We have seen the delivery of medical care change tremendously over the past couple of decades. The current national health care law is the biggest change yet; however, the delivery of dental care is slower to change but a newer corporate model of dental care delivery is gaining steam.
Under the corporate model, the nonclinical aspects of the dental practice are controlled by a corporate entity instead of by a dentist-owner. In the October 2012 issue of AGD Impact, a publication of the Academy of General Dentistry, the North Carolina AGD President Jerry W. Caudill, DMD, and the current Vice President of the AGD, W. Carter Brown, DMD, are interviewed. With the corporate model, the emphasis of dental practice changes, they suggest. There are expected production goals, incentive pay is often based on production, dentists are shielded from the financial responsibility for malpractice cases, many of the dentists are newly graduated from dental school and thus are less experienced, patients may experience corner-cutting techniques, dental restorations often are made by lower cost dental labs which may not be as quality-conscious, many dentists are pressured to work faster and to treat patients with a “one-size-fits-all mentality”, stockholders must be satisfied, dentists often feel there is not enough staff or supplies to provide quality care, and for some corporations the bottom line is profit alone. For all these points patient care is often compromised.
This article also indicates that some of these dental service organizations have “serious operational and ethical complaints”. The interviewees add there may be overtreatment in care provided and low-quality care.
While the cost of individual services may be lower, these corporate models often come up short in explaining treatment plans to patients, in connecting with patients, in providing a long-term staff, and in obtaining patient trust.
Our patients know my practice to be a traditional, quality-oriented one that humbly prides itself upon unmistakeable personal care. Our patients very often recognize the traditional values of honesty, treating others as we would want to be treated, doing our best, and centering my dental practice on the patient. We are like that small town dental practice in a large city with the advantage of newer, proven technologies and care. We are very passionate about maintaining these traditional values and we focus upon quality care with that special personal touch. We invite you to experience what you may be missing; we invite you to call us at (972) 250-2580.