Chicago-based Dental Dreams aggressively hiring, offering chance to serve lower-income communities
CHICAGO -- Unlike many businesses in Illinois, that are struggling to stay afloat, Chicago-based Dental Dreams is aggressively hiring.
The dental care provider isn’t just providing what it calls “attractive compensation” to its dentists -- it also offers the ability to serve lower-income communities.
“Our compensation structure for our dentists and staff is highly competitive with our industry,” said Mike Peters, the chief operating officer of KOS Services, which manages the business operations for Dental Dreams. “We find that when we are able to make new dentists and staff aware of the compensation and benefits at Dental Dreams, they are eager to pursue opportunities with us.”
Peters also explained that the mission of Dental Dreams, which accepts Medicaid, is also to bring dental services to underserved communities. He explained that two years ago, the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) was instrumental in persuading members of the Illinois General Assembly and then-Gov. Pat Quinn to advance a budget that included funding for dental coverage for adults through Medicaid.
The approval restored adult dental benefits within Medicaid two years after eliminating coverage.
“Children are covered under Medicaid nationwide. However, adults are not,” Peters told Chicago City Wire. “Some states have limited access to dental care for adults in a short-sighted approach to saving money. However, studies have demonstrated clearly that the costs associated with eliminating coverage for adults under Medicaid are greatly outweighed by the costs of caring for those individuals in emergency rooms and hospital settings when their dental needs are not being met in the dental office setting.”
He added that research had shown removing eligibility for dental care for adults covered by Medicaid reduces the likelihood that the children of those adults will get proper dental care.
Illinois’ actions to restore these Medicaid benefits, he explained, allows Dental Dreams to serve patients who otherwise may not be able to obtain needed dental care. While it allows them to offer dentists the ability to serve these communities, it provides some unique challenges.
“Dentists as a whole are in short supply and very few dental practices offer services for Medicaid recipients,” Peters explained. “Therefore, the demand for services at our offices is extremely high and it is a constant challenge for us to keep pace with that demand with our hiring of dentists.”
Peters said there was also a misconception that working at a dental practice that focuses on serving lower income patients did not pay as well.
“We devote significant resources to working with dental schools and dental associations and reaching out to dentists and dental students to make sure they have an understanding of the success of our business model and the financial and altruistic benefits associated with providing dental services to underserved communities.”
Dental Dreams has 18 locations throughout Illinois, with seven in Chicago. The company also has locations in Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, DC.
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350 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654