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. They provide a very needed service in Puget Sound. Many times, financing is more competitive than anywhere else. In many cases, for about a cup of coffee you can afford good oral care to minimize out of pocket expenses. Insurance will usually cover 50-80% of the therapy.
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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 to answers for elders radio everyone. We are here with Steven Depiro and he is the vice president and clinical director of the smile store. Steve, welcome to the program hello, happy to be back with you guys. Are Glad you’re back to because you know where we are. Loving the fact that you guys are involved with so many things that we’re up to, and the main reason is is that you’re really providing a service to seniors that is so needed here in the greater puget sound and we’re so glad to have you. You know, you guys have, you know, have been with us before and talked about so much of your full service partnership that you provide to our listeners. And tell us a little bit. Basically, you talked about financial, financial piece, and tell us a little bit about how you finance their care. So we actually offer so we offer we offer financing at all of our stores, all of our locations. All of our practices have that, and then we offer a great finance package and many times our rates are actually better than you can go through any other provider. So any third party financing, our rates are always more competitive. We will beat them and for as low as about a cup of coffee a day, you can afford good or all healthcare. You could afford to have a full new smile, functioning and be comfortable. Absolutely. And you know, when you when you think about I think one of the things that hold people back in there, you know, in their downal health, is the cost. Always the cost. It’s like, I can’t afford it, no way to expense it. And it’s the surprises. I think that really I don’t know when I’m it’s like opening up Pandora’s box. You don’t know, let’s, what’s gonna be on the other side. You guys, on the other hand, have really taken a different, simplified approach, and there’s a lot of reasons why? Why don’t you share with us a little bit about well, we know, and I know from previous experience, that the biggest thing that holds people back from cares always finances. Now they’ll blame it on other things, they’ll always say, well, you know, it’s embatters now time, I’m but it’s always finance. I’m fine, right, I’m fine, things are good. Yeah, exactly, but it’s usually the financial side that holds people back. I always tell people don’t let that hold you back. We offer financing, we take every insurance plan. Our goal is to minimize your out of pocket cost and we can do that in a variety of ways. So we always like to see people come on in and we’re fully transparent on our pricing. You can go on our website. The smallest are US Acom. You can see our prices and that is the price. We don’t stray from that. We try to make it a good experience for everyone that comes into our practice. HMM, that’s great. And so by by coming in and learning about insurance and different things like that. You know, give us an example of how insurance coverage like what? So, what is the use will thing? So insurance will usually cover about fifty two as much as eighty percent of your therapy. Yeah, so, and in some cases we’ve had patients where it’s covered in as far as ninety percent, because our prices are very reasonable. Are Fees are very reasonable and we’re able to do these very reasonable fees is because we’re one company. You know, we are the manufacturing company and where the practice group and we have hundreds of years of combined experience. Well, and and that, I think, right there, saves a lot of money. There’s a lot of money when you think about going to a dunnist. Okay, they’re going to charge you to have your teeth pulled and all that stuff, but then they’re going to turn around and they’re going to buy your dentures or your parcels or anything like that from another provider. That’s going to raise the price to sell it to the dentist, right, and then they’re the dennist is going to raise the price again to sell it to you. Correct. So you’re dealing with several markups rather than going to direct to the smile store. Correct. That happens every time. It also really is detrimental to the quality of care. And the reason why it’s detrimental, and sometimes it’s because you don’t really know what you’re going to get. You know, every dentist is on pins and needles saying, well, am I going to get what I want? Is this exact exactly what I ordered right now? Think about that, because they’re just going to take a mold of that mouth right and then they take that mold and it ships out. They don’t know what’s going to come back. Doesn’t know. So with us, we have a team of professionals behind us, located in southern California, in Oregon, in Washington. That that’s all they do. That, that is what they specialize in. Well, and for those of us, obviously that may have had parents or have parents in skilled care, a lot of times parents they don’t think you know, they don’t wear their teeth. It’s very common. More people don’t wear their denters and partials, and the reason why is they usually are uncomfortable. They weren’t made right from the beginning right. What I hear from patients of often is I was told to get used to them. Yep, that’s exactly what they just exactly this is. That’s exactly what they tell you. I was told to get used to although, after four months I still can’t get used to him. And I said, well, you’re never going to get used to him because there’s problems and there’s problems that you didn’t you really don’t need a new so well, and the beauty of this is because you guys manufacture it, you’re going to make sure that that product fits perfectly and if it needs an alteration, you have the ability to do that. We do, and all of our products come with a four year warranty, so if anything happens to it, it’s fully covered. That’s amazing. Now and you have also just on the website you talk about different types of, you know, patented products that you have. In a minute I want to talk about that. But first of all what I want to talk to you, Steve, is tell us a little bit about where you’re located and you know what areas to serve. So one of our one of our practices, is at twelve and fifty one arburn way north, and then our robber and Auburn, and then our other one is in Marysville on twenty State Street in the Safe Way Plaza, and