Ocean Dental believes the type of payment should never dictate the availability of quality dental care.
After graduating with his D.D.S. from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1998, Dr. Chad Hoecker opened his fee for service practice in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Shortly following the start of his practice, he recognized there was an unmet need for dental care for low-income families. Further research supported this conclusion; such as the Surgeon General’s report on Oral Health in America, which indicates children from low-income families suffer twice as many cavities as their more affluent peers, and their disease is more likely to go untreated. This knowledge and his desire to help led him to open his traditional practice to Medicaid.
The initial response to Medicaid acceptance was overwhelming and far-reaching. Fee-for-service clinics accepting Medicaid are often limited by the extensive financial and scheduling complications presented when processing Medicaid patients. Because the Ocean Dental system is built on a Medicaid model, our clinics are able to provide high quality dental care to the most underserved socioeconomic group in the country.
In 2009, Ocean Dental opened four more clinics, expanding into two new states. To date, Ocean Dental has operating clinics in seven states, totaling 30 clinics collectively. In addition to the brick and mortar clinics, Ocean Dental launched a Mobile Dental Unit in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007. The MDU provides on-site service at area schools, introducing proper dental care to many children who otherwise may have never made it to a clinic.
“Part of what makes Ocean Dental unique is not the work done, but how it is done,” states Ocean Dental Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chad Hoecker, D.D.S. “Every clinic is designed to create a unique experience for the patients. Each new facilityʼs interior reflects an ocean theme from front to back, using vibrant colors and tropical decorations,” said Dr. Hoecker. To add to the experience, televisions hang from the ceiling above each chair to keep patients entertained during treatment. The professional staff is well-versed in dealing with children and adults. Altogether, it helps to create a positive, memorable and fun experience for patients and their families.
Ocean Dental provides free programs involving dental screenings and oral hygiene instruction. To date, Ocean Dental has given this cost-free service to over 54,000 children and young adults. This number includes children in more than 100 public schools and over 60 daycares, Head Start and Early Head Start programs. With the overwhelming success of this program, Ocean Dental is energized and gearing up to provide information and instruction to even more children in the future.
Ocean Dental is focused on creating an unmatched dental experience for our patients. Each individual employee of Ocean Dental is part of a united force that is taking Ocean Dental to new heights and bringing more successes with each coming year.