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dentist-1639683_960_720Most companies must use social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in order to increase brand awareness, generate web traffic, get new customers, convert leads, nurture prospects, and increase sales, but Chicago-based dental company, DecisionOne Dental Group, is taking an alternative approach — they’re offering membership plans.

While various studies have shown that adult dental care has hit a slump, not many dental firms have taken action to combat it. The main cause for this initiative is rising dental costs — as of now, almost 7 million adults are at risk of losing their dental insurance if the Affordable Care Act is replaced. Those who do still have the luxury of dental insurance often don’t use it — patients have become three times as likely to skip appointments, even though virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, according to an AACD survey.

DecisionOne Dental Group CEO Dr. AJ Acierno explained why his business has decided to enforce such an initiative:

“I see it all the time at my practice: people come in thinking they have insurance, only to find out that maybe half of their services are covered. This happens with employer-provided insurance, but especially with coverage under the ACA. Oftentimes, patients don’t come back because of either the lack of insurance or poor insurance coverage. If dentists don’t start to fight back against rising insurance premiums and limited coverage, patients will suffer. That’s why we created a monthly membership plan.”

With the help of DecisionOne Dental’s membership service, patients will be able to enroll in a monthly discount plan for as low as $19.99 per month. These plans include two free cleanings, x-rays, exams, and other discounts on restorative services. The program does not have annual limits, so members can receive care anytime they need it. The program also includes discounts on cosmetic procedures like veneers, invisalign, and whitening. That’s a pretty steep discount, considering the fact that Americans spend $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products each year.

“Dental care is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” said Dr. Acierno. “We want our patients to receive consistent quality dental care because we know that aside from dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease, poor oral health can contribute to a host of other issues including heart disease and diabetes. The Complete One Dental plan provides better coverage than most insurance options available today, especially when you look at the numbers and see that for an adult the national average for the cost of a cleaning and x rays is $165.”