Dentistry is changing just like medicine. For over 30 years the insurance industry has changed the delivery of dental care. With the advent of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, the delivery of dental care is changing even more. It seems the aim of the insurance industry and the national government are to increase access to care and to decrease the cost of care. As a result it has been more difficult for dentists to maintain the quality of care and service.
Many of us can remember the full-service gas stations. They used to be called “service stations”. These places of business did charge a bit more per gallon for gasoline; however, with that increased cost was a lot more service. While we sat in our cars as the attendant filled our gas tanks, the attendant also checked our oil and other fluids, checked our tire air pressure, washed our windows, and may have also evaluated our windshield wipers. This was the standard back “in the day”. Every time we filled our cars with gas we were getting this additional service. Would it be fair to say our cars were better served then?
How many of us truly do the same thing as we are gassing up our cars? Are we checking the fluids and air pressure,are we washing the windows? I would say we are much more likely to be on our mobile phones than attending to our cars. It is more of an effort on us now to make sure our cars are properly serviced. The burden is more on us now. In exchange for that we pay a bit less for a gallon of gasoline.
So in going back to the delivery of dental care, patients have the ability to also pay less. Dentists are also being paid less by the insurance companies. So does the analogy of the service station apply? What compromises are being made in dental care as a result? What services are not being done? Are there shortcuts? Does the dentist spend less time with patients? Is there more pressure on the dentist to focus on the business of dentistry and perhaps have less focus on the patient? Are patients best served with this changed delivery of care?
All these answers depend upon the individual dentist, depend upon the owner of the dental practice who may not even be providing dental care but is instead focused on the business side, depend upon the quality of dentist-employees working at the larger dental clinics or retail dental centers, and depend on the compensation of the dentists working as employees of these clinics and centers.
The traditional model does still exist. In my practice we are not constrained by contracts with any insurer. My dental practice is owned by me. All the dentist services are provided by me. I answer to no corporate entity nor to any employer-dentist. I am not pressured by production and monetary goals handed down to me by my employer. Our patients get exactly me. We have hundreds of patients who have been loyal to my practice for over 15 years. Our patients provide us with honest, certified, and quality online reviews. We do help patients to save money over their lifetime. And I will be around for many more years in the same location, Lord willing, to back the work and service we have provided. If you are looking for a more traditional, caring, trustworthy, family private dental practice, I invite you to call us for an appointment at (972) 250-2580. Or feel free to contact us in any way you see available on this web page.