As the healthcare debate rages nationally, one Longview dentist has decided to do something tangible to help individuals and families afford quality dental care. “Statistically speaking, more than 60% of Americans don’t have dental insurance,” said Dr. Julia Gourley, owner of Pacific Park Family Dental. “This means that a large majority of people here locally delay dental procedures, which is not good for dental health or overall healthcare.” A recent report by CBS News cited by Dr. Gourley indicated dental decay as a contributing factor in employment problems, heart disease and even childhood school absences.
“We see kids in our practice who are in chronic pain because a simple cavity was not caught in time. That cavity was not caught because the parents perceived that they could not afford dental care. By the time the pain for the child is unbearable… the cost of solving the problem has escalated two or three times over what it would have been if caught a year earlier. This bothered me a great deal and I decided to be part of finding a solution.” The solution that Dr. Gourley helped develop with other dentists across the country is both simple and quite ingenious… and may prove to be a model for healthcare reform across the board. “Numbers don’t lie… and we found that we could create a system where families could get earlier preventative and less expensive dental care.” The program is called PDP – Pacific Dental Plan, which is now rolling out nationally thanks to Dr. Gourley and other forward-thinking dentists.
“I sat down with my front office team and saw how much money was going to insurance companies, claim forms administration and collections costs. We also calculated how many hundreds of extra dollars families were spending by not catching potential problems that we could have found during a simple annual dental exam. When I began to run these numbers with other dentists around America… we found that we could offer our patients free initial exams, free exam x-rays, free teeth cleanings and as much as 40% off our usual fee structure simply by creating our own in-house dental savings plan.” The result was PDP… and Dr. Gourley is quite proud of what she has created. “This one simple step has allowed us to eliminate the insurance company middle man… and those savings are going right back into the pockets of folks here locally. I’m really proud to be part of this forward looking cost-savings movement. This is a great system for dental care everywhere.”
Pacific Park Family Dental has three branches to serve the community. Pacific Park Family Dental is located at 1901 NE 162nd Ave, D112, Vancouver, WA 98684. Office number 360-726-6107. Apple Family Dental is located at 2020 9th Ave Suite A, Longview, WA 98632. Office number 360-423-5580. Longview Family Dental is located a 1052 Douglas St, Longview, WA 98632. Office number 360-353-5337.