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I went to a 'dental bar' that offers TVs, blankets, and massage exam chairs, and it showed me that medical providers are really starting to get competitive to win patients

I went to a 'dental bar' that offers TVs, blankets, and massage exam chairs, and it showed me that medical providers are really starting to get competitive to win patients




I went to DNTL, a "walk-in dental bar," to get a semi-annual teeth cleaning.




Booking an appointment was easy — there was even availability on the same day I was booking — and I'd never had so many amenities at the dentist, from a massage exam chair, to a blanket, to a TV screen playing "The Office" during my cleaning.




My visit was covered under my insurance plan.




It reminded me that there is a future in which getting care doesn't have to be high-tech or high-cost to still be comfortable and as easy to use as any other service.




The visit was part of an experiment to get all may healthcare taken care of via companies aiming to make the experience more convenient.




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I set out to get all of my healthcare taken care of through companies that promised to make getting to the doctor easier and more affordable.
During my reporting, I hadn't seen many startups trying to disrupt the dentist visit. Eventually I heard about DNTL, which calls itself a "walk-in dental bar." To me, it sounded like a blow bar or nail bar — as if cleaning your teeth was as simple as getting your hair styled or a manicure.
The practice opened in January, founded by dentist Dr. Ben El Chami. It's funded by CityMD cofounder Nedal Shami, who is El Chami's cousin. El Chami's goal after 14 years in dentistry was to create a place that people wanted to go, not felt like they had to go. For people who walk in out of curiosity and want to get a cleaning right away, DNTL keeps an open chair available.
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