Stephen DePiro is vice president and clinical director of The Smile Store, which helps seniors with dental care. They provide dentures, partials, implant alternatives, and manufacture their own products and have clinics to support them. Dentures and implants have come a long way and are more affordable. Lots of patients worry about prices, but their prices are posted online. They also have specials for veterans. Offer finances, take all insurance plans, it’s worth coming in for a consult.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio and we have a very new, first time guest, but not new to the northwest. We’ve been hearing this name the smile store all over the radio and Mr Stephen Tapiro, he’s the vice president and clinical director. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Happy to be here with you guys. Well, we’re happy to have you and we have just been through the month of December where we had an amazing twelve days of goodness and you guys gave all kinds of things away to the seniors here in greater puget sound and we’re so grateful to have your support of twelve these of goodness and and you know that was quite an experience. It was and we were really, really happy to be there and happy to support you and we’re going to be doing this every year with answers for elders. It was enjoyable for us. We gave away some autograph jerseys, did and it was great and everybody had a great time. They went crazy fits. It was almost like a pepper rally. Well, we’re going to turn you into a twelve. Yes, as we crazy seahawk fans. You can you know, I bet you are kind of surprised, coming up here from California to see, you know, the enthusiasm I really was. I really was. It was actually one of the most, one of the best events I’ve ever done. There was a lot of fun and just for the fun factor, I was saying we’re coming back every year of that. I love that. Well, you know, I am so honored to be able to do this program and, in more importantly, is to learn about our providers and that help are there for our seniors. And one of the things that you guys do, and I just kind of wanted to have you humor me a little bit, because when I took care of my mom, she had to have dentures, and so what happens is she went to her main dentist and he pulled her teeth and then she went to the dentist to have it felled or to, you know, to put her plate on, and it was an ordeal. And in what happened, because she was in skilled nursing, she probably didn’t, you know, do what she needed to do because she wasn’t a hundred percent with it at that time. The plate came off. She wouldn’t put it back on because she had dementia. And here in lies the issue that she never ever wore that plate again because she wasn’t willing to do it and because she was on a fixed income, she couldn’t afford to buy new dentures right and it was just really discombobulated. Because, Steve, what happened was is that, you know, we had one dentist over here, but the Denterius doesn’t work on weekends and doesn’t work extra and it was just a big mess. And the thing was I think that when you guys have come and come into this community and and been apart, your level of service is so much better for seniors and you know, your an answer to so many prayers to daughters like me that are trying to help our parents with oral health. So I’m so grateful that you’re here and I just want to share with our listeners a little bit about what you guys do. So why don’t you give us an overview of you know, your services? Sure, so we are a prosthetic based dental practice. We do dentures, we do partials, we do in plan alternatives. We’re a vertically integrated company and what that means is we manufacture all of our own products as well as have the clinics to support them. That’s great and most companies don’t do that. Most companies use outside sources and they farm it out. They farm it out, and so what happens is is that there’s difference in quality and there’s problems with fit and there’s problems that function. You don’t have those problems when you come with us. That’s amazing. One we have a proprietary training program so all of our clinicians go through proprietary training just with us. We also have proprietary techniques that make sure that all of our products work and function a certain way, and then, on top of that, we have proprietary products which are trademarked and are used only for us. There are cases where patients come in and you know they’ve had problems with their teeth and you know they don’t think dentures are an option and they say, you know, this wasn’t for me, and really what it was is they just had bad dentures. MMM. You know, dentures are an option. DENTURE’s work really well. They’ve come a long way. In plants have come a long way. We now have treatment plans and alternatives that are very affordable. That would just to implants. Can Secure your denture for the rest of your life. You know, I was looking at that on your website and one of the things that really struck me, I guess, is that you are so transparent. It’s like you’ve got pricing out there, which is amazing. So there’s no surprises, there’s no situations where I don’t know what to expect and I think a lot of times when you go, when you’re dealing with this overwhelming life change, is you can probably experience with all of your patients to come to you. It’s that feeling of knowing that you don’t have that feeling of you don’t know what’s going to happen, you’re not get’s true prize. That’s true. There’s always the feeling of the unknown and I hear that from lots of patients and they so well, how much is this going to cost me? Oh, it’s overwhelming, and they’re like, well, how much does how much? And I said, well, if you go on our website, you go to www, the small store us Acom. All of our prices are right there on a products page. Love it. Yeah, so it’s very easy. You know what the pricing is, you know what you’re coming in for and our prices don’t change. We offer veteran discounts. So if you’re a veteran, we do support our troops. Come on in the specials just for you. That’s very important and and you know, looking at you know your your niche in the market. It’s like I think sometimes people they don’t realize maybe when it’s time to you know, if your teeth are bad or whatever, they’re hurting, you maybe been to a dentist. There’s all kinds of barriers in your mind that goes through, like if I have to wear dentures, it’s going to be a horrible thing. That is a hundred percent true. A lot of things hold patients back. Some of it is embarrassment. Yeah, they just don’t want to know, you know, and they just don’t want anyone to know, and I’ve seen that before. Some of it is finances