FYI

Dentist blog from Delta Dental

Tag: Texas (Page 1 of 2)

New conference schedule announced

After two years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Dental representatives are back out on the conference circuit. We’ll be at several notable events this fall.

Look for us at the following conferences:

ConferenceDateLocation
American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM)September 8–10, 2022Scottsdale, AZ (Booth #628)
American Dental Association – SmileConOctober 13–15, 2022Houston, TX (Booth #904)
Greater NY Dental MeetingNovember 27–30, 2022New York, NY (Booth #2308)

Stop by our booth at the ADA’s SmileCon to talk to Dr. Jessica Buehler, our director of dental affairs.

We’d love to see you at one of these upcoming events! Please visit our booth to meet local provider network ambassadors, learn about Delta Dental’s online services, hear the latest news and trends, get your questions answered and pick up cool swag.

Medicare Advantage DHMO updates for 2022

It’s a new year, and that means there’s a new crop of partners joining Medicare Advantage. If you’re part of Delta Dental’s Medicare Advantage DHMO network, members of these groups with a Delta Dental Medicare Advantage DHMO plan can choose your practice as their primary care facility. If you don’t currently participate in this network, we still encourage you to review the following information.

Here’s a quick look at the new Medicare Advantage DHMO partners for 2022.

  • Bright Health covers approximately 7,500 members in Arizona, Illinois, Florida and New York.
  • Brand New Day has over 50,000 members throughout the state of California, from Placer and Sacramento counties in the north all the way down to San Diego and Imperial counties.
  • InterValley Health Plan serves about 17,000 members in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, with members in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
  • Western Health Advantage covers about 2,300 members in California’s wine country, including Marin, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.

Additionally, the following Medicare Advantage partnerships are continuing in 2022. Some partners are making changes that may affect the coverage available to your patients. For partners who are updating their benefits, be sure to use Provider Tools to see details!

  • Central Health Medicare Plan in California has expanded to San Mateo County and enhanced their benefits for all divisions.
  • WellCare in California’s Orange and San Diego coverage is continuing DHMO coverage for its members.
  • SCAN Health Plan is expanding to San Mateo and Alameda counties in California.
  • Kaiser California Medicare is adding a new diagnostic and preventive benefit in California counties.
  • Kaiser Georgia Medicare is enhancing benefits and expanding to Newton, Rockdale, Spalding, Walton, Barrow and Butts counties in Georgia.
  • Stanford Healthcare Advantage in California is updating its website but making no changes to its DHMO offering at this time.

Nearly a million members nationwide have access to a Medicare Advantage plan through Delta Dental, and every day for the next decade, about 10,000 Americans will turn 65. By 2030, approximately 18% of the nation’s population will be 65 or older. Joining the Medicare Advantage DHMO network represents an incredible opportunity to expand your business by serving this growing market!

By joining the Medicare Advantage DHMO network, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • Your practice will be listed in our Medicare Advantage network directory.
  • You’ll retain patients who are joining a Medicare Advantage plan. Their DHMO plans require that they visit Medicare Advantage network dentists.
  • You’ll grow your business with new Medicare Advantage patients looking for an in-network dentist.

Interested? To apply for participation in the Delta Dental Medicare Advantage DHMO network, please email medadv@delta.org. We’ll send you an application and contract.

Dentist spotlight: Dr. Daniel Fuller

A career in dentistry may not instantly strike most people as a path to worldwide travel, but for Dr. Daniel Fuller, the two pursuits have always gone hand in hand.

Dr. Fuller followed in his father’s footsteps, traveling widely while serving in the Army Dental Corps. Over the years, he’s practiced on several continents and in many countries, including Korea, Honduras and Kenya. We reached out to Dr. Fuller at his private practice, DWF Dental in Denton, Texas, to discuss his time in the military, the challenges of COVID and the New Year’s resolution he wishes all his patients would make.

How and when did you decide to become a dentist?

My dad was a dentist in the army for 28 years. We moved every two or three years. My whole life growing up that’s all I ever knew. I just always kind of had the idea I wanted to be a dentist.

As an adult, you continued to move around quite a bit. Can you tell us about your experience as a dentist in the military and the places you lived?

When I got out of college, I was in the military, and I was assigned to a branch field artillery battalion for five years. When I got out, I went to dental school then went back into the military as a dentist. After five years, they sent me to Korea for a year. I’ve been on several different continents, all the way around the world sometimes.

Are the dental needs of military personnel very different from the dental needs of civilians?

I think they’re pretty much the same for military personnel as I see with civilian patients. The one thing with the military is the extraction of third molars. If you have third molars, they could possibly erupt, and they had to be removed before you could be deployed. That was one of the main things I was concerned with. I’ve taken out a bunch of third molars, as many as 20 in a typical month.

Is the treatment experience the same for you as a dentist?

