Chicago dentist co-launches alternative to dental insurance

Chicago-based dentist Kevin Patterson, DDS, and engineer Steve Valentor have teamed up to create PayDent, an alternative to dental insurance for patients and dental care providers launched Sept. 14.

Dr. Patterson said PayDent "replaces low-value dental insurance plans with a tool that helps patients build funds to pay for inevitable dental expenses and streamlines the process for dentists to get paid,” according to a news release.

Patients open a PayDent account and contribute money toward their coverage. They can use their account to pay for dental services, including those not covered by their dental insurance plans. Services cost 15 percent less than the national average cost based on the American Dental Association's fee survey.

Dentists who join PayDent can verify patient funds and request payments through the app. Dentists can receive payments at 80 percent of the ADA's fee survey. Specialized practices can bill patients for the difference between their fee and the portion covered by PayDent.

The PayDent mobile app covers every type of dental treatment and allows providers and patients to choose treatment options without prior approval of a third party. The company said it aims to make dental care affordable, accessible and hassle-free by avoiding upfront costs and annual fees.

Dr. Patterson has 34 years of experience in dentistry and is a past branch president of the Chicago Dental Society.

Mr. Valentor is an entrepreneur and engineer with experience managing technology companies. He is also a professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

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