One had an idea: create a website allowing uninsured consumers to compare prices and reputations of dentists across the U.S. before stepping foot in the office.
One looked at the numbers: a $45 billion market and a large population paying for their own dental insurance.
That's how venture capitalist Navin Chaddha came to invest in Brighter.com, a website that offers large discounts to members and their families for $79 a year, or smaller discounts through a more limited, free membership.
"We created [the site] for the 50% of Americans who don’t have dental insurance to have more affordable dental care," Chief Executive Jake Winebaum told CNBC Friday. "People are really interested in knowing what the price is. Sitting in the dentist chair is not the place to be negotiating."
Chaddha, interviewed at the same time, called what Brighter is offering a "massive opportunity."
"Two hundred fifty million visits to dentists, 150 million people in America need affordable dental care. You do the math," he said.
Chaddha added that 25,000 dental practitioners nationwide—who do not pay to be involved with the website—are participating and, unlike dental deals offered by websites such as Groupon, the discounts don't expire.
Also, sites like Groupon "only give discounts on the first visit," Winebaum added. "The problem is if you’ve gone to the dentist you know the first visit isn’t the end of it."
CORRECTION: An earlier version misspelled the chief executive's name.