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The Future of Dentistry

The dentists at Waverly don’t want to fill your cavities. They want to prevent them.

Waverly is not your everyday dentist. Enter the doors of the West Village space, and, with plush furniture and pastel colors, it feels more like an upscale spa than a dentist’s office. But this is precisely the point. Waverly wants to change the game when it comes taking care of your teeth, from atmosphere to action.

For decades, oral care has centered around treatment — think cavity fillings and root canals. But Waverly, opened in November of last year, aims to redirect the focus to prevention, addressing the overall health of the mouth’s microorganisms before potential issues can cause actual damage. This, founder Nick DeBari says, is why Waverly is the Equinox of dentists.

Behind the spa-like façade, there’s substance. “We’re 110% founded by dentists,” says DeBari, whose background is in finance. “We have a world-class clinical team, including a past president of the Dallas County Dental Society and chair of the American Board of Dental Public Health. Our company has a bedrock of clinical experts. We are here to be an advocate for the patient’s health.”

In looking at the dental market, DeBari noticed that corporate dentistry makes up a large portion of patients’ dental options, and it’s only growing. Waverly acts as the answer for the private practitioner, who might have a great practice but can’t stand against corporations. Because Waverly focuses only on prevention — you’ll never hear a drill inside the office — it can create a steady patient flow for private practitioners who themselves do restorative treatments. “Waverly not only acts as a hygiene and preventative dental office,” DeBari says, “but also as a triage and diagnostic center for the patient’s chief complaints. They can trust us because we’re not incentivized to do anything but tell them the truth and get them the results they need at a fair price.”

Using that revolutionary business model, Waverly is able to offer preventative oral care affordably — one cleaning including X-rays costs $65 — for people of all backgrounds, with or without health insurance (Waverly will submit insurance claims on behalf of patients). And it’s also able to offer that care in a way that pampers patients rather than intimidates them.

“We’ve removed all the pain points,” DeBari says. “We’re the dentist without the drill. It’s a highly customizable experience. We ask patients whether they want a noisy or silent appointment, and we have Alexa in every room. I think it’s the only place like it in the United States.”

The care Waverly offers falls in one of two camps: cleaning or whitening. In-office appointments include Purification, a modernized traditional cleaning with an exam, X-rays, and oral cancer screening; Illumination, a professional teeth-brightening experience using LumiBrite and a complimentary desensitizer; and Enlightenment, a signature combination of both. Patients can also purchase clear aligners if needed, which are similar to and cheaper than Invisalign.

But Waverly’s main emphasis in prevention is its direct-to-consumer 90-day Wave Kits. Patients take a dentist-advised 10-question survey about their oral health, overall wellness, and state of inflammation, which can be caused by anaerobic bacteria — and then receive a Renew, Control, or Sustain kit. “We really learn more about where you’re at medically, and then we curate a kit for you,” DeBari says. “We create for you a custom toothpaste, an oral gel with a hydrogen peroxide base that kills the bacteria, mouthwash, and floss. We also include whitening trays. It’s a guided approach and targets exactly what you need.”

Dallas residents are taking note of this unique approach, so much so that Waverly has a 90% customer return rate. “We’ve gotten such traction,” DeBari says. “A great dental office will bring in 15 new patients a month. This month, we’re seeing 400.”

Next, he wants to take Waverly coast-to-coast. A Los Angeles location will be opening in late summer, and he’s exploring other sites too. His goal is to scale this model of dentistry and make it a national brand so everyone can have access to preventative dental care as well as whitening.

“People are taking control of their oral health,” DeBari says. “The difference in experience is that it puts the person in the driver’s seat of their health.”

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