Oral hygiene is crucial to staying healthy, yet in 2021, 76.5 million Americans did not have dental insurance. COVID-19 only exacerbated those concerns.
With its affordable pricing, hassle-free visits, and tech-enabled teeth cleaning and whitening services that launched earlier this year, West Hollywood-based Pearline Health, a salon-style dental studio, is removing barriers to traditional dental cleanings.
Pearline was founded in 2022 by Dr. Jamie Sands—a Los Angeles-based dentist of over 20 years—and Carolyn Yashari Becher, an Iranian-American entrepreneur who co-founded HopSkipDrive. They saw the lack of access to dental care and linked up after their Beverly Hills high school days to offer affordable and efficient teeth cleaning services.
“Jamie saw an opportunity to increase access,” Yashari Becher told dot.LA. “Then when I came on board, the two of us used technology as a way to increase efficiency across an antiquated system.”
Patients typically fill out paperwork before every visit to a traditional dentist. At Pearline, guests can book the appointment on their phone, then fill out the necessary paperwork prior to their visit–eliminating the extended wait time and allowing for a hassle-free experience.
Pearline can have up to 90 sessions per day at full capacity and only sees patients 18 and over. Whether a guest chooses a cleaning or a whitening treatment, it will still only cost them $99 per session and the appointment only takes 30 minutes out of their day.
Left to right: Co-founders Carolyn Yashari Becher and Dr. Jamie Sands. Courtesy of Pearline Health
Yashari Becher said one of the reasons they can keep their costs so low is because there isn’t a dentist present at the studio full time. Yashari Becher confirmed that’s what usually drives up the cost in a traditional setting.
Dr. Sands said that most people come to Pearline for cleaning. Pearline’s proprietary software then allows the guest to walk in and out in under an hour. Patients that enter the studio for a whitening session, have a “before” photo of their teeth made, then following the session an “after” photo is made and uploaded to Pearline’s system. For cleanings, five photos are taken. From there, Dr. Sands performs the exam via tele-dentistry.
If there are any concerns, the patient will receive an email offering a follow-up for a free in-person consultation.
“By allowing our cleaning specialists who are all registered dental hygienists to work independently under Dr. Sands' supervision,” Yashari Becher said, “we're able to keep our costs down for our guests.”
Aside from high costs in the industry, another issue that drives people away from accessing dental care is fear and anxiety related to going to the dentist. But studies show that there is a direct correlation between dental hygiene and overall health, including stroke, Alzheimer’s and heart diseases. Dr. Sands said that 50% of the population chooses to not get their teeth cleaned, and according to the Journal for Dental Hygiene (JDH), 50-80% of people in the U.S have some level of dental anxiety.
Pearline is unlike a typical dental office with clunky, loud equipment, scrubs and harsh lights. On entering the studio, customers are greeted by natural bright light and inviting phrases are found throughout its refreshing interior, including the legend, “I’m on plaque patrol,” which is written on the backs of each dental hygienist’s jumpsuit.
A Pearline patient receiving dental services. Courtesy of Pearline Health
In addition to its seamless booking platform, guests have access to past visits, health history, check-in and receive post-appointment recommendations via smartphone.
Guests who select the 30 minute whitening service are sent home with a kit that includes a whitening pen and tray. In order to reach optimum color, the individual may apply the whitening pen for up to six weeks. The team said that a majority of their guests, however, would prefer to come back to the studio and have the dental hygienist perform the whitening procedure.
While Dr. Sands and Yashari Becher bootstrapped the company, Pearline is currently raising a pre-seed round with investors including former CEO of Credo Beauty Dawn Dobras, Joseph Miller of Runyon Group, and other prominent dentists in town. Drybar co-founder Cameron Webb is also an advisor for the company.
Currently, the only location available is in West Hollywood, but the team has plans to open up five new locations across the Los Angeles area by the end of 2025.
Pearline Health still wants their guests to see general dentists for annual exams and x-rays. But the co-founders said Pearline was created to prevent larger problems from taking place and improve the community’s overall health.