KINGSTON TWP. — In recent years, Dr. James DeFinnis and Back Mountain Dental have observed big shifts for patients seeking dental care.
Coverage and benefit packages are constantly changing, but so are the personal circumstances for patients.
Some change jobs or even lose their jobs, then find themselves without benefits they had become accustomed to.
Amid such changes, some cut back on visits and delayed treatment — or decided not to go at all.
“At times our own patients stop seeking treatment because of not having dental insurance leading to even greater damage to their oral health,” said DeFinnis, who has been in practice since 2000.
Following a national trend, Back Mountain Dental developed a membership plan that’s affordable and useful and fills the gap when there is no coverage or so limited that it deters people from visiting a dentist.
“We decided to do something given the current crisis of patients without dental coverage by offering a dental membership plan,” he said. “Their coverage is constantly changing. Every year it’s a moving target. This is going to be consistent.”
DeFinnis, who has approximately 2,200 patients, said his plan has been available for several weeks and receiving a positive response. It offers up to a 20 percent discount on services offered at the office at 210 Carverton Road in Shavertown and includes two cleanings and X-rays. For more information visit bmdsmilestore.com\membership.
“This is a great opportunity to get into a system so they can maintain their dental health,” DeFinnis said.
It worked for Paul Sharon of Kingston. He hadn’t been to a dentist in years and met DeFinnis as a result of an emergency. Sharon said he called around to other dentists and was told he would have to wait weeks for an appointment. DeFinnis agreed to see him the same day, Sharon said.
At 67, he’s on Medicare that doesn’t provide dental coverage. He joined Back Mountain Dental. “My plan is $199 for a year. I get X-rays, exams, two cleanings and get a discount on all the work you have done,” Sharon said.
He raved about the treatment DeFinnis and his staff provided and recommended the membership plan to others. “It’s a very wise thing to do,” Sharon said.
The plan has been in the works for about a year and was tailor fit to meet the needs of the office and patients, De Finnis said.
People may have seen dental service chains marketing plans, but DeFinnis stressed Back Mountain Dental’s is different.
”We can continue to provide our patients and those who don’t have insurance with quality care, with an established practice in the community,” DeFinnis said.
In addition to the membership plan, Back Mountain Dental’s staff is expanding. Dr. Jordan Simon, an area native who moved back from Arizona, is joining the staff.
Simon graduated from Wyoming Area, East Stroudsburg University and Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz.
“This is home,” Simon said of her return.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.