially at that time in their life.

Bill Neumann:

Let’s talk a little bit about that because it’s a great point. You talked about the facilities that value dental. When you start to talk to some of senior living facilities, some I’m sure are massive, right? They’re across state lines and some are relatively local, I would guess. Overall, I mean, where does dental kind of fall from a standpoint of the senior living, the people that live there? Is it high up? Is it lower? I mean, we probably think of primary care first, but then where does dentistry fall?

Joyce Go:

It’s all over the board. I mean, just as a general national philosophy, dental is typically separate from medical. I mean, Medicare has no dental coverage, right? That’s probably a pretty big issue as to why there is lack of access for the elderly population, right? We have facilities who are advocates for it, who understand that you need to eat. If you’re not able to eat, your health declines pretty rapidly. And then there are other people whose philosophy is more like it’s end of life care. If they haven’t complained now, then they’re likely okay. And there’s that assumption that unless something hurts, that’s when you fix it. Really across the board, there’s just such different viewpoints. It just depends.

Bill Neumann:

We touched on a little bit about what I believe makes Enable Dental different, right? Portable versus mobile. It seems pretty unique to me. I don’t know many platforms out there. I mean, it may be an adjunct to some of the mobile dentistry that’s done that I think of, but are you solely portable? I mean, is there any mobile component? Do you have any vans?

Joyce Go:

Nope. We’re completely portable. I actually take pride in that. We definitely don’t want to be like a Jack of all trades and master of none. When we say like we are population specific, we really are. We understand overall health. We really approach dentistry from a holistic standpoint for these patients. A lot of our patients have polypharmacy. They’re very medically compromised. You get a medical history. I’ll say, “I take ibuprofen,” right? It’s very easy. But these patients have like 20, 30 diagnose with an even longer list of medications and that impacts dental care and what kind of dental care they can receive.

Joyce Go:

We work very closely with care teams. I think that’s what makes us pretty unique and why I think we can provide a better service offering for this population.

Bill Neumann:

For sure. Yep. Talk a little bit about this too because I know Enable is venture backed. That’s relatively unique in the DSO industry, right? A lot of times it’s private equity versus venture. But because of I think the fact that your model’s very unique, your venture backed. Talk a little bit about how that all worked out. Was that right from the get-go 2015 or was that a little later on?

Joyce Go:

Not at all. We bootstrapped. Yeah, we bootstrapped when I first came onboard, and I’m talking like really just from the ground up, did everything when I opened Houston. I did the marketing. I was the dental assistant. I was the dental manager. I did all the ordering. When someone called and said, “Hey, there was a treatment plan,” I presented the treatment plan. It was as start uppy as you can get. As we got better and understood the need, really having that funding, that capital, that support where we could be more innovative or we could take bigger risks was really helpful in trying to create something that doesn’t exist or at least something that’s not common yet. That takes resources, right?

Joyce Go:

Lots of people between the whole DSO and VC backed idea don’t like that, right? They’re like, “Oh, you’re all about the bottom line,” which I don’t think so. I think that lets us provide a better offering where we can be more scalable and therefore more affordable for those people who can’t afford us. That’s kind of the idea. FCA has led our first round of fundraising and they’ve been pretty pivotal in our expansion to other markets and trying to determine how we can serve other partners where it’s not just to the consumer. It’s not just one person, one family member trying to google a dental provider for their mom in a senior living facility.

Bill Neumann:

How were things handled before Enable Dental came on the market? I mean, if I had a mother or a father in a senior living facility, was that what I was doing? I was trying to reach out to a dentist that would go in and see them?

Joyce Go:

Yeah, or, and it still happens now, there’s a lot of patchwork solutions that are given to someone who has dental issues, but can’t get to the dentist. Oftentimes what happens is they go and they end up going to the ER or the hospital. They go to the ER or the hospital. They give them some antibiotic and they’re like, “Oh, great. It’s fixed.” It’s not fixed. You’re just trying to fix the symptom, but not necessarily the root cause of it. It happens now in a lot of geriatric patients. They have back pain, osteoporosis. They are on some type of pain medication like Tramadol, for example. A lot of the dental issues are very veiled because the symptoms are also very covered or addressed by some other medication, right?

