Say Ahh: An Interview with The Floss Bar
For many Americans, going to the dentist is not a pleasant experience. Things like loud tools, difficulties finding an appointment time that works, and unclear pricing structures all make for an uncomfortable situation. Research from Lincoln Financial Group suggests that 1 in 10 consumers with dental insurance didn’t visit the dentist despite their coverage. This can have serious health repercussions down the line, with oral health being connected not just to the mouth, but also to diseases like diabetes, AIDS, and blood cell disorders, according to the American Dental Association. To solve all those issues The Floss Bar was created.
Born in 2017, The Floss Bar utilizes a “hub and spoke” system where patients can receive dental care from either dental offices with spare capacity or from traveling dentists. The company is focused on providing high-quality, convenient, and affordable preventive care, and uses technology to help improve the dental experience and keep costs low. I recently had the chance to speak with Eva Sadej, founder and CEO of The Floss Bar, about her previous experiences with dental care, The Floss Bar’s business model, and its future goals.
What is the origin story behind The Floss Bar?
Eva Sadej: Like most millennials, I was cut off from my parents’ dental insurance at age 26. I had to manage my own healthcare. I quickly found out that out of all preventative health services the biggest logistical nightmare was getting a simple routine dental cleaning. It was only available during my workday, took a month of advanced notice, three hours door-to-door, plenty paperwork, a $200 pre-payment and then a fight with my new insurance carrier who declined to reimburse.
It was clear to me that the dental industry was in need of an update. In 2017, I left Bridgewater, the large hedge fund where I worked for four years, and started Floss Bar, a fun on-demand alternative for taking care of your oral health.
In the Photo: The Floss Bar founder and CEO Eva Sadej. Photo Credit: The Floss Bar.
How does The Floss Bar work for dental patients?
ES: Millennials find value in having a flexible schedule. Our hubs and spoke system does just that: the hubs are accredited dental offices where patients have access to off-hours appointments and the spokes are Floss Bar’s mobile teams that travel to corporate offices, hotels, gyms, co-working spaces, and even homes to deliver the same safe and effective dental services with the right mood, music, and personal touches. Both the hubs and the spokes feature transparent pricing designed to accommodate both patients with and without dental insurance. If any patient needs more advanced dental work then just the basics, we facilitate the referral to the dentists we work on behalf of.
What makes The Floss Bar unique and different from regular dental clinics?
ES: We differentiate on convenience, pricing, and experience. We have an ecosystem: offices and mobile teams, so getting preventative care is as easy as possible. We have offices across NYC and are now opening in Boston, as well as three more states this year. We also have a partner product brand, Boka, which has a full oral health line combining natural and leading scientific elements.
In the Photo: A Floss Bar clinic. Photo Credit: The Floss Bar.
Part of The Floss Bar’s core is a focus on being a tech-forward company, could you elaborate more on that?
ES: We’re fully automated – no paper forms, no cash payments, no need to call us because you do everything online. And we innovate the technology quickly by using an AI robot named Bucky.
What is the future of The Floss Bar in your eyes?
ES: Becoming a national brand focused on enabling access to preventative care – in every state in the US. This could mean any number of business models. As we work with dentists, they come up with ideas and we help them execute them, thereby adding to the list of possible businesses under our brand. Stay tuned!