The fix for Turkey Day toothaches

November 22, 2006
If you bite off more than you can chew while gnawing on a turkey leg today — like part of a tooth — a new local business is on call. About a month ago, Todd and Diana Giblette of Elizabeth opened a franchise of Emergency Dental Care USA at 6531 N.
Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs. It’s the first Colorado location for the Omaha, Neb.-based franchise founded by a dentist. The operation is similiar to an urgent-care medical clinic, except the focus is on pressing dental problems, perhaps a dull toothache that becomes unbearable, a tooth knocked out during a family football game or a filling dislodged while eating pecan pie. Five local dentists are independent contractors for the business and provide extended-hour emergency services — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week including all holidays — for children and adults. “The focus is to get people out of pain,” Todd Giblette said. But the clinic doesn’t just dispense pain medication, like hospital emergency rooms or urgent-care clinics do for people with dental problems. The dentists at Emergency Dental Care fix the root cause of the pain with root canals, replacement fillings, crowns, extractions and other procedures. “Normally, people have to wait until their dentist can see them, usually when they’re scheduled to be in the office. We provide backup for dentists and can see patients when they need immediate care,” Giblette said. The clinic takes walk-in patients and requires payment for services upfront. Patients with dental insurance can submit claims forms to their insurance company for reimbursement, which likely will be an out-of-network rate. Since opening in mid-October, the clinic has received referrals from local emergency rooms, urgent-care medical clinics and some of the city’s 400 dentists, Giblette said. “Some dentists are suspicious we’ll rob them of their patients, but that’s not what we’re about. We don’t do preventive care, just emergency care,” he said. Prices for the emergency services are slightly above the average dentist office charges, Giblette said. “But our fees aren’t unreasonable. We don’t want to be the most expensive place in town, but because we’re open extended hours, we are offering premium services and people expect the fees to be higher.” The Giblettes plan to open a clinic in southeast Denver within a few months. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0235 or
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