Joyce Go:

If you didn’t have Enable Dental, you wouldn’t know that your mom or dad had pain until their face was swollen. And at that point, you’d get a call from the facility and tells you, “Hey, we need to send your mom to the ER. She’s not eating. Her face is swollen.” You’d get to the ER or the hospital, give your mom or dad some IV, make sure that she’s okay. And when the swelling went down, they’d say, “Hey, bring them to a dentist,” because they don’t have the x-rays to put in their mouth. They don’t have the instruments. They tell you to go to your primary dental provider, which for most of our patients, that doesn’t exist.

Bill Neumann:

Speaking of being in a senior living facility, I’d love to hear about the challenges with COVID, because it’s probably one of the most difficult places to access during COVID. I mean, especially at the beginning when things were super locked down, where family wasn’t even able to come in to visit the seniors. Talk a little bit about how Enable kind of worked during that time. And then with your role in particular, how did you communicate with the different partners in the different states?

Joyce Go:

Sure. I mean, it was pretty difficult. For a little bit, dentistry was pretty much illegal to do for about two months. I think it brought to light a lot of gaps in healthcare as it relates to dental, right? We spoke earlier about how dental is separate from the body. It’s not covered in Medicare. It’s almost like a luxury to have dental, but not a necessity. That same kind of mindset showed itself early on in the pandemic where it was like, hey, for dental, unless your jaw was broken or unless it was life threatening, you couldn’t do dentistry during the pandemic. We had to shut down our operations for a while.

Joyce Go:

It was very, very scary. Had to furlough some of our employees and very difficult to see a lot of our patients who they didn’t have their denture. They lost their denture. They had severe pain. We essentially had to say, “Nope, we can’t, unless it’s life threatening.” I mean, at which point, if dental is life threatening, we can’t do anything for you anymore. You’re going to the hospital. Very difficult. Lots of education had to happen. Lots of advocating for the patient and dentistry had to happen. We had to tell people, “Hey, you can’t keep people from eating or not address dental issues because there are bigger implications that come from that.”

Joyce Go:

Had to educate facilities and some facilities then were like, “Oh, you’re essential.” It took about eight weeks to realize that dental is an essential need. We were able to come in very… It was difficult to even, because we deal with the most immunocompromised and most vulnerable population, not even generally, but the pandemic, right? They had the highest mortality rate. It was terrifying for us as a company to be like, gosh, I don’t want to be in the news, being like, Enable Dental spread COVID across multiple states. We really worked very, very hard to make sure we had all the PPE, KN95 masks, N95 masks if they were available. We spared no expense to ensure that there was no way we could possibly spread COVID.

Joyce Go:

In certain places we did a COVID testing and trying to implement that. If you’ve ever had a COVID test, it’s awful. I got it in my nose every single week and it was terrible. There was a lot of barriers, not only from educating the facility, but also from operationally. Very, very difficult. We had a workforce that was kind of scared to still go out. How contagious was COVID, right? We’re working in patient’s mouths. It was a pretty scary time as we tried to navigate through COVID-19 and a very vulnerable population, right? But worked through it. We came out ahead. I think we opened a lot of eyes to the importance of alternative delivery models.

Joyce Go:

All the facilities that said, “No, we bring them to the dentist across the street. We go to there after Walmart,” finally understood like, hey, that can be an option too. We can have portable dentistry.

Bill Neumann:

That’s great. You got through COVID. Things opened back up. You’re able to take care of the patients again that probably desperately needed the dental care. Talk about your role personally. Let’s just talk a little bit about getting into the DSO space and kind of what your experience is and a little bit about some of the challenges you may have run into or are still running into.

Joyce Go:

I mean, dentistry is unique in that it’s very heavily stratified, right? You have your dental assistant, your hygienist, and your dentist. You don’t get promoted to hygienist. No matter how hard I work, I will never be promoted to dentist. It’s not going to happen, right? A lot of people, at least for me, I didn’t understand the administrative portion of dental and how important that was, which is why DSOs are so important, right? I came in as an assistant and now I’m in administration. It was weird to go from assistant to being, okay, I’m a manager, and that’s usually how it goes, right? Managers now have historically been assistants or treatment coordinators.

Joyce Go:

It’s a very common story to be promoted to that. There is no master’s in dental administration. Clemson, if you ever want to do something unique, if you’re listening, there’s masters in healthcare administration for dental that does not exist, right? You have your assistants. We have a certificate and we just get better and we learn. That’s kind of been my journey. I became an assistant. I learned how to market. I learned the import of marketing and education. I then managed employees, learned to hire them. I’m not HR. I didn’t learn to recruit or talk to people. It was really just being able to talk to people like myself that was an assistant and wanted to do more and have a bigger impact.

