Three young dentists in New York City – two of them orthodontists – are taking a whole new approach to dental care, eliminating all but three procedures: cleaning, whitening and straightening with Invisalign.
Heather Kunen and her partners are disrupting what it means to go to the dentist.
Got cavities? Need a crown? Or, god forbid, a root canal?
You’ll have to go elsewhere, although the dentists at Beam Street, as the practice in Union Square is known, will be glad to refer you to a dentist who will treat you right, and not charge you an arm and a leg.
The Beam Street dentists and co-owners – Heather Kunen, 31; Jason Lin, 30; and Lewis Chen, 29 – insist they are giving the people, make that young people, what they want in New York City.
Kunen said two-thirds of Beam Street’s patients are between the ages of 21 and 35, and are generally healthy. A good cleaning is usually all they need in the way of dental care. They also want their teeth to be white, and straight, hence the two other services Beam Street offers.
Beam Street feels more like a day spa than a dentist’s office.
The Beam Street partners’ guiding principle is that a visit to the dentist should not be much different from a visit to the styling salon. In fact, the Beam Street Promise on the practice’s website is that “Going to the dentist should be as relaxing and routine as getting a haircut.”
It doesn’t hurt either that the Beam Street office basically has the appearance a styling salon, or an upscale spa.
“It kind of looks like an Apple store,” adds Lin, using another alluring comparison.
There is one more driving principle behind Beam Street, according to the partners, which is affordability. The ever-popular Invisalign treatment, in which a series of clear, plastic, removable aligners gradually straighten your teeth over time – and can be removed for eating – typically costs as much as $10,000 in the city, and averages around $7,800, according to Kunen.
Beam Street sticks to cleaning, whitening and straightening teeth with Invisalign. No high-pitched … [+]
Beam Street offers three levels of Invisalign treatments, beginning at $2,800 for patients with minimal crowding or spacing of their teeth, and topping out at $4,800 for patients who require more intensive treatment. So even Beam Street’s most intensive Invisalign treatment is about $3,000 less than the typical bill in New York.
“Beam Street was really born out of the need for a new type of dental model, especially in New York City,” Kunen said “All of us were young professionals, young dentists, and we were finding there wasn’t an affordable model that was high tech and high quality that could serve the young adult population. People can’t afford to pay upward of $10,000 for Invisalign treatment.”
Beam Street opened in March 2019 and has already seen nearly 500 patients, according to Lewis Chen, more than meeting the partners’ expectations.
“We started literally at zero, with no referral base,” Heather Kunen said. “I can easily say over each month we almost double. It’s growing very quickly.”
Jason Lin said the partners’ first goal is to expand in New York City. They hope to add a second and perhaps even a third practice in the city in the next year or two, and then begin expanding across the United States.
“Ultimately our five-year plan is to go international,” Lin said.