dentist saw need and moved here to fill it
By Tracy L. Lund
October 16, 2006 | SMITHFIELD -- Anyone
who has been to the dentist knows how much it can cost.
Even with dental insurance, it isn't cheap. One Smithfield
dentist is trying to make the financial experience a
Dr. Scott M. Lyman, D.D.S., P.C., came to Cache Valley
specifically to work with lower income patients. Lyman
originally had two dental practices in Jackson Hole,
Wyo., where quite a bit of the dental work he did was
what he refers to as "high end cosmetic dentistry."
When he had an offer to sell his practices, he knew
he wanted to do something different. He sold his practices
and moved to Cache Valley where he opened Community
Dental Center in Smithfield.
When asked how he got from working on high income
patients in Jackson Hole to working with lower income
patients in Cache Valley, Lyman said the plan had always
been to retire to Cache Valley when the time came. His
mother lives here and he really likes the area.
When Lyman originally opened his practice in Cache
Valley, they took Medicaid-only patients. Since then,
they have now expanded to take any health insurance
along with Medicaid patients and patients with no insurance.
Lyman charges all patients what Medicaid would reimburse
him for the service, which makes the cost for patients
with no insurance much less expensive.
Janice Staker, office manager, said "the dentist I
used to work for would charge uninsured patients $1,100
to $1,700 for a root canal and crown." At Lyman's office,
an uninsured patient could expect to pay around $900
for a root canal and crown.
While the office now takes patients with health insurance,
Lyman said "the primary focus has always been Medicaid,
PCN and CHIP," all of which are federal or state funded
programs to help lower income patients pay for health
Talking about his practice here in Cache Valley, Lyman
said, " I prefer this to what I was doing before. There
is a satisfaction in helping people who otherwise may
not get help." He said the first year the office was
open, they saw 6,000 patients and it has continued to
go up from there. "I could work seven days a week, 24
hours a day, that's how busy we are," he said.
Lyman is leery about people thinking he is doing this
for the wrong reasons. He said he worries about giving
interviews because he doesn't want people to think he
feels he is doing anything extraordinary. "I am not
doing this because I want people to make a fuss over
me, I am doing it because I want to and I enjoy it.
I saw a need in this area and I'm just doing my job."