The main similarity is that I get to interact with the patients and learn something about them, essentially become friends with them. I have more time to do that in civilian practice because in military practice you may see this person only one or two times. You have to get in there and get to know them a little quicker, find out what they need to get done so you can get them on their way. It’s an important job.

You’ve traveled and practiced all over the world. Why did you decide to base your practice in Denton, Texas?

I’d gotten out of the military, and I was in a private practice in Washington. My wife at the time had two horses. She was from Texas, and she just wanted to move down here so she could find a house with property so she could put horses on it. That’s how I got to Denton.

Would you have any advice for dentists just starting out?

Get to know your patients. Spend a little extra time with them if you can. Always ask them questions, ask if there’s anything you can do or if there’s anything going on with them. That’s the most important thing. The more you get to know your patient, the more you can cater the treatment to their areas of need.

How has COVID affected your practice?

It took us about six months after practice shut down in March of 2020. But then we were pretty much back to where we were before COVID had started. It slowed us down, but we were able to get a PPP loan that helped pay for staff during that tough couple of months when we couldn’t see many patients.

If you could give your patients a New Year’s resolution to make, what would it be?

Do the things that make you happy, because those will be your best memories when you get older.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to play golf, but I just don’t get enough time to really do that!


Congratulations to Dr. Fuller! Learn more about his practice, DWF Dental.

Medicare Advantage PPO updates for 2022

It’s a new year, and that means there’s a new crop of partners joining Medicare Advantage. If you’re part of Delta Dental’s Medicare Advantage PPO network, you can see the members of these groups. And if you haven’t opted in, consider this: every year for the next decade, about 10,000 Americans will turn 65. By 2030, approximately 18% of the nation’s population will be 65 or older. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand your business by serving this growing market!

Here’s a quick look at the groups joining us for the first time and updating their plans this year.

  • Alignment Health Plan is a new group with approximately 2,500 members in northern and southern California. Members who choose expanded dental coverage can access the Delta Dental Medicare Advantage PPO network.
  • Aspire Health Plan is backed by Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, bringing coverage to Monterey County in California. Beginning in 2022, certain diagnostic and preventive care benefits will be covered at 100%.
  • CDPHP Medicare serves the Capital Region in New York. In 2022, CDPHP will be expanding to St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties.
  • CHRISTUS Health Plan offers Medicare Advantage dental coverage in the state of Texas and select areas of New Mexico.
  • Essence Healthcare serves members in the San Francisco Bay Area. Essence Healthcare was previously known as Stanford Healthcare Advantage.
  • Health Choice Utah offers coverage in all counties throughout the state of Utah.
  • Some Molina Healthcare states are moving outside of our network. In 2022, Delta Dental will be partnered with Molina Healthcare in California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin.
  • Select Health Advantage is available in Nevada in Clark and Nye counties.

Nearly a million members nationwide have access to a Medicare Advantage plan through Delta Dental. By joining the Medicare Advantage PPO network, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

  • Your practice will be listed in our Medicare Advantage network directory
  • You’ll retain patients who are joining a Medicare Advantage plan. Their fee-for-service plans require that they visit Medicare Advantage network dentists.
  • You’ll grow your business with new Medicare Advantage patients looking for an in-network dentist.

Interested? To apply for participation in the Delta Dental Medicare Advantage PPO network, please email medadv@delta.org. We’ll send you an application and contract.

Dentist spotlight: Dr. Eric Huynh and Dr. Saranya Viyapon

When dentistry is a family affair, work-life balance is more important than ever. For married dentists Dr. Eric Huynh and Dr. Saranya Viyapon, staying busy is a virtue, but so is taking time to focus on themselves and their family. Not only does the Texas twosome owns and operates Oasis Dental in Keller and Confi-Dental in Fort Worth, they also find time to run multiple other businesses and tend to their three daughters. The busy couple works hard, plays hard and enjoys every minute of it.

How and when did you two meet?

Dr. Eric Huynh: I owned three offices back then. Sara came in for an interview and we didn’t hire her because she was out of our budget. She was going to school in Philadelphia back then but was moving back to Texas to be closer to her family. I told her if she ever wanted to come out with me and my friends, she was welcome to join us. That’s what really happened. Even though we didn’t hire her, she went out with us, we became friends and the next thing you know, we were married. It all worked out. We’ve been together 18 years now. It goes by faster than anyone could imagine.

When did you each decide that you wanted to be a dentist and why?

Dr. Saranya Viyapon: I’m originally from Thailand and we believe in taking care of people, so I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field. I like my schedule to be 9 to 5 but as a doctor, you need to be on call. I knew that wasn’t going to be a good fit for me, so I decided to study dentistry.

I love being a dentist. We’re very busy, but we’re very lucky!

