Face painting tradition

Dental Dreams patients in our York, PA office recently enjoyed getting their faces painted as part of a Halloween tradition for patients and staff.

D.C. dentist's wedding featured in NYT

One of our dentists recently was married and the union was featured in the New York Times.

Dr. Chad Micheal Jones of one of our Washington, D.C. offices was married June 3 at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington. He married Shivonne Monae Foster, an account director for a public relations firm.

Here is the full announcement.

Congratulations, Dr. Jones and your new bride!

Dental Dreams hires noted dental leader to continue commitment to quality

Dental Dreams has hired a noted dental leader, mentor and coach to continue its trademark commitment to provide quality care to its patients.

Khurram Hussain, CEO, has named Steven Fink, DMD, as VP of Clinical Support. Visiting our offices nationwide, Dr. Fink will continue to foster our emphasis on quality care by our dentists.

“We believe Dr. Fink will prove to be a valuable mentor to our young dentists across the country,” Hussain said. “He will ease the transition for new, idealistic dentists who have dedicated their early careers to quality dental care in underserved communities.”

Dr. Fink will serve as Clinical Director of offices and dentists in Washington DC, MD, MI, NM, PA, SC and VA and use his track record of bridging the gap between experienced and newer dentists and support teams to provide even better care for patients.

A graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (now Rutgers), Dr. Fink brings 26 years of experience as a general dentist with an unblemished license. Dr. Fink successfully ran his own dental practice, was the President of the NJ state dental association, worked with numerous editorial boards and spent 3 years as the Director of Dental Education for a CODA accredited dental assisting program.

An active member of the American Dental Association, Dr. Fink has served years as a Delegate to the ADA governing House of Delegates and was an ADA Council Chairman.

Dr. Fink was also a founding member and Past President of the Board of Trustees of The Dental Auxiliary Learning and Education Foundation (DALE), the Official Affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

A Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Dental Corps, Dr. Fink has treated U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy personnel as a Navy reserve dental officer with his last assignment as his unit's Training Officer.

With almost 70 offices employing approximately 300 dentists in 10 states plus the District of Columbia, Dental Dreams (founded and owned by a dentist, Dr. Sameera Hussain) invests in hiring the best dentists and providing them with modern, top-quality dental facilities.

Helping underserved communities

We were happy to be featured in this story in the Arizona Business Daily about helping to serve dental patients in underserved communities.

The story zeroed in on the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health and its efforts to foster a service component in its training of dentists.

They noted the role of companies like ours in allowing community-minded young dentists to thrive in their first jobs.

Mike Peters, chief operating partner at KOS Services, which manages the business operations for groups of dental practices across the country, including the Dental Dreams brand, agrees that these practices (are important) in today's climate. “At a time when there is a shortage of dentists nationally and only a fraction of dental practices like ours offer services to Medicaid patients, hiring the number of dentists needed to meet the high demand for dental services at our offices can be a challenge,” Peters told Arizona Business Daily. “We find that there is a common misconception that working at a dental practice that focuses its efforts and resources on serving disadvantaged communities is somehow less profitable."

Peters added that Dental Dreams spends lots of time working with dental schools.

Peters said Dental Dreams devotes significant resources to working with dental schools and associations to reach out to students and practicing dentists to emphasize the benefits of working in underserved communities.

We are always happy to see our efforts recognized and, more importantly, that we find homes for young, enthusiastic dentists eager to serve their communities.

Future bright for Illinois dentistry

There’s more good news about dentistry in Illinois. According to a Chicago college administrator, the flow of good dentists into practices is thriving and looks to continue that trend.

And Dental Dreams, quoted in this story in Illinois Business Daily, is doing its best to attract the best of these new dentists.

Dr. Darryl Pendleton, associate dean for student and diversity affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), was bursting with optimism.

“In terms of individuals interested in a dental career, it has never been stronger; more people are getting into the profession, and it's never been stronger in terms of attractiveness,” Pendleton, a clinical associate professor at the College of Dentistry, said.

Our own executive Mike Peters said Dental Dreams does its best to attract the best of those young dentists to its offices.

”We work hard in our recruitment of dental school students to help them gain an appreciation that with a practice like ours they can earn attractive compensation, maintain a healthy work/life balance and also serve a community that is in need of high quality dental providers," said Peters. "Working for a practice that serves Medicaid patients can check all the boxes."

