OC50 2023: Stephen Thorne IV and Barry Arbuckle


Stephen Thorne IV

Barry Arbuckle

WHY: Dentists and other doctors may finally begin to talk to each other about their common patients, if two giant Orange County healthcare companies have any say in it. Irvine’s Pacific Dental Services and Fountain Valley’s MemorialCare in December announced a new venture that will allow more dentists to work at medical practices.

BY THE NUMBERS: The venture joins Pacific Dental, which provides back-office services to more than 900 dental offices, with MemorialCare, which has 15,000 employees at 225 care locations, including two hospitals in Orange County.

FUTURE PLANS: They anticipate that within five years, about 25 practicing clinics will have dentists working in the same office as physicians. The first office should be operating by this summer, they said.

IN THEIR WORDS: “Dentistry operates in a whole separate world,” Thorne said. “We’re working hard on how we can integrate them with the physicians and the overall healthcare system. Oral health means better health.”

Arbuckle said dentistry has been in a silo like other medical professions, such as behavioral health clinicians, who rarely communicate with general practitioners. “We’re trying to drive those together so it will lead to better outcomes,” he said.

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