Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Is The Amabrush?

While scrolling on social media last week, I saw a sponsored ad showing a new toothbrush called the Amabrush. My first initial reaction was "that's gross" and I kept on scrolling not paying any further attention to it.

Yesterday I came across an article about the Amabrush (the same toothbrush I saw on the ad last week) so I decided I would see what its all about!

The Amabrush is a newly developed toothbrush that can clean your teeth in 10 seconds. CRAZY!! Its whole purpose is to save its users time by cleaning all tooth surfaces simultaneously.

The device consists of a handpiece, single toothpaste capsule (comes in three varieties), a antibacterial silicone mouthpiece and charger. According to Kickstarter the whole set costs $91.31.

Like a regular toothbrush the silicone mouthpiece needs to be replaced every three months, at a cost of  $6.93 each. The toothpaste capsule lasts about one month, the replacement cost is $3.47 each.

The first adult version of the Amabrush is expected to be released in December 2017 and the company plans on making a smaller version for kids age 6+.

What are your thoughts on this new toothbrush? Would you try it?


Image result for amabrush

*Please note the Amabrush doesn't replace flossing or visiting your dentist for regular check ups!

For the full article click here!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dental Coupons Is Not Dental Coverage

Dental centers are offering specials everyday. There are many sites out there that offer coupons and other promotions to get drive patients into the dental office. However, I would caution you to using that as your primary dental coverage. I say that, because there are people out there that do. Every time they go to the dentist, they are looking for that coupon or promotion that will save them the most amount money possible. Sounds reasonable right? Well, again I caution you about doing that and here's why.

1.  A coupon or promotion is just that! It is not an open ended offer. It is a limited time special to drive you into that dentist office, who in turn is trying to retain you as a patient. The offer will end! Most of them are new patient special and you will only see that price on your first visit. So if you do return and you don't have coverage, you will be charged full price.

2. If you have exhausted the promotion at one dental office and you go to another one to use their special, you are starting over with as a new patient. Which means, new x-rays, new exam, new treatment plan, new diagnostics.

Ideally, you should think of your dentist as another general practitioner, although most people don't. When you go to your regular doctor for treatment, you usually stick with that doctor through the course of your treatment. It should be the same way with your dentist. The longer you stay with the your dentist the better your dental health would be.

Now back to the coverage. Regardless, YOU NEED DENTAL COVERAGE.. PERIOD.. The cost of dental care is high and is still increasing. You will wind up paying a lot of money out of pocket for your dental work.

So, although the specials and promos are nice, they are not adequate enough to cover you for the optimal dental health that you should have.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dentistry in Mexico-It's Your Decision

Given the current scenario regarding the safety of travel from the U.S. to Mexico, I thought I'd repost this blog from 2015.  I think it bears repeating.

"A recent article I read online started me thinking about this topic. Why would anyone want to risk their health and safety by visiting a doctor or dentist in a country where sanitation standards are questionable and there is no way to determine whether a doctor is reputable; or even competent? There would be no legal recourse for a mistake, no refund, no malpractice insurance."
The above excerpt was taken from a blog I published in February of 2008. With time, the economy over the last 10 years and many testimonials from people I've talked to while working in this industry, I must say that I have come to an understanding on this subject at least, if only marginally  I still stand firm on the safety issues of traveling to Mexico for either  medical or dental treatment....sanitation remains a concern except that I now know many of the dental offices there are actually staffed with American Dentists, and in fairness, their american training and work ethic are at or above the standard.  Some of these dentists live there and work, some commute and the overall benefit to the traveling patient is that they can get the treatment they need from a qualified professional at a cost that is way below the standard fees charged in the US. the doctors are not bound to the (sometimes ridiculous) regulations, exorbitant insurance rates and high operating costs that are the norm in the US, thus allowing them to perform dentistry and pass the savings along to the patient.

Now, that said, there are still risks involved, which poses the question,  "does the money saved really outweigh the risk?"  Many think that it does.  I for one, always the skeptic, will no longer slam the door on the possibility, but would need to think VERY hard about it if I were ever faced with that dilemma.
In my humble opinion a good dental plan can be far more effective in helping to stabilize the rising costs of dentistry and it's safer.  It just is.

Keep smiling!



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Savon Dental Plan, A Company 25 Years In The Making

I was 14 years old when my dad (Clay Parker) and my uncle (Gordon Parker) announced their idea for a new crazy business venture. They were going to start a dental coverage plan. For my uncle, this was a new opportunity in a field that was he was already working in as he was currently a sales representative for dental plan that had some really shady business practices. For my dad and our immediate family, it was a big change in lifestyle. All my life, (to that point), was spent with my dad and mom both working in the flooring industry; which was the trade industry for the Parker family that went a few generations back. To know that my days of picking up carpet scraps, laying pad and vinyl and prepping floors with my dad was coming to end was unfathomable at my young age. However, the career change was welcomed and my dad and uncle took it head on. Little did I know that 25 years later, this crazy business venture, now known as Savon Dental Plan, would be an integral part of life and something that I am more passionate about than anything else.

Growing up in the company, I have seen many people come and go. I have witnessed every up side and down side that we experienced. I got a front row to seat to the movement for "person to person" sales to more of the "digital and phone" sales. I have had the privilege of watching this company grow from the City of Phoenix, to the 23 States that we are in today. I have seen ideas succeed and and ideas fail.

