Looking Back at 15 Years of CariFree with Cody Clark, COO
As we look back on 15 years of CariFree, we’re looking at the vision, the why that underpins our work and our mission. We had a conversation with our founder and CEO, Dr. Kim Kutsch, and with our COO, Cody Clark. You can read Dr. Kutsch’s take on what makes CariFree work here. Below, enjoy Cody Clark’s perspective on CariFree’s success in helping patients avoid cavities and improve their health and quality of life.
How long have you been with CariFree?
I’m coming up on my own 10-year anniversary in June of this year!
In your early days, what was your why? What was the company why?
Our early why was to listen and create anything we could for our practices and patients. There is no denying that we did a lot of trial and error early on to understand how to make our message and process for CariFree effective in private practice. We knew our products worked, but developing a system that could be replicated in the practice, becoming an extension of the practice, was our goal. In these years, the relationships and trust with dental teams and patients became the foundation that CariFree is built on.
The human element is the source of our passion. To this day, we are aware that every bottle, every tube of toothpaste we produce ships to a person, someone who needs it. We are fortunate enough to participate in all kinds of stories, backgrounds, and people’s lives.
Has your why changed over the past 10 years since you started? Has the company Why changed?
I don’t know if it’s changed as much as it’s emboldened. The more success stories you hear from patients, practices, or our CariFree team, the more our why inspired us every day. I’ve always acknowledged it is human to want to help others, and it is essential to do so. Our company and team were founded on that principle.
What do you think has been the backbone or element that has led to the growth and success of CariFree over 15 years?
Personal relationships. Call us; we answer. It’s the thing that I’m most proud of and it’s increasingly rare in 2019. Any time a patient or an office has a question they can call us, and with no prompts or recordings, get right to us. Our team has built deep relationships with our offices and patients that allow for our collective progress in curing cavities.
How do you see CariFree changing in the next 15 years? Where do you see the company in 2034?
Ultimately, we want to continue progressing the standard of care relating to cavities and risk assessment. For example, there are hurdles to overcome with insurance and changing the focus from surgical methods to incentivizing risk assessment and preventive solutions. As a company, we realize the breadth of this change. One of our biggest initiatives over the coming years is to create a community of industry and topic experts to work together and continue pushing our mission forward.
If you could go back and talk to yourself on your first day working with CariFree, what would you tell yourself that you wish you would have known then that you know now?
Life is short and important. Our instinct to help one another and work together is the quintessential human quality. I’d tell myself to embrace the community, work together and collaborate. If we’re going to progress dentistry we need every one of us on the team.