In the past several decades, dentistry has experienced a shift in it’s management and marketing strategies. Rather than each dentist or group of dentists owning and managing their own dental clinic, an increasing number of dentists are being hired into corporate dentistry. In most cases, corporate dental clinics are controlled by businesses or marketing and managerial companies.
What’s wrong with this change? Unfortunately, it’s difficult for corporations, that have a primary goal of making money, to be aligned with the health care goals we feel should be paramount in a dental practice. Here are our concerns regarding corporate dental care and our opinions, as a family dental practice, on optimal dental care:
Productivity Based Compensation:
There are corporate dentists that have been shown to have productivity based compensation. The higher the volume of patient turn around, the greater the compensation per dentist. We feel that this encourages hurried procedures and shoddy work. A family dentist, however, is able to invest more time per patient, as the value is not placed upon the money gained, but upon the relationship built.
Inclination to Encourage Operative Services Rather Than Preventive Measures:
Because of the monetary motivation that pressures dentists to increase volume of services, operative procedures are too commonly chosen instead of preventive procedures. We feel that preventive measures are the best treatment and that operations should be avoided unless medically necessary.
Proclivity For Unnecessary Care:
Corporate dentists are more likely to encourage unnecessary care, such as in the troubling case of 4 year old Isaac Gagnon recorded in the US Senate report regarding corporate dentistry. While this was an isolated case, in which a young boy was violently forced to have fillings placed in opposition to expressed desires from his mother and without medical necessity, it brought to light the possible need for governmental intervention in the corporate dental system. It’s suggested that the productivity based compensation that corporate dentists receive contribute to their proclivity to advise unnecessary care.
Failure To Be Available and Relational:
Corporate dentists are usually less likely to be ‘on call’ for patients. Because they don’t run their business 24/7, they are able to clock out at 6pm and return home without further thought or care for patients. Privately owned family dentists are known for being on call for emergency needs of their patients.
Some corporate dentists are able to develop meaningful relationships with their patients. However, because of the large number of patients that cycle through corporate dental offices, it’s unlikely that those patients will see the same dentist for each visit, causing the experience for the patients to lose it’s warmth and trust.
It’s our belief that patients should trust their dentist, and feel calm and comfortable with the services they receive. Because so many people feel nervous about dental procedures, having an established relationship between the dentist and the patient is vital to ensuring a patient’s positive experience at the dentist’s office. Our testimonials are a reflection of our dedication to providing such caring treatment to our patients.
The Difference of Family Dentistry:
At Mukilteo Family Dentistry, we put the focus on the patients. We believe that giving the best care possible to each and every patient that walks through our doors is the most important goal. Rather than being rewarded with bonuses when receiving a new patient, we are compensated by establishing another successful and caring patient-dentist relationship.
Instead of rushing through our list of patients for the day, Dr. Stephen Grindall takes the time to get to know each patient, caring for them to the best of his ability, no matter how long that takes. Because of the longevity of his relationship with patients, he is better able to recognize new problems, suggest treatments, and provide dental services.
Caring For You:
At Mukilteo Family Dentistry, a privately owned family practice, we want to provide the best for all of our patients. We provide a full range of dental services, including preventative services, restorative and cosmetic services, and surgical services as well. Our friendly staff and our comfortable, inviting clinic, reflect our beliefs about dentistry—the patient and the provision of exceptional dental care always come first. Contact us or fill out our patient form to schedule an appointment today!