The Kool Smiles business model is vastly different from that of most corporate dentist offices. While many dental companies plant their offices where the money is, Kool Smiles positions its locations where the greatest need for dental care exists.
Kool Smiles was “built on the belief that all families have the right to receive quality dental care,” and its goal is to “provide first-rate dental services to communities that are often overlooked or are otherwise underserved.”
Kool Smiles: A Model for Good Business
The severe lack of affordable dental care in rural and low-income communities, are a real problem in America. Kool Smiles aims to fix that problem. There are three major reasons for these dental deserts and three ways Kool Smiles is fighting them.
When a dentist wishes to open a new practice, the tendency is to do so in a more affluent area where there is more money to be made. Offices in wealthier areas can charge higher fees, will experience greater rates of collection and have more regular patients. As a result, there are often not many dental facilities in areas of lower income.
Kool Smiles is doing its part to shift this dispersion of dental facilities. The majority of Kool Smiles’ 120+ locations are in areas that are underserved by the dental community.
Many people in low-income communities do not have private insurance and instead rely on Medicaid to help with any dental treatment. However, dentists are not required by law to accept Medicaid, and because of Medicaid’s low reimbursement rate, many dentists choose not to accept it. This leaves many people without a way to pay for dental care.
Kool Smiles accepts Medicaid at each and every location. In fact, the majority of Kool Smiles’ patients use Medicaid to pay for their treatment.
A lack of education about basic oral hygiene is a major contributor to the dental health of people in low-income areas. If dental education isn’t taught at school and at home, then proper dental habits aren’t learned at a young age. Additionally, if people are not visiting the dentist regularly, they are missing out on the vital care and dental education they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Kool Smiles stresses education and produces an extensive library of free resources for teachers, parents and students. These include blog articles, videos, games, activity worksheets, lesson plans and more.
Kool Smiles’ business model is about more than just business. It’s about making a difference in lives of children who might otherwise not receive the dental care they rightly deserve.