Some people often ask, “What is the latest emerging dental trend?” There is much changing in dentistry. In dentistry, trends do not necessarily occur yearly; it is slower than that, for differing reasons. However, in five-year periods of time, dentistry can and does change. In my humble opinion, to answer this question, the delivery of dentistry has changed, many dental practices have changed, and the ownership of dental practices has changed.
These changes in dental practices have occurred due to forces outside of dental practices requesting lower fees, more hours of availability, more in-network providers of insured services, cheaper deals, faster deals, and increased income for outside investors. You will note that I did not mention improved quality of care. The latest emerging dental trends point more towards those things listed before improved quality of care.
For me, this latest emerging dental trends moves dentistry more away from improved quality of dental care.
With lower fees, efficiencies must be developed. Cutting costs is necessary. The forces of this tends to point more towards decreased quality of care. While it is possible, cutting costs does not tend towards improved quality of care. With more hours of availability, there are fewer dentists willing to affect their personal lives to create many more hours of availability. Do you want to work weekends if you had the choice? Do you want to work later at night if you had the choice? Certainly, fewer dentists want these extended hours. Do higher quality-oriented dentists want to work later at night and/or on weekends? Is that when they want to provide their hard-earned study and diligent work?
To build on what was mentioned above, in-network dental providers for insured services take a significant cut in their fee schedules in exchange for having their dental practices marketed as a “preferred provider.” Their fees are cut as much as perhaps 50%. Would you want to do your job for up to 50% less? Would that affect your quality of work? If you owned your own business, what would you do to make up that cut in pay? Would your decisions with the cut in pay increase the quality of your work? Are you feeling me?
Moreover, many want cheaper deals and faster deals. Don’t we all? But truly, what happens when we do that? Is it really possible to get speedy service, cheaper fees for those deals, and high quality at the same time? Does McDonald’s do this? Is it high quality? Does Starbucks do this; we do pay more for it, right? Target; high quality? Are you feeling me?
And many more dental practices now are not owned by the owner-dentist alone anymore. They are owned instead by a group, a larger company, a partnership with a larger company, or even a partnership with an insurance company. On the outside, the practice may seem like a private, traditional dental practice. However, you can figure this out. Are you seeing the same dentist each time, is there a higher turnover of staff, do you feel pressured to obtain other services you did not request?
Now, I am not saying all privately owned dental practices are perfect; however, I am stating that it is so much more difficult to find those more traditional, dentist-owned and operated dental practices.
With the latest emerging dental trends moving in this direction, I have resisted this.
We, at Venincasa Dental, have found a way to still provide patient-centered, quality-oriented, value-conscious, personal service. We have something very special here. We know many of you would appreciate what we do.
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