Finding the best dentist is becoming more difficult for patients because the ownership of dental practices by the practicing dentist has been going down since 2005. As a result, more and more dental practices have different dentists staffing them. With this, when a dental practice is reviewed online, it may be difficult for patients to determine what dentist is associated with the reviews.
This is not necessarily a new phenomenon. This has been more prevalent among physicians. I have noticed this myself, as several of my doctors no longer have such a large ownership stake in their practices. As a result, with the changes in practice ownership and management, the doctor and dentist lose more control of the philosophy of practice. This has an effect on patient care.
With the decreased ownership of dental practices by practicing dentists, there may be more pressure on dentists to do more procedures and to be more “productive,” there may be more of an emphasis on daily goals for production, there may be several dentists that work at the same office, there may be more of a turnover of dentists at the office, and the dentists have less of a personal ownership of the practice which may affect their quality of care and service since their patients do not “belong” to them anymore. In fact, there are many practices in which the practicing dentist has no ownership stake in the practice at all.
My practice has been a target for purchase by outside companies for quite a few years. I have refused giving up the full ownership of my practice because I care so deeply for my patients. I want to offer the quality of care that patients deserve and that we have been awarded for. So, I want total control. This benefits my patients in many ways.
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