As I look back on the last 25 years I can't help but smile as I go over the "remember whens". I guess that's the purpose of this blog, to let you see a side of Savon that most people never knew about, most of which no longer exists. What a better way to do that than to give you some fun facts about Savon from over the last 25 years:

Fun Facts About Savon:
1. We used to have a call center that was called the "Dog Pound"
2. We used to generate leads via computerized phone calls.
3. Most of the Parker family has worked at Savon at some point in time.
4. We used to have sales reps that signed people up at home.
5. Gordon Parker (our Late President) used to use the alias Tom Peters when signing someone up, so that they didn't know that it was the President of the company signing them up.
6. Gordon made everyone study a city map and gave us all tests before we were allowed to be an outside rep. (he didn't want us to get lost or be late because we couldn't find the place) **This was before GPS was available.
7. We used to have "member files" that took up a whole wall in our office. Anytime we talked to customer, we would have to pull their file. (now it is all computerized)
8. We used to have a scheduled "file audit" one a year, but usually it happened more when Clay couldn't find a file he needed.
9. Corilee Parker, our Director of Provider Relations, is the longest tenured employee at 25 years of service. (She was here from day 1 and is still here).
10. I designed our first website at age 17. (Our current website is designed and maintained by my Dad)

So there are some things that you never knew about the "behind the senses" of SDP. There is so many that I could add, but this blog would be never ending. Throughout the month, I may post more as they come to mind. 

We have said goodbye to some key people who helped make Savon Dental Plan what it is today. Gordon Parker, Que Jeter and Dan Gopen, just to name a few, have all since passes away over the years. Some others that have passed also contributed in many ways and all are are surely missed. May they continue to rest in peace. We think about them everyday and will never forget what they have done for this company.

Most importantly, this anniversary would never happen if it wasn't for our members. In a world to where the average customer stays with a company for 5-8 years and then moves on, we have a lot of members that have been with us for 10+, 15+, 20+ and yes, even ALL 25 YEARS! We appreciate everyone of you. Whether you were a member for 1 year, or have been a member for 25 years you are all important us and we thank you for your loyalty. Every once in while I get the privilege to talk to one of you and take the time to thank you for your membership.

As we start the next 25 years, I can't help but ponder the potential that we have for growth. I also can't help but worry about what the future brings. Even after 25 years, the dental plan industry is still the considered by some to be the "bad step child" of the dental coverage industry. When in essence we are anything but that. Our plan WILL save people more money that insurance or any other plan out there and I will not stop shouting it from the mountain tops until everybody knows it. Although our company has gone through many changes over the years, the foundation to which we were built on has not changed. Our mission has not changed. Our goal has not changed. We will continue to provide great dental coverage at an affordable price. We will continue to be there for our members to help them out however we can. Lastly, you will never have press 1 for english and 2 for customer service when calling in.

Thank you everyone for the last 25 years. I look forward to spending another 25 with all of you!

-Clayton Parker III
  Vice President
  Savon Dental Plan




Toothpaste Guide

For all the extras you'll find on a toothpaste label (foamers, binders, flavors) there are really only a few essential ingredients, says Daniel Mindiola, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.

Follow these steps to figure 'em out:

Step 1.) Find a cavity fighter - Fluoride is the only ingredient approved to fight cavities. You'll see it listed as sodium fluoride or stannous fluoride, and it helps enamel patch itself up before decay can lead to a cavity.

Step 2.) Ask yourself: Do I have sensitive teeth? If you do, you'll need a desensitizer too. Arginine bicarbonate plugs the exposed pores in your teeth for immediate relief.

Step 3.) Now ask: Am I happy with the color? If not, add a brighter to your fluoride. Common ingredients include stain removers such as sodium tripolyphosphate or hexametaphosphate and hydrate silica. Often bleach or hydrogen peroxided is listed.

If you want it all some whitening toothpastes are formulated for sensitive teeth and will splashed across the packaging and if you check the label, you should find some combination of the ingredients listed above!


Article from the July/August 2017 Red Book magazine

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Question from Our Member - What is Crown Lengthening And Why Do I Need It?

Questions From Our Members

T. Drakeman of San Diego, California asks: 

“My dentist informed me that I needed a crown lengthening.  What is it and why do it need it?  Why don't they just make the crown longer to start with?”

Savon’s Answer

The dental terminology for the procedure is “Clinical Crown Lengthening”.  This is a common surgical procedure and is usually performed by a periodontal surgeon who removes gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of a tooth.

Clinical Crown lengthening is done when a tooth needs to be repaired with either a filling or a crown and not enough of the tooth sticks out above the gum to support either. This can happen if a tooth breaks off at the gum line or when a crown or filling falls out of a tooth and there is decay underneath.  To place a filling or crown they need to expose more of the tooth.  This is done by removing some gum tissue or bone.

If the tooth needs a crown, the dentist may put on a temporary crown, (this is where the patient may think that the crown was made too short). The temporary crown protects the tooth and makes surgery easier because the periodontist will be able to see how much soft tissue or bone to remove.

The area should heal in about three months. After it is healed, your dentist will prepare the tooth again and make the final crown.



Originally Posted on our July 2017 Newsletter!