Putting Service First

 Putting Service First

Superior Dental Care uses customer service and ITS large network to help clientsEric Spangler Customer service and a large network is what separates Superior Dental Care from other dental benefits companies, says Shannon Ford, director of sales and service for Superior Dental Care.

“All of our member service team has dental experience so that when a member calls in we have resolution 95 percent first call in,” says Ford. “That’s phenomenal service.”

And that 95 percent customer resolution makes Superior Dental Care stand out from other dental benefits companies—and even medical benefits companies—says Ford. “We get compliments all the time.”

Employers should not have to worry about dental care for their employees and Superior Dental Care’s service team alleviates that concern for its nearly 4,000 employer groups, Ford says. Employers tend to forget about their employees’ dental benefits because they never hear any rumbling about dental concerns from their employees, she says.

Superior Dental Care, headquartered in Centerville, is one of the largest dental networks in the United States with 14,000 dental network access points in Ohio and about 650,000 access points across the country, says Ford. And the number of dentists who are joining Superior Dental Care’s network continues to grow, she says.

That growth started more than 30 years ago in 1986 when area dentists created Superior Dental Care, says Traci Harrell, CEO of Superior Dental Care. The company was modeled after physician-owned health maintenance organizations, she says.

Harrell says Superior Dental Care is able to customize a dental benefit plan for employers. “If they’re looking for something low cost just to help people afford the dental checkups at the dentist we can do that,” she says. “Or if they’re looking for something full blown and they want orthodontics coverage and everything else covered we can do that as well.”

In addition to dental benefits Superior Dental Care also offers vision service benefits, a prescription discount card and discounts on cosmetic services—what Superior Dental Care calls “no-cost extras,” Harrell says.

One of its newest benefits is free second opinion on dental work, she says.

If a member has a dental service that they believe might be excessive or they’re questioning the need for the service Superior Dental Care offers that member the opportunity to visit another participating dentist to get a second opinion for free, she says. “That’s something we’re really proud of,” Harrell says.

Employer groups are increasingly realizing the importance of dental insurance and the importance of dental provider visits, says Ford. Some employer groups are actually compensating their employees to incentivize them for seeing a dentist as part of an overall wellness plan, she says. “It’s an up-and-coming trend,” says Ford.

Another trend in business is mergers. And Superior Dental Care recently became a part of that trend when Medical Mutual of Ohio signed an agreement to acquire Superior Dental Care in June. Harrell says Superior Dental Care will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Medical Mutual.

Although it’s a big change to go from being dentist owned to being owned by a medical carrier, Harrell doesn’t think much will be different at Superior Dental Care. “We are all about the dental care for the patient, helping the patient afford the dental care through the providers so we really don’t see anything change there,” says Harrell.