Our company is committed to bringing the best possible service to its patients in Illinois — and elsewhere. We appreciate the opportunity to talk about those efforts publicly.

Fighting the battle for better dentists

We were featured in this story about the challenges of hiring dentists in under-served communities.

The heartening part was that young dentists are not opposed to setting up shop in those areas. However, they are burdened by student debt that sometimes causes them to look elsewhere.

Our own executive Mike Peters explains how Dental Dreams attracts the best and brightest to its practices.

”We work hard in our recruitment of dental school students to help them gain an appreciation that with a practice like ours they can earn attractive compensation, maintain a healthy work/life balance and also serve a community that is in need of high quality dental providers," said Peters. "Working for a practice that serves Medicaid patients can check all the boxes."

Our passion is to serve those most in need. We are constantly working to improve our offices to serve our patients better. Sometimes it is a challenge but when we see the happy smiles of our patients, it is all worth it.

##South Carolina publication features Dental Dreams

We were pleased to be featured in story by the Palmetto Business Daily about our offices in South Carolina.

The story highlighted our service to low-income residents in the state.

“We are committed to bringing much-needed medical and dental services to all residents of South Carolina,” Michael Peters, chief operating partner of KOS services, which manages the business operations for Dental Dreams, told Palmetto Business Daily. “There is an extreme shortage of dental service providers for low-income residents in South Carolina and across the country."

Dental Dreams, operating as Family Dental, operates three locations in the state — Rock Hill, Greenville and Columbia.

Peters noted that South Carolina is welcoming to businesses and the company is looking to expand in the state.

Read the entire story here.

Dental Dreams executive quoted

Our executives continue to be quoted in dental news sources.

Recently, Dental Health Wire Reports tapped into the expertise of Peter Stathakis, chief financial officer of Kos Services, the administrative arm of Dental Dreams, which has offices in 11 states, including 18 offices in Illinois.

The story focused on Illinois’ new streamlining process for accessing Medicaid services. Illinois has created a new IMPACT information system for Facility/Agency/Organizations (FAOs).

Stathakis said it is working well, for the most part.

“The actual enrollment process is quite simple,” Stathakis said. “(It) has already saved significant time for our staff.” IMPACT is especially beneficial to dental services with multiple locations, such as Dental Dreams. “The IMPACT system allows us to save all of our locations in the program and associate them with the click of a button for new providers. That option alone saves us time and key-entry errors. This was a big problem in years past with the paper applications.”

We are always in favor of better information services that allow us to serve our patients better.

IL made wise move on adult dental, Dr. Hussain says

Our president Dr Sameera Hussain was quoted recently in Illinois Business Daily discussing Illinois' decision to restore dental coverage to adults via Medicaid.

She noted the move not only helped many citizens in need, it also was prudent financially.

“I give Illinois and other states that have recently extended Medicaid coverage to adults (in addition to children) a great deal of credit for not only addressing an essential health need for everyone regardless of age or income level but for also enacting policy that is financially sound,” Hussain said.

She explained further:

Hussain, whose dental practice is comprised of more than 250 dentists in 65 Dental Dreams offices across 11 states, said that people who go to emergency rooms for dental problems often lose teeth that could have been saved with regular dental visits, and the cost of treating a patient in an emergency room rather than in a dental office is 60-70 percent greater for the state of Illinois.

Dental Dreams is pleased to be part of the solution. The trend across the country is to treat dental care as essential and we wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.

Our COO quoted in South Carolina story

Our Chief Operating Officer David Wolle is quoted in this Palmetto Business Daily story about the success of the state's new coverage for adult dental care under Medicaid.

David Wolle, the chief operating officer of KOS Services, which manages Family Dental, said the expansion has caused a “meaningful” increase in patients coming to their clinics. The expansion has been a success, he said, particularly for patients that have been putting off very basic care, such as fillings or extractions, that have been causing pain.

Family Dental, which has clinics in Greenville, Rock Hill and Columbia, is an affiliate of Dental Dreams, a provider of dental services with 65 locations in 11 states.

“We’re not talking about luxuries here, like people doing veneers or implants,” Wolle told Palmetto Business Daily. “We’re talking about getting people out of pain — some really overdue, very, very basic dentistry.”

We are pleased that we are part of an effort that is bringing better dental care to adults in South Carolina who previously were suffering. Thanks to the Palmetto Business Daily for highlighting this development.

