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At the Dykema DSO conference in July 2021, Patient Prism’s co-founder and CEO, Amol Nirgudkar, was eager to talk with the co-founder of another technology company that utilizes artificial intelligence to help patients have access to dental care and accept needed dental treatment. This co-founder is Tal Riesenfeld of Sunbit.

 

Sunbit is a “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) technology company that “reduces the stress of buying everyday needs for everyone, everywhere.” In dentistry, Sunbit is taking root as a new way to eliminate payment financing conversations that dentists and dental teams find difficult and to make it easier for consumers to finance the dentistry that they need.

The Sunbit financing platform is very easy to set up for solo dental practices, multi-location dental groups, and dental service organizations—and so intuitive for patients to use and office staff to offer that more dental payment transactions are taking place.

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Sunbit approves 85% of dental patients who apply for financing

Forty percent of Americans do not have ready access to $400 to spend on dental care, let alone the average $1,200 spend needed for their dental care. Sunbit enables them to break up their payments over 6, 12, 18, or 24 months.

“Every customer with a 500 FICO score and above gets approved,” says Riesenfeld, “and we're not asking the dentist to be the bank. We’re the funding source. We facilitate the transaction, and we’re increasing the rate of treatment acceptance.”

FICO isn’t the main determiner in Sunbit’s algorithm. “You're not buying a house or a car,” says Riesenfeld. “You need $2,000, and we want to offer it to you over the next 24 months. There's a risk there. But if you bankrupted five years ago, and your FICO is low, that does not mean you're not going to make the payments. So, the AI software looks at the customer’s entire credit history in a split second, and based on a multitude of factors, including your previous payment behavior, assesses your ‘willingness to pay' which is basically the risk of you not making the payments.”

 

A fast, easy, transparent financing application can be done chairside

Application is as easy as scanning the back of your driver’s license or state ID on a digital device. Because Sunbit software is intelligent, questions like, “How much do you make annually? Do you rent? Do you own your house? What’s your social security number?” do not need to be asked.

“It takes all of 30 seconds to be approved,” says Riesenfeld. So, if the patient is sitting in the dental chair, the dentist or dental assistant can say, “I’d like to provide you with this needed treatment, which costs $x, but you don’t need to pay for everything today. We can put you on a payment plan spread over 24 months. It takes  30 seconds to apply for Sunbit financing and only requires your driver’s license or state ID.”

The dentist is paid the full amount the next business day, minus the discount rate. Sunbit then collects monthly payments from the patient. The dentist is never involved again.

“If the customer doesn't pay us back, it's our problem,” says Riesenfeld. “There are no chargebacks. We don't want the dentist to be a financing source. The dentist should take care of patients.”

 

 

As low as $60 and up to $10,000 can be financed

Currently, Sunbit allows financing anything from $60 and up to a maximum of $10,000 per patient, depending on the customer’s risk profile. The $10,000 maximum is enough for 90% of dental transactions.

Riesenfeld explains that there is a different underwriting model for each vertical and level of risk, and one day, Sunbit hopes to have an underwriting model for a much higher maximum for dental patients who need more extensive treatment like All-on-4 dental implant treatment. In the meantime, the machine learning built into Sunbit’s software is becoming more and more intelligent about the risk level associated with a multitude of variables.

 

Sunbit does not impact credit scores and is designed for customer comfort

The software does a soft credit check that doesn’t impact the patient’s credit score. And because Sunbit is a digital company, applications can be made at any time. For example, rather than mention the financing chairside, the dental practice can send patients a link before their dental appointment to make an application ahead of time. This may be the most comfortable means of seeking financing approval for many dental patients who have been burned in the past by traditional financing and worry they might be declined and embarrassed.

 

Onboarding dental practices with Sunbit is easy

“From day one, we knew we wanted to make the product simple,” says Riesenfeld. The customer needs to see the rates and give consent, and then it is a matter of “next” buttons. There is a training app, and Sunbit can do training in dental offices.

“This is the type of innovation we need in dentistry,” says Nirgudkar. “It’s an innovation that makes it easy on both the doctor's side and the patient's side, one that turns an uncomfortable conversation into a conversation that is very palatable.”

To request a Sunbit demo, go to Become a Partner — Sunbit.

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