Sarah Luetke, founder and CEO Sound Dental Care, joins Suzanne to talk about breakthroughs in geriatric dental care. In this segment, Sarah talks about her mission and where the breakthroughs will take us. Her goal and team is about serving others, helping family members, and trying something different. We’re all aging, and we’re all going to go through this process – seniors should be able to live out their lives feeling like they’re being cared for, in a humane way, being advocated.
Learn more at https://www.sounddentalcare.com/ or call 206-745-3808.
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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.
Welcome to the Answers for Elders radio show. Meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and I will health guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susanne Newman. -And welcome back, everyone, to Answers for Elders Radio Network, and we are here with Sarah Luetke, who’s the founder and CEO of Sound Dental Care. And this hour we have been talking about geriatric dental health, dental treatments, new breakthroughs, all kinds of things. And Sarah I, you are such a joy to talk to. I am so inspired by you know who you are. And I want to spend the last bit of the story of about your mission and and I know you touched on it a little bit, but let’s I really want to dig into you know, what happens in the future. Where are we going with all of this amazing thing, um, breakthrough stuff that you’re working on. – Well, this is this is the question I asked myself every day. And my goal is the same goal. I would say, our whole team at Sound General Care hats and it is serving others. And um, we are not a Christian company, but I am a Christian and many of our team members are, and Philippians to three to five always rings out to me, and it’s do nothing out of selfish ambition or being conceit, rather in humility, value others above yourself, not looking for your out for your own interests, but each of you to the interest of others. And I would say that is what we are about. Our team is about serving others, and we are about doing something different. And all of us have worked in private practice dental offices throughout our lifetime and we’ve all found ourselves has come to this and it’s the happiest years of our career. And as you know, we’re all we’re all aging, we’re all going on at the same point at some place in our life. And I’ve seen my family members now that I’m getting older, start to go through this process. And I want to see seniors live their lives out in a humane way that they feel taken care of and they feel advocated for. Because when we walk into one of our nursing home buildings and the stories that our team we’re all over the states, so we share our stories and emails at the end of our work days. And last week I got an email from one of our hygena’s and she said, you know, um, I love this job. Thank you for providing this opportunity. And she said I had a lady today that pulled up my heart strings and she was just sitting there and she didn’t want to open her mouth, and then she finally allowed me to clean her teeth. And at the end of the appointment she said to Rachel, you know what, you really made me feel like a person again. You’re really easy to talk to and I feel like someone still cares about me.” And I’ve had another team member email me at the end of a day and say, you know, “I got a hair brush thrown at me, I got screened at, I got my finger bit. But all in all, the sweet gentleman let me clean his teeth and by the end of the appointment he asked me if I would marry him”. So at least… – I love this! Our goal is to continue to be a solution for families. We are about serving our geriatric patients dental care needs and helping families. I get calls from family members crying. “I don’t know what to do. There’s this expense, I can’t get them out. What do I do?” And we’re just doing everything we can to help. The silver diamine that I have spoken about in our previous segments. It was FDA approved in the United States in 2015, and so I am doing a lot of research and work with a few dentists, one in Oregon, one in Wisconsin, and actually, our whole team is headed to Bolivia in November to do a research project on silver diamine. And I’m all about pushing it into the public and telling people “Ask, ask your dentist.” You mentioned before, Suzanne, that most people don’t know about this, and they don’t you ask your dentist. And if dentists are are open to talking to their patients and giving their patients choices, they should be talking about silver diamine. They should be talking about fillings. They should be talking about… – Especially, I mean people that are on fixed income. There needs to be some sort of a plan for seniors that may not be the you know, I mean, seriously, not everybody has to have, you know, a $10,000 dental bill. – Yes. I have a dentist in Wisconsin that I’m friends with, and he two and a half years ago he closed his private practice dentist that he – dental office – that he had had for years, and he opened a new dental office called Victorious Dental. And he has not had a drill in his building for two and a half years. – My goodness. – And he serves all ages. – And you know, there’s so many people out there that have fear of the dentist, just because of the drill, and at least and they don’t want to be drilled on period. They can’t handle it, and their only option might be what you know, you can help them with. And a lot of what you can do is help prevent a decay to happen as well. And that’s one of the things I think that is so important that we do take, you know, be a little bit more mindful as a society, be sensitive to those fears and be sensitive to the fact that, you know a lot of times people have had traumatic incidents in a dentist office. I