and that holds them back, and some of it is just lack of knowledge. They just don’t know. No one’s ever told them right you know, those things should not be barriers to treatment. We offer financing, we have treatment plans that fit all lifestyles and we also take all insurance plans. So it’s worth giving us a call and coming in for for a console and at least letting us tell you what you need. That’s great. So we are talking to Stephen Depiro. He’s the vice president and clinical director of the smile store, and you guys have several locations. Are Two locations and more coming soon. Steve, tell us about where you’re looking. We do where. We have one a twelve fifty, one auburn way north and then we have another one on state avenue in Marysville. We’re also going to be opening intocomon university place. That’s coming in two thousand and nineteen, and we’re also located in California and Oregon as well. That’s amazing. So you, you guys have this this awesome network of really good, solid providers. So what when somebody comes to small store, if they gave you a call like what can they expect? Well, one, we’re going to try and help them to the best of our ability. Our Insurance Co ordinators going to work really closely with their pet with their insurance company, making sure that we maximize their benefits, and we are all about minimizing your out of pocket cost. So, whereas most providers may or may not do this, we do a really good job of trying to maximize those benefits so that it’s affordable. And then, even if you feel like it isn’t affordable, we have finance plans that can make it even more affordable. Right as cheap as a cup of coffee a day. That’s amazing. That’s amazing. And then as far as just to think about the warning signs, it’s like when, what would you say would be the warning sign of when the right time would be to give you guys a call? Well, we get a lot of patients when they start having when you start having changes in eating habits and you start eating what you can rather than what you really want, that’s probably a time to start giving you start thinking about oral care and what we can do for you exactly. And a lot of patients don’t notice this because I’ll see patients and we’ll go through consoles and we’ll go through exams and the biggest thing I hear from them is I’ve never changed my eating habits. I say, okay, we’ll give me an idea of what you eat. And so they’ll give me this idea of what they eat and it’s lots. It’s meat loaf, it’s mashed potatoes, it’s it’s putting, and I said, well, you know what you say, you haven’t changed your eating habits, but in reality most people don’t eat putting three times a day. No, and most people don’t live on meat loaf. So maybe you’re eating habits have changed and you just now become accustomed to different, different foods. Good Point. Good Point, and that is something that sometimes people don’t even realize. Well, I think another thing for those of you that are carrying for a senior that may have Alzheimer’s, a dementia or memory issues. Oftentimes seniors don’t want to complain, but they’ll have oral health issues and that’s something to definitely pay attention to. With their eating habits. A lot of times the reason why mom or dad may not be eating something is because of their or they can’t. A lot of times it’s because it’s because they can’t. Yeah, and so you see a lot of these patients they don’t really know and they start to understand it when they say, you know what, I can eat something now that actually has some substance. Sure, and not eating the right foods is actually really bad for you, absolutely, because it affects your systemic health. Yes, right, so you have digestive problems. You know, you have problems now that you didn’t have before. You have nutritional intake problems. It can contribute to actually bad oral prosthetics and bad oral care actually could contribute to other things, such as a higher incidence of up respiratory infections, more and more incidences of pneumonia. You’re on antibiotics more often than you should. These are things that you want to address. You don’t want to let these things go right, right, and I think the other part of this is really understanding that pay attention. You know, when you when you’re seeing mom or dad, made not be eating right or they you know there may be something just, you know, take a look or think about how you know when’s the last time they’ve been checked out. So now what happens if somebody thinks, well, mom or dad might have some issues and you know what, what kind of costs is it to come into your your clinic? So to come in for a console there’s no cost. Usually we will build your insurance. If you do have insurance, we do go ahead and bill your insurance, but most of the times we do all for free. If you don’t have insurance, it’s not a problem. We have for free consoles. HMM. So you can come in, you can see us, we’ll go through a full, complete exam, will kind of give you your options and then x rays and everything of that are free with us as well. We have a partner that we work really closely with. Free X rays and we’ll give you a full treatment plan, a full package and tell you this is what you need. We have treatment starting as low as five hundred and forty nine. That’s amazing, and we all also offer financing for it. So that could be a minimal, minimal amount of money to really really get in your kind of right direction. That’s incredible, Steve. So just in how do we reach you? You can call our number eight three, three, nine hundred and fifty and one of our representatives be happy to help you. All the girls in the offices are going to be eager to see you. They’re going to be you everything they can to make you feel comfortable. So if anything is holding you back. Don’t let it hold you back. Just come see us absolutely and and, you know, think about you know, I know there’s a lot of you that are out there like me, that may have had some bad experiences with your with oral health, with your your senior loved one. And, you know, everyone to our listeners, think about the oral health for your loved one. There’s so many things that kind of affect their their health, and so making sure that you take care of that loved one and, you know, come and see you guys. There’s really have nothing to lose. So, Steve, thank you so much for being on this. So it was a pleasure being in here and we’re happy to support answers for elders. Thank you. Answers for elders radio show with Susan Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, Lego, health and wellness and living options. 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Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.