The prevalence of blockchain in dental care

Blockchain technology comes to the aid of global dental health, making it more affordable to the people of the world

People are too often careless with their teeth, and realize their mistake when the damage is irreversible. One of the greatest Spanish writers, Miguel de Cervantes, said, “Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.”

When teeth need professional dental care, it becomes a matter of dollars and cents, for dental care is expensive. A modern dental practice requires significant investment in expensive equipment, tools and dental medicine. In the US, for instance, dental care is prohibitive without insurance. A recent report by the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and Delta Dental Plans Association shows that about two-thirds of Americans have dental insurance, while the American Dental Association says that annual out-of-pocket dental costs for the average American is $544.  

Nevertheless, it is concerning that 80% of the world population cannot afford good dental care as it is beyond the reach of their wallet. Research also shows that about 90% of dental expenses are preventable if people would only adhere to good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and tri-annual checkups and regular cleanings by professionals like Macleod Trail Dental. Yet, it is generally not the exception but the rule that dentists are offered economic advantages to perform short-term procedures, and discouraged in strategies for long-term dental care.

Philipp Grenzebach, a young business developer, observed this heavy imbalance in global dental care, which he terms “a highly fragmented market” among 1.6 million dentists available globally. As he explained, all dentists work independently, and on short notice, while being unable to function cost-effectively because of middleman involvement by way of insurance, tariffs and settlements.

Grenzebach saw in this fragmented industry, an ideal situation to apply blockchain technology which offers extreme efficiency. He said, “Using the blockchain technology made us independent from banks. Therefore, we do not only cut expenses, but also speed up all our transactions.” An added plus is the ability to reach more people globally with dental care.

Grenzebach, co-founded Dentacoin, trailblazing an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency for the global dental industry. He based the Dentacoin Foundation in the Netherlands as Dutch legislation is relatively “modern and crypto-friendly.” Since its inception in February 2017, Dentacoin has distributed about 303 billion coins globally. It has about 50,000 supporters globally while the Dentacoin community includes a good mix of countries like India, USA, Canada, Brazil, Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Colombia, Germany, Netherlands, and UK. It has, thus, become “the world’s largest blockchain health network.”

The main goal of Dentacoin is improving global dental care and ensuring its affordability by cutting costs and increasing benefits for all industry players through a reward system.  Dentists who provide quality service are rewarded for their reputation in the Dentacoin network. Similarly, patients get rewarded for their effective feedback and detailed reviews that guide other patients to choose a dentist who suits them. Service providers like dentists, clinics and suppliers who have joined the Dentacoin network as well as patients use DCN tokens as internal currency. According to a recent Dentacoin blog, “There are seventeen dental practices all over the world, which have implemented Dentacoin tools in their workflow and accept DCN as means of payments.” Furthermore, it is more affordable to patients as Dentacoin has eliminated the need to pay high premiums to insurance companies.

Dentacoin’s blog also speaks of three recently released tools of the blockchain –
Dentacoin Trusted Reviews, the first blockchain-based platform to motivate detailed feedback; DentaVox Research platform , which collects useful market research data on dental related topics and DentaCare Mobile App , which introduces and engages users in  healthy oral care habits.

Through blockchain, Grenzebach aims is restore the authority of patient care into the hands of dentists and patients, through the elimination of the middleman, the large insurance companies. As American fantasy author, Jeaniene Frost, said, “Brush teeth. Wash hair. Rule undead world with an iron fist.”