you can call us any time. We’re always here to help you and we look forward to seeing you and, you know, treating you just like family. Well, I love that. And and so you know, the thing is, you’re really easy to get to and even for those of us, I live in Muncleto to run to Mary’SVILLE is not a big deal, very quick, and so the thing that I’m interested in, obviously, is your special products. Okay, so tell us a little bit about you know, your special products. So we have your website. I’ve seen them, so really coming do so we have some premium lines. We have our next to natural line. Our next to natural line is a fully customizable prosthetic line which allows you to really just make, really naturalize your smile. If esthetics or what you’re a hundred percent concerned about, you definitely want to at least explore our next to natural line, and it’s a lot more portable than other competitors. So you should come and see us first. We also offer some really, really good implant alternatives. So just with two implants we can give you something that is super secure. are My secure smile would actually feel like natural teeth. That’s amazing. It’ll allow you to eat and eat almost anything you’d like, steak dinner, steak dinner, and you fushion at a hundred percent. Awesome to implants. Yeah, very affordable. Yeah, you could finance it, and most patients that get that done. I hear this all the time. They say I wish I would have done this sooner. They say, I didn’t know. You know, I’ve been living with bad dentures for so long, and it’s usually someone that’s been about ten years in or they’ve had really bad teeth period donald disease and some really, really bad problems and they say, you know, I don’t know why I waited alone. Right, so this wasn’t this was way more than I could have easily have done this earlier. That’s why you’re all the time. Yeah, so when you have these special products, obviously you could tell me a million stories of how they change people’s lives, but if somebody is living with, let’s say, painful dentures, you know, how does that work? As far as that transition product? I’m process. So people live with bad prosthetics often. Okay, this is pretty common, by the so it’s more than probably you’re sounding me like more than fifty percent. It’s verably like seventy five to eighty percent. Are you serious? It’s a high portion of our patient base where they come in and they’re just unhappy with what they have and what they do is they kind of look at removable prosthetics. As you know, they’re no good. No matter what it is, they’re no good. That’s not necessarily the case. What it is is they have to be manufactured the right way. We take critical steps that the average person that doesn’t specialize in this wouldn’t. There’s things that and I’ll mention some of the some of the Techeech, some of the terminology, but we we take six to seven steps when we fabricate any of our prosthetics, whereas a lot of places only do two to three right. And we do that to ensure they’re accurate, to ensure that they’re right, to ensure that you have a good experience and they fit wow, because that is the most important thing. If you’re getting something done in one day, you’re getting something done in two days, chances are it’s not something you’re going to want forever. All right, so we take the time to make sure it’s done right and all of our patients have great experiences and and that’s what I hear all the time, is like, you know what, I should have done this, but and what normally holds them back is the fact that they’ve they’ve spent money elsewhere and now they’re like, I don’t want to spend more, and that is a big thing that holds them back. Like I just bought this two years ago and I’ve never been able to wear it why should I buy another one? Yeah, I hear that often and and it to be honest with you, a good denture will change your life. Well, it will, and when you’re tie. I mean I love the name the smile store, because it’s really the it’s your smile, and is it cannet helps connect you with people. It is important. You know, I look at photos of myself just and I’ll say if I’m not smiling, I feel like God, I don’t look happy and that’s not do I want to be in a situation around people that I always have to keep my mouth closed, and we see that we all become so often, too often, and it’s sad because it can be fixed and you can have much better connections with people by really having the ability to freely smile and to express yourself. I had such an important piece. I had something that was it was it was very touching and it was somewhat sad. I had a gentleman that had come into he happened to be in one of our in one of our practices, an Oregon, and I was actually the the treating provider, and he wind up going with our my secure smile, which is our heart implant, our implant based prosthetic. And he told me and he and I asked them. I said, well, what brings you in today? You know why you’re looking for this and there’s other options. You know, we can go this route. And he’s like no, I definitely want to go this. I’ve explored all the options and you guys look like you guys really know what you’re doing and you are the most competitively priced. I definitely want to work with you guys. And he told me, he said, I’m getting this done because I haven’t I haven’t kissed my wife in eight years. And that’s what he told me. And I told them, I said that’s Pretty Harper. He’s yeah, I just I just don’t feel comfortable because my teeth are in, my teeth are not in good shape and I have lots of problems. Wow, wow, Kay, and you know that’s a self esteem issue. There’s so many things, I mean, I think about you know how it can change your life and I am so glad you guys are on the show with us and just really to talk about you know, learn to talk about these things and realize that it’s not as big of a deal as we make it out to be and certainly you guys can help a lot of people improve their quality of life. So thank you so much for being on the show, Steve. We’re happy to be here. So how do we reach you? You can call us at eight three, three nine hundred ten fifty, or you can swing by our store, store twelve fifty one auburn way north in Auburn, or twelve twenty State Street Marysville, and you’re on the Internet at www. This monster US Acom. We’re very excited you’re here and I’m just looking forward to working with you and learning more about what you do. We’re happy to be here. Answers for elders radio show with Susan Newman. 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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.