Dr. Huynh: I was pre-med and studying quite a bit, but, to be honest, my score was only a little above average and I wanted to excel at whatever I did. I liked dentistry, also, so at the last minute I switched. It was such a blessing and it worked out quite well. I love being a dentist so much! 

What do you love about being dentists?

Dr. Huynh: Well, I talk a lot, and I love my patients. Most of them have been with me since 1997, when I graduated and was just starting out. We have three or four generations working in my office and everyone feels like family. It doesn’t feel like work anymore. It’s really fun. We’re very blessed. People come here and they stay here. My staff has been with me for 20 years. We’re growing old together. 

Dr. Viyapon: Being a dentist, I just love checking in with my patients. Once in a while, we get patients who are uncomfortable with the dentist and after a while they feel better about it. That’s very rewarding to me. Sometimes we’ll see patients and they’re excited to see you and tell you that they love the way their teeth feel after a cleaning. It’s the little stuff! Plus, it’s great to help people get out of pain.

What are the best and worst parts of being married to another dentist?

Dr. Viyapon: It’s so nice being married to another dentist because we understand each other’s work. We can talk about our days so easily.

Dr. Huynh: We don’t work together in the same office, so the good thing is that we can refer patients to each other if they have certain preferences about their dentist. We can also consult with each other for different cases, which is really nice. But worst? We don’t really have many issues. We have three kids, and that’s enough!

What does quality patient care mean to you?

Dr. Viyapon: Taking care of a patient as a whole and the best that we can. If something is out of our comfort zone, we’ll refer them to a specialist. 

Dr. Huynh: For me, it’s taking care of whatever they need to the best of your ability. My patients are almost family to me. I give all of them my cellphone number, but they’re so respectful about it. They only call when they really need to. I try to think of my patients like they’re my mom, my dad, my sister. I want them to feel comfortable expressing themselves. If they have hesitation and don’t trust you, there’s a problem. 

I think that’s why we don’t have many issues. If there’s a problem, we want them to know that we’ll take care of it. Basically, if they’re happy, I’m happy. 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out?

Dr. Huynh: You don’t need to do everything. I was trying so hard to do it all when I started and I had to learn to delegate more. Don’t let everything stress you out because it will work out.

I think dental school can be a rough time for a lot of people. Instructors could be really hard on us and I think they’re much tougher on you than the patients are. Nothing can faze you after that. It made us better people now.

Dr. Viyapon: I’d say, don’t take it too personally. When I started out, nobody told me that, and I’d get patients who just didn’t like going to the dentist. Sometimes it’s nothing personal and we just need to be more understanding with the patient. 

Some patients have a hard time opening up because they think we’re just trying to make money and doing unnecessary work. That’s hard for younger people to learn, because when you’re starting out you think everything will be so ideal. 

What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies?

Dr. Huynh: I am quite busy, besides dentistry. We have three daughters. After the first one, I decided to not work so much because I wanted to spend time with her. We’re very hands on with the kids. As I got older, I got into other businesses. I do real estate outside of this, and it’s tremendously fun. We also own an event center. Dentistry is our 9 to 5, but after that everything is very different.

If I wasn’t a dentist, I’d be an event planner. I love the creative side of it. We really love it, and the kids get involved, too. It’s great for learning business but also brings us closer. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other and working together. It was never supposed to be like this, but I’m very grateful that it is.

Dr. Viyapon: We have three jobs, but we enjoy all of them! On top of that, our oldest daughter just became the president of the drill team this year, so now I’m president of the dance moms! 

To relax, I do yoga and we always take breaks from work. We take long weekends and we go out with friends — especially on Friday nights! During the week, Dr. Huynh does all the cooking, but on the weekends the kitchen is closed, and we always go out to eat. We like to take vacations when the kids are out of school. When we go out or take a break, we only focus on that.


Congratulations to Dr. Eric Huynh and Dr. Saranya Viyapon on being our Dental Health Partners of the Month. Learn more about their practices Confi-Dental and Oasis Dental.

Teledentistry is now available in Texas

On June 16, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed HB 2056 into law, making it legal for Texas dentists to provide teledentistry services to their patients. Among other provisions, the law:

  • Requires informed consent from the patient
  • Establishes standards of care for teledentistry
  • Protects patient privacy
  • Promotes care for underserved areas
  • Addresses teledentistry’s use in treating patients with special needs
  • Sets up rules for Medicaid and teledentistry
  • Requests biennial reports on teledentistry’s effectiveness
  • Empowers the Texas Medical Board and State Board of Dental Examiners to set rules for teledentistry

Building up teledentistry services from scratch can seem daunting, but there are tools and resources out there that make it easy. From guides on how to see patients to tools like Delta Dental – Virtual Consult that help you easily expand your practice, Delta Dental makes it easy for you to find success with teledentistry.

Interested? Just fill out the interest form and we’ll reach out to you about getting started with Virtual Consult.

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