Dental Dreams helps build hope for disadvantaged communities

We are glad to give back to the community. One of those efforts is to support recreation opportunities for disadvantaged children in Chicago.

One seemingly unlikely way is to provide facilities for playing squash on the South Side. Squash is a game similar to racquetball.

METROsquash director David Kay explained to Illinois Business Daily:

It’s that accessibility that Kay and the crew at the non-profit METROsquash have used to help disadvantaged children in Chicago reach their full academic potential. With the construction of a new building, however, the group needs all the help it can get -- to the tune of roughly $1.5 million per year in operating expenses, as well as volunteers.

A recent donation of $50,000 from Dental Dreams will help the crew at METROSquash to keep doing its work.

Our work at Dental Dreams extends past helping those we serve in our offices. We are committed to helping the communities that house those offices.

Our president featured in great profile

Dental Dreams President Dr. Sameera Hussain is featured in this great profile in the DuPage Policy Journal. Below are the first few paragraphs. For the entire article, go here.

Driven by a deep yearning to serve families in underserved communities, Dr. Sameera Hussain launched Dental Dreams in 2001 in Aurora, Illinois. Since then, the company has grown tremendously to 65 locations in 11 states – 18 of which are in Illinois – and more than 1,300 employees.

More than 250 dentists are employed by Dental Dreams. Serving as president, Hussain oversees the medical practice of each of the dentists. Her husband, attorney Khurram Hussain, serves as the CEO of KOS Services, a management company that handles the administration of the business operations for Dental Dreams. He is also the owner of a successful immigration law firm, Hussain, Egan & Bendersky in Chicago.

“I was very fortunate to have strong and inspiring role models,” Hussain told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Each of my parents helped to shape my path. My mother was a pediatrician and her interest in caring for children and families was a key to helping me choose not just my career path but also the individuals that I most wanted to serve in my career.”

We are passionate about serving others at Dental Dreams and proud of all our employees -- from top to bottom.

Amazing work in Nicaragua noted

Congrats to Oscar Gonzalez and his wife Rebekah for being featured in West Cook News recently about their incredible work helping people in Nicaragua.

The couple, who reside in Chicago’s West Loop, founded the Obek Nicaragua Project to address material deficits in one of the region’s poorest countries. Oscar, who works as regional manager in Michigan and Illinois for the Chicago-based Dental Dreams, keeps an active blog of their journeys and their experiences on the ground.

We showed some pictures from their work recently on this blog.

We are proud of all our employees and the work they do to help others, both in the office and on their own time.

America’s dental health falling behind

Let’s face it — America’s dental health is failing.

While we are making progress providing dental care to children, wide swaths of adults lack dental insurance and thus forego all but emergency care.

Senior citizens on Medicare are the most needy adult population, and they are among the most lacking in means.

A recent post in Salon explains the problem.

As the nation’s largest insurer, Medicare plays an important role in shaping health care coverage norms. Medicare does not cover dental care. Today, according to government estimates, 70 percent of seniors lack dental coverage.

Overall, it is estimated that more than 100 million Americans lack dental insurance and one in four non-elderly citizens have untreated tooth decay, according to Salon.

Obamacare was helpful to some, but it was no panacea.

The ACA provided for an expansion of Medicaid eligibility, though not all states accepted the offer of federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage. Even in the states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, strict limits on oral health care remain for most low- and moderate-income Americans.

The problem with poor dental hygiene go far beyond cosmetics. Poor dental health leads to a wide variety of medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. These maladies end up taxing our health care system far more, in many cases, than treating our teeth properly.

Policymakers are coming around to that conclusion, but more slowly than many of us believe is prudent.

Cold weather affects teeth

If you live in a northern climate, spring is arriving soon but cold weather continues to linger. And cold weather can put a chill on your teeth more than any body part.

Any weather extreme can cause dental issues, but cold weather has the biggest impact.

Michigan dentist Dr. Gary Vance recently posted four solid tips for dealing with cold weather teeth issues. The tips were posted on the A Healthier Michigan website.

  • Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash two to three times per day. This will assist in sealing the cold-sensitive teeth.

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush, as well as desensitizing toothpaste and remember to brush gently, as long as the bristle touches the tooth you are cleaning them.

  • Avoid teeth grinding. If you do grind or clench your teeth, be sure to use a mouth guard at night.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. As always, continue to follow proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Warmer weather is coming soon and the above tips can be shelved — for several months at least.