March 16, 2023, 10:30 AM EDT
Small Business Spotlight: Indian Creek Dental Puts Quality Dental Care Within Reach
While working at a free clinic in college, Dr. Shad Hattaway, D.D.S., noticed a paradox: those who need quality healthcare the most are often unable to afford it.
“With that experience I had, I understood that people need to come together to take care of their communities,” Dr. Hattaway said. “So, throughout my whole professional career, I've made volunteering a priority.”
At Indian Creek Dental, his practice in Carrollton, Texas, Hattaway finds multiple ways to give back. A percentage of his earnings is donated monthly to charities to support people who are deaf or hard of hearing, refugees, seniors and dental school students, just to name a few.
Additionally, Hattaway provides special accommodations for populations that often have difficulty accessing dental care.
“We are a deaf-friendly dental practice. Every Monday and Thursday we have the office staffed with a sign language interpreter, so our deaf clientele can come in knowing that we are going to have an interpreter ready for them,” he said.
Indian Creek Dental was recently selected for The Synchrony Pillars Project Grant, which recognizes small business owners and healthcare providers like Hattaway who make meaningful change in their communities. He plans to use the $10,000 grant to increase HIPAA compliancy features and to upgrade to state-of-the-art technology to improve patient care.
Hattaway notes that dental health is often ignored or placed on the bottom of a person's to-do list because the right care is not always covered by insurance. But putting off dental work can have negative effects a person's overall physical health.
“It's not something that can typically be overlooked or put to the side, because when it comes, it comes in like a train and it often hurts,” Dr. Hattaway said. “When something starts to hurt, it's been there for quite a while. When an infection has been in your body long enough to get a foothold, it can be very, very dangerous.”
Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, not every client can pursue the treatments prescribed.
“When it comes to taking care of my patients, I always want to offer the best to everybody,” Dr. Hattaway said. “I don't want finances, I don't want their emotional state, I don't want their timeframe to be something that gets in the way of that. The CareCredit credit card is one of the tools that I use to get over the financial wall that people often put up.”
CareCredit, a Synchrony solution that helps small businesses better serve their clients, helps Indian Creek Dental patients to afford top-of-the-line dental care with the flexibility to pay for it monthly.
“CareCredit really helps our patients bridge the gap on some of the obstacles to care that we experience every single day,” Dr. Hattaway said. “I know they need to be taken care of in a way that's very cost-effective, in a fashion that they can fit it into their budget and make convenient monthly payments.”
When patients are able to get funding for high-quality dental care, communities are healthier and stronger, an outcome helped by businesses like Indian Creek Dental and by the Synchrony Pillars Project Grant.
“So rarely do you get to be involved in a profession that can be as impactful as dentistry,” Dr. Hattaway said. “When we finish our work as dentists, it's so humbling — that immediate response when someone sees their smile for the first time, and they really open up and they really start to feel comfortable about who they are.”
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