|Our most vulnerable communities are left behind in the current system, stuck in the reality of unmet needs. More than 74 Million Americans don’t have access to dental coverage — four times the number of people who are medically uninsured. In some cases, it’s due to location. More than 45 Million Americans live in areas that do not have an adequate number of dentists to serve the local population. And, 43 percent of Americans living in rural areas lack access to dental care. Socioeconomic barriers, like transportation and job flexibility, contribute to the lack of dental coverage.
In many communities with high rates of people who won’t or can’t access care, providers are going beyond the dental chair and into the community. Many screenings, preventive services and treatment education can be delivered at schools, medical offices, using a mobile van and through other partnerships in the community. Those patients with the greatest need can be connected to a dental professional or triaged to a dental office for care. The way we connect oral care to overall health combined with our understanding of how care can be delivered in non-traditional settings is changing the future of oral health care. In the coming years, the path of oral health care will likely include:
Preventistry – a shift toward prevention and care that emphasizes the overall health of the patient. The Preventistry model, originally introduced by DentaQuest in 2018, is an all-in approach to advance four pillars to shift the oral health care of the future.
Value-based care – a new approach to ensure high quality care and experience, a focus on health outcomes of a population at a lower per person cost.
Value-based payment – a payment model that is aligned with excellent care and health outcomes instead of the historic model of paying for the volume of services provided.