Millennials have a reputation for ruining everything. While the reputation is probably undeserved, it’s certainly tempting to imagine that a new Millennial spin on dentistry is likely to be a nightmare. However, the new innovation Floss Bar could be a real godsend for Millennials who aren’t currently getting dental care.
The Floss Bar Concept
So what is Floss Bar? It’s an attempt to make dentistry more accessible to people who have tight schedules and low income (which describes many Millennials). Basically, Floss Bar brings dentists and hygienists to the workplace so that people can see the dentist more conveniently.
Floss Bar is an insurance-based practice that is set up to take the insurance offered by the company to its employees. This makes the care more accessible to patients and more affordable for employers, who don’t have to supply additional benefits.
But it’s not just the patients that benefit from this arrangement. Floss Bar focuses on hiring newly graduated dental professionals. The founder and CEO described this rationale: “When [hygienists] come out of dental school, they’re some of the most in-debt students in the country. So it makes sense if they can actually go where the patients are versus paying advertising and high cost-of-customer acquisition costs.”
The Millennial Need
While we might fault Floss Bar for seeming to bend over backwards to make itself more accessible, it certainly seems to be something that the population needed. A recent study by the American Dental Association (ADA) highlighted the needs of this segment of the population. Fewer Millennials are visiting the dentist than any other age group, so it’s not a surprise that they also report the highest levels of impact from oral health problems, including having difficulty biting and chewing, avoiding smiling, and experiencing problems at job interviews because of their teeth. When asked why the don’t go to the dentists, they usually report that it’s because of the costs involved, although young adults were most likely to report that inconvenient time or location kept them from visiting the dentist.
Graduating to a Real Dentist
While Floss Bar certainly seems like a reasonable way for young adults to get needed dental care that they might otherwise avoid, we can’t help but be concerned at the quality of dental care being offered.
Young dentists and hygienists often have considerable talent and education, but they can benefit from working with more experienced dentists, rather than entering directly into a situation where they are not being supervised. In addition, any dental chain whose main values are “low cost” and “convenience” can’t help but make sacrifices when it comes to the quality of care.
We can only hope that as Millennials get a better job situation and more savings they will move on to work with higher quality dental practices, especially for services like cosmetic dentistry. It’s like buying lunch in the company cafeteria. You might do it when you don’t have another good option, but as soon as you can, you look for a better place to get lunch.
If you are looking for a higher quality dentist in the San Diego area, please call (858) 755-8993 today for an appointment with a dentist at Irresistible Smiles, with three convenient locations and many payment options available to make quality care accessible, too.