“You’ve got to look at the population, not at the teeth,” said Dr. Mike Shirtcliff, President of Advantage Dental. "The issue:is: if you’ve got all these problems but you only go to the dentist when you have a crisis, we [dentists] don’t have time to talk about prevention.”
The Oregon-based Advantage Dental manages the network for PacificSource Northwest's dental coverage in Idaho and Oregon, which includes 400 Idaho dentists.
- Emily Peters
- Dr. Mike Shirtcliff, CEO of Advantage Dental: “We can't afford the health care system we have; we never could afford it. And that’s what this is all about."
“The problem is people may not want to change their behavior immediately,” said Shirtcliff.
Shirtcliff also pointed to the increasing need for managed care services through Medicaid and programs through the Women, Infants and Children initiatives for oral health.
Shirtcliff said he wants Advantage Dental to compete for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's huge Medicaid Basic Dental Plan contract, which is currently held by Blue Cross of Idaho in its "Idaho Smiles Contract" providing dental care to approximately 140,000 Gem State residents. The contract is reportedly up for renewal this fall.