know somebody that I talked to not too long ago, they’re they’re terrified of the dentist and the main reason is the child, Uh, the dentist that they went to was was probably drunk that he figures that he was probably drunk and he was drilling and he just went way too far and complete ruined the tooth. You know, we couldn’t focus. It was like crazy. So he’s got this horrible fear. And you know, I in this this guy was like he was in his teens when it happened, you know. But again we’re talking the 60s. This was back in the 60s, were very different. But those fears will last, you know, that’s PTSD that can last forever. Right. So the idea to have somebody like you that gives a good option is so amazing. And I love that you’ve taken, you know, and and the good news, you know, for all of us, it’s our gain. But you know, you’ve also chosen not to sell out and go for the big bucks, you know, because a lot of times, you know, that’s really where what it’s about. People get into dentistry because they want to be multimillionaires, you know, and and that’s you know, obviously you’re not doing that when somebody’s only paying like $149 or $189 dollars, right, So it’s a difference. – The other thing I really want to stress here is at Sound Dental Care. From day one, we said we are going to accept all patients, and this means Medicaid patients, patients that are lower-paying state insurance, and, you will find programs in our state that there are Medicaid providers, but they tend to serve mostly children and then also they do serve some adult patients as well. But when there’s so few and far between Medicaid dentists out there, they’re booking out months and months and months, and it’s hard to run a brick and mortar dental practice and see Medicaid patients. And we set up our practice on being viable on Medicaid reimbursements as well. And so most of our patients have met CADE and we never say no to them. Now, I when I try to find a dentist to refer these patients out to when they need care beyond what we can do at Sound Dental Care, I can find a pain I can find a dentist that will take the private pain and the insurance ones any day, But finding a Medicaid dentist for this population is near impossible, and it puts the facilities the family me everyone in a very very tough place. And so my goal is that we continue to do the silver diaming treatment. We continue to see these patients every three to six months for dental cleanings, and we don’t let them get to a point where their mouth is in such a bad place that we don’t we don’t know what to do. And so my goal is really medical dental integration. And in the nursing homes, the dentist tend to not be going in there. And so every nursing home that we serve, mostly the skilled nursing homes, have a medical doctor or a primary care provider. We work hand in hand with them, and they know those patients better than anyone because they see their med history every day. – Right right, Well, Sarah, I am telling you right now, you are such a I am so thrilled that you’ve come on our program, and I pledge to you, I will do whatever I can to get you into anywhere that needs to because my whole goal is to make sure that we have some real um, positive um experiences with our seniors that they can get the care that they need. And you know, just to think about if there’s so many boomers right now turning out there that have probably neglected their teeth a little bit, but it’s only going to get worse as they get older. There’s there’s some certain days obviously that I would love to be able to see how we could help, and I don’t know how we can do that yet, but UM, you know, I want to let you know that we would love to do what we can, because again, my whole goal is to help our older adults for sure. UM. So obviously, if somebody has a loved one in a skilled nursing any sort of healthcare facility, when you’re saying healthcare treatment type, UM, you know care center, UM, how do you reach out? You know, how do we reach you? – You can look up Sound Dental Care online. you can go to www.SoundDentalCare.com, or you can call us at 206-745-3808. – And you know, here’s the thing that I think is really important with all of this is that let’s figure out a way if you know, if you have a loved one that you want to get UM services and you service pretty much throughout the state of Washington. You said, what areas are so you do and what is usually the waiting period for something like that to get get in to see you, not not too long. Within a month or two we’re in there to see that’s perfect, so perfect, So again, just um think about it. And the number of that Sarah has given us is two oh six seven four or five three, eight zero eight. If you want to get your loved one seen or go to sound Dental Care dot com and you can learn a lot more about it. And Sarah, thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you so very much. So I am excited to see what happens in the future with you. I have a feeling you’re going to be doing some really amazing things. Thank you and for each and every one of you this week. This has been an amazing interview and we’re looking forward to seeing how you can help your loved one think about dental health in a whole new way. And um, until next week, be good to each other. We it answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care, So visit our website and discover our decision guides that will help you also navigate decision making find us at Answers for Elders dot
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman 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 Newman found herself 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. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, 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.
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