How It All Started
AFFORDABLE DENTURES® - Almost Four Decades and Still Improving Smiles and Lives
Affordable Dentures was founded in Kinston, North Carolina in 1975 and has grown into a network of almost 200 affiliated practices operating in 39 states. In fact, Affordable Dentures is now the largest and fastest-growing denture-services provider in the U.S.
Dr. George L. Edwards, Jr., and Dr. Donald L. Henson opened the first Affordable Dentures practice because they saw an enormous patient need as they provided treatment in their general dentistry practices. They recognized that many people simply could not afford the cost of dental care. A large number of patients had lost most or all of their teeth and suffered from poor nutrition because they were not able to chew and properly digest foods important to their good health.
The solution was to operate a dental practice that focused on dentures, tooth extractions and related services at affordable fees. They also included an on-site dental laboratory in the practice to make same-day service available to patients. As the operation evolved, they learned how to streamline services to operate more efficiently and cost effectively. Before long, additional practices were opened in North Carolina and Virginia using the same model that had been developed in Kinston.
Almost 40 years later, the basic model has not changed very much; it’s just a little more sophisticated. Affordable Care, Inc., a dental services organization, provides the marketing, financial and administrative services for each affiliated practice. Affordable Dentures Dental Laboratories, Inc. provides the on-site dental lab services. By having these lab and business services, each practice owner and his or her staff are able to concentrate on meeting the dental needs of patients without distraction. Referrals from happy patients are key to a practice’s growth, and experience has proven this operational model helps ensure the focus of attention is on the patient. Of course, offering a complete set of new dentures for about $425, when the national average is $2,500, also makes for satisfied patients.
If you were to ask Drs. Edwards and Henson what was the most satisfying aspect of having developed such a successful organization, the answer would be very simple: “Being able to help an under-served and appreciative patient population with dignity, respect, and affordable, quality dental care.”
When you consider that more than six million patients have been treated across all of the affiliated practices since the opening of the first practice, you know that for many patients, Affordable Dentures not only improved their smiles, it improved their lives.