Many patients find themselves in a situation of choosing a dentist. They may have moved into a new community. Perhaps these patients changed their insurance plan or employer. Having to choose a dentist is not a unique situation these days. This is indeed an important decision. Most all patients have only one set of adult teeth. It makes sense to choose a dentist who can be trusted with your teeth. So, why is there a need for an updated perspective on choosing a dentist?
There is a need for an updated perspective on choosing a dentist because of the changes in the types of dental practices and in the delivery of dental care. So much has changed even in the past 20 years. For one thing, the number of dentists willing to accept lower fees for their services has increased significantly because of the rise of dental preferred provider organizations (PPOs). On top of this, these PPOs are squeezing dental fees more each year. This places a huge amount of pressure on these dentists to make a living. This pressure may well change the way a dentist manages the dental practice and patient care. If patients choose a dentist who is a “preferred provider,” they are selecting a dentist who has contracted to charge a significantly lower fee for their services, creating this added pressure. Patients need to understand this.
Secondly, fewer dental practices are owned by the practicing dentist. Many dental practices present themselves as the traditional dental practice. However, the practice may well be owned by a corporate or retail entity. The practice may be managed by someone other than the practicing dentists. In fact, “among new active private practitioners, 44% were employees.” This may well change the motivations and patient management of the dentist. Certainly, there is a difference between being an employee and the owner of a dental practice. Clearly, dentist turnover is much higher in those practices with dentist employees; patients may not be able to depend upon seeing the same dentist. Moreover, continuity of care is more difficult to maintain with this turnover of dentist employees. Further, with the associated turnover of dentist in these practices, online reviews may not reflect the dentist currently practicing at the office.
Choosing a dentist is indeed more difficult now. A piece of good news is that there are still dentists who are not pressured by insurance contracts with fee reductions. There are still dentists who are not pressured by management organizations to produce revenues. There are still dentists who own their own dental practices like “the good old days.” My practice is like this.
We invite you to peruse our online reviews. We invite you find out more about us. We invite you to know more about Dr. Venincasa. We invite you to make an appointment by calling us at (972) 250-2580. Thank you for your interest in my website.