Emerging Trends in Dentistry

Emerging Trends in Dentistry Among Patients 22 and Younger: A Claims-Based Study


Wednesday, September 21

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted dental care among patients, particularly the 22 and younger age groups. Drawing on the nation’s largest repository of private healthcare claims data, this presentation will examine trends in the dental population before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will look at the growth of orthodontic claims following the initial impact of the pandemic.  It will assume this growth may be supported by “do-it-yourself” orthodontics, as more general dentists are providing orthodontic treatment to help maintain their income as they may see fewer patients per day and cover the extra cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). This session also will look at the potential increase in cavities targeting patients age 22 and younger and if this is due to patients putting off routine dental care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, FAIR Health will look at how anxiety connected to the ongoing pandemic may have resulted in an increase in teeth grinding, identified by increased occlusal guards. This session will also explore trends in rural versus urban dental health and if the pandemic changed how dental practices operate in these areas, as measured by the number of patients per day and services per patient. The information presented in this session will be helpful for stakeholders throughout the healthcare sector, particularly dentists and other oral healthcare providers, as well as payors, policymakers and researchers.     

Donna-Smith-300x300.jpgDonna Smith
Chief Client Officer
FAIR Health

As chief client officer, Donna Smith maintains an effort to bring value to the various stakeholders across multiple market segments in the healthcare ecosystem. Donna has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, concentrating on benefits administration, managed care, payor and claims solutions. Before joining FAIR Health, she was an independent consultant to various entities in the healthcare and benefits sector, including health plans, third-party administrators and other companies serving the health insurance payor and self-funded employer markets. For these entities, her consulting services concentrated on marketing, sales and organizational strategic planning. In addition, Donna also served the provider community, working with small physician group practices to evaluate electronic medical record (EMR) solutions based on meaningful use evaluations. Earlier in her career, Donna served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for a technology company, SBPA Systems, a role she retained when the company was acquired by SunGard, a leading technology and services provider of employee benefits, healthcare claims adjudication, business process automation and reporting solutions for the health and benefits insurance industry. In addition to focusing on business development, sales and marketing, Donna developed customer service, implementation and account management teams and executive and customer advisory groups.

Donna has participated in several key industry associations—including Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA), Health Care Administrators Association, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Institute for Healthcare Consumerism (IHC), and Institute of Medicine (IOM)—by serving in many capacities, such as focused panels, workshops, task groups, and committees, including a board of directors’ appointment with SIIA. Donna continues to participate and speak at various industry forums representing the many sectors FAIR Health serves. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing from Louisiana Tech University.

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