Joyce Go:

From where I am now as an executive, it’s even harder because dentistry is very heavily female. Your assistants and hygienists, typically you think an assistant and a hygienist, it’s female. But in leadership in DSO, much like most other markets, very heavily male. DSO is oftentimes corporate. Corporate leadership is typically very heavily male. Trying to get that guidance, that understanding, that mentorship, that I was able to provide and find like in assisting in the clinical aspect where a dental manager could mentor me as an assistant. I could mentor dental assistants. There aren’t many vice presidents of business development doing dental industry expansion whose female. It’s been challenging.

Bill Neumann:

I would say all you have to do is go to any DSO meeting to notice that, right? Any one of the live meetings to notice that it’s still heavily male, although it seems like there are some things that may be changing. We touched on a couple of those things before we started to record this segment. Your thoughts on that.

Joyce Go:

Yeah. I think there’s definitely a pretty heavy movement, not even in dentistry, but all markets in general, to be more inclusive, to include minority voices, female voices. I think there’s efforts towards it. Is it perfect to know, but I’m actually pretty happy, there’s like women in DSO groups. And interestingly enough today, one of our clinical practice owners called me out of the blue and said, “Hey, Joyce, I want to let you know I’m an ally.” And I said, “What do you mean?” And he’s like, “We’re friends on Facebook,” and he said, “I saw that you were looking for mentorship from women in particular.”

Joyce Go:

He’s like, “I’m not a woman. I’m not a minority, but I want to let you know you’re doing good work. I’d be the first to say that you’re doing a great job, not because you’re a woman doing it, but because…”

Bill Neumann:

Because you’re doing a great job.

Joyce Go:

You’re just doing a great job. It’s not women in DSO, you’re just doing a great job in the DSO space. I think from you having me here, from people who are allies, I think the movement is there. I think that we are going to create a generation after us that has that support that we’re looking for and that mentor and guidance. It’s going well, I think.

Bill Neumann:

That’s encouraging. Yeah, it’s great to hear. Let’s see, what else do I have here for you? I mean, talk a little bit about how you feel Enable has really contributed overall to providing dentistry. We kind of look at… The industry really seems to be evolving. A lot of that has to do with DSOs, right? Really freeing up clinicians to be great clinicians, and then business people, like yourself, that really understand the business side. It’s kind of cool because as a dental assistant, you also understand the clinical side to kind of have that window into things probably gives you a lot of empathy for the clinicians as well.

Joyce Go:

Oh, for sure.

Bill Neumann:

Talk a little bit about Enable and just how you’re making an impact in dentistry.

Joyce Go:

Oh, I mean, there’s a few things. I mean, clinically overall change wise, I mean, we’re re-imagining how to deliver dental care, right? We’re teaching portable dentistry. We have clinicians who graduate from dental school or dental assisting school who’ve never even heard of portable dentistry. We’re exposing an entire industry, the dental industry, to a different way of thinking, a different way to deliver care, a different way of understanding different populations. It’s not a one size fits all kind of care. And then I think as a practice with Enable Dental, we’re implementing teledentistry. We’re trying to, like you said, empower clinicians.

Joyce Go:

We focus on what dentists didn’t get to learn in dental school, and we provide those resources, those systems, those processes, and workflow to provide better care. I think together in partnership with people who understand that change needs to happen, Enable Dental can have a pretty big impact.

Bill Neumann:

Talk to me a little bit about teledentistry. This is one of those words, kind of like mobile dentistry and portable dentistry. Teledentistry means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. How do you implement teledentistry at Enable?

Joyce Go:

Interestingly enough, it’s an educational thing. Teledentistry, the CEO of our company, Paul Langley, he said it best, I think, when he said, “It’s not tele dentistry. It’s just dentistry.” Right? If you go to an urgent care place, you don’t know if you’re going to see a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, LVN, a nurse. Do you care who gives you your flu shot? No. But in dentistry, it seems to think like the dentist has to always be there, even if you’re taking an x-ray, you’re reviewing an x-ray. It’s so far behind from medicine. Teledentistry as we know it for Enable is just dentistry, right? It’s just a part of dentistry, and there’s different parts of it.

