Who is Advantage Dental? Advantage Dental was founded in 1994 by a group of dentists in Roseburg, concerned with the lack of access to dental care in rural Oregon. Advantage Dental Services, LLC currently has almost 200,000 recipients with the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), approximately 18,000 of which reside in Douglas County.
Currently, Advantage Dental has over 325 owners of which 35 are located in Douglas County; 25 Advantage Dental Clinics throughout Oregon with one located in Douglas County; The 35 owner dentists in Douglas County have over 500 employees all contributing to Douglas County and the State of Oregon’s economy.
Patient Care The Advantage Dental system takes care of over 20,000 toothaches and other dental problems every month across the State—which adds up to close to a quarter million in a year. Advantage Dental is providing care for a significant amount of Oregon’s underserved populations.
Recently, Advantage Dental formed Oregon Community Dental Care, an Oregon non-profit, to operate the Winston Community Dental Clinic. This clinic, in collaboration with South River Community Health Clinic, will provide access, not only to Oregon Health Plan patients; but also to uninsured and indigent patients. Winston Community Dental Clinic is also collaborating with Umpqua Community Action Network (UCAN) with the goal of providing a monthly Community Smiles Dental Day for low-income and uninsured patients.
Living in poverty is a risk-factor in poor health outcomes. Poverty is significant in Douglas County and across the state. Advantage Dental recognizes that individuals in situational or generational poverty have more difficulty in accessing dental care. Training staff and developing policies to reduce the barriers to care that are often associated with poverty is part of Advantage Dental’s mission.
Emergency On-Call System In Douglas County, Advantage Dental’s network of dentists provides care for dental emergencies through its unique After Hours Call system. The on-call dentists rotate, providing coverage for emergencies that may occur after regular business hours, year round. Advantage Dental currently takes care of approximately 1 million Oregonians through its After Hours Call system.
Advantage Dental’s community outreach Advantage Dental has always been an advocate for community involvement. Recently there has been a campaign to promote the Medical Management of Caries movement—helping to change the old paradigm from drill and fill to one of caries prevention. Advantage Dental provided training to Douglas County dentists, hygienists, and staff members on the Medical Management of Caries. As part of the commitment to community involvement, these trainings were provided free of charge. Through education, outreach and involvement in legislation and government programs, Advantage Dental has been delivering the message that cavities are a failed outcome.
Advantage Dental is currently sponsoring collaborations with WIC, Head Start and the Public School system by providing Dental Hygiene Exams; administering Fluoride Varnish; working with clients to coordinate their care; and triaging in the field. During the first half of 2012, in conjunction with Douglas County Health and Social Services, Advantage Dental provided training and services within WIC. Advantage Dental continues to work with Douglas County Health and Social Services and other agencies throughout Oregon. An extension of this is the home visiting nurses; who provide fluoride varnish to children during their visits. Discussions continue with the Prenatal Clinic and home visiting nurses around providing prevention and preventive products such as xylitol to pregnant and post-partum women. Advantage Dental also provides outreach to seniors and individuals with disabilities in long-term care facilities and group homes with interventions such as screenings; dental hygiene instruction and dispensing Xylitol products. This outreach program is a critical part of their good oral health and comfort.
Advantage Dental has been working with the University of Washington to develop new communications tools encouraging parents to seek out care. Influencing the mother is the focus of a grass roots movement to change the dental paradigm. Teaching the mother, and the professionals who work with pregnant and post-partum women and their children, especially the newborn, has been a big part of the focus of the Advantage Dental outreach program.
Advantage Smiles for Kids In addition to the outreach program Advantage Dental has created and supports the Advantage Smiles for Kids (ASK) program. ASK is a 501(3)c non-profit company that was established in 2003. ASK’s mission is to provide orthodontic care for at-risk youth that would otherwise be unable to obtain these services. Since its inception, ASK has provided braces to 18 children in Douglas County and close to 100 across the Oregon who could not have been able to afford braces without this program.
In case of emergency call Advantage Dental : 866-268-9631