Joyce Go:

There’s synchronous and asynchronous. I think that’s where it starts to get confusing because I do telehealth personally. Telehealth means I get on a computer or on a phone and I’m far away. Teledentistry from an asynchronous standpoint means that the hygienist comes in, does your cleaning and x-rays, and the dentist is not there. There’s literally a code for something where the dentist is not there. That’s how different we are, right? Can you imagine like a code for like a flu shot where it’s like a nurse flu shot or a doctor flu shot. It’s completely different. We’re trying to do asynchronous teledentistry. We currently do not do synchronous. We tried during the pandemic.

Joyce Go:

Pretty different when you’re like, “Hey, my tooth hurts. It needs to be pulled out.” Really not much we can do via a synchronous teledentistry. We got to be there. But asynchronous teledentistry is I think a way in which we can provide dental services at scale, right? We can see more patients. And then from the clinician standpoint, it you’re there when we really need you. Your days are with treatment. You’re treating the patient in a way where you can actually use the skills you need. You’re not standing by watching the hygienist or an assistant take an x-ray, right? That’s kind of our philosophy, teledentistry is just dentistry.

Bill Neumann:

Love it. Joyce, couple of questions, final questions as we wrap things up. Talk to me a little bit about how you as the vice president of Enable Dental see the future of Enable, where are things going to be in the next couple of years for the organization, and then where do you see the DSO industry. Let’s look at portable dentistry at Enable, and then maybe we kind of look at the DSO space in the next couple of years. Love to get your thoughts on that.

Joyce Go:

Yeah. Gosh, there are so many ways in which we can incite change, especially in the near future, but one of it is value-based care, I think, is one big part of it. I think as we’re expanding, as we’re more national, as we’re working closer with organizations who really want to figure out how to provide access to care with limited resources, it’s trying to figure out how we can be more preventative. I think being able to get data on that to understand really what the need is and how we can impact the outcome is the future of dentistry in general and something that we can do because we have access to a population that is pretty unique, right? That’s from the Enable side.

Joyce Go:

DSOs are interesting. I think part of it too is DSOs get a bad rap like you had said earlier. I experienced that as a dental assistant. I felt like I met some really great people there. Like when I interviewed it, I enjoyed it, but there were a lot of dentists who I worked in private practice or shadowed that was very anti-idea, just because they thought it was all about the bottom line. I think DSOs have some work ahead about doing a really good job with showing, hey, we’re improving quality. We’re optimizing workflow so that you can be more accessible to more people. It’s not about the bottom line, right?

Joyce Go:

I think those are two ways in which is Enable does a very good job, our providers and clinicians can vouch for us that not all DSOs are bad, and then we can also help the dental field just innovate dentistry.

Bill Neumann:

I think there’s still, as they say, a lot of runway, right? There’s still a lot of smaller solo practitioners out there that are going to want, I think, to lean on a DSO for the back office support. I think what you’re doing at Enable and portable dentistry and then some of the mobile dental as well is just providing access, which is still a huge issue. You kind of look at the numbers, it’s still under 50% of patients see a dentist twice a year. It’s kind of when you look at that and you go, wait, we still… The access, we have 50% of the population that just doesn’t see a dentist like they should twice a year. How do we get those patients and whether it’s the seniors and they can’t access it?

Bill Neumann:

It’s not because they don’t want to, but because they physically can’t right. You’re really helping them out there. The bigger challenge is probably the ones that can access them because they can physically get there, but don’t. I think yours is more like, hey, they want it, but they can’t access it physically. That’s forming those great partnerships or having, I guess, a supportive family that knows they need the care and can contact Enable. Joyce, we really appreciate the time today. If somebody wants to find you online, can you shut out your email address and the website for Enable in case people want to find out more?

Joyce Go:

Sure. Yeah. Pretty easy. My last name’s two letters, it’s Go, G-O. My email is [email protected]

Bill Neumann:

That’s easy.

Joyce Go:

And then you can always just go to enabledental.com and reach out, whether it’s just to learn more, have partnerships, be allies, and kind of what we’re doing to create change. Would love to hear from anyone.

Bill Neumann:

That’s excellent. It’s [email protected] We’ll put that email address in the show notes and on the website so you’ll be able to reach out to Joyce if you have any questions because portable dentistry is… Hey, I just learned portable dentistry is different than mobile dentistry, so that’s new for me. Thank you, Joyce Go, vice president of Enable Dental, for joining us today on The Group Dentistry Now Show. Thank you everybody for listening in or watching us on YouTube. I’m Bill Neumann. And until next time, this is The Group Dentistry Now Show. Thanks.

 

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