Unbeknownst to you, corporate dentists often must fulfill patient and productivity quotas.
The landscape of dentistry is changing and a large portion of the patient population may not be aware that they are at risk. Dentistry’s history has been primarily a history of privately owned dental practices, like ours. Your doctor owned the practice. The fees you pay would go directly to running the business, paying the staff and anything left over would go to the doctor. The doctor owned the office and made decisions free of outside influence.
Instead of these vested partners and committed practitioners, dentists working for corporate dental organizations are employees and must fulfill certain obligations, in terms of hours logged, procedures performed, and hours fulfilled. Production is often monitored, and dentists are required to send daily stats to corporate offices, detailing the minutiae of their work day. These dentists have little-to-no input in their work in a corporate dental setting, which also means there is little-to-no room for them to recommend or provide creative solutions to complex dental problems for patients that they would be able to do in their own practice.
Essentially, they are working to pad their dental corporation’s bottom line, which means they are focusing more on money than on your vital patient care. Young employee dentists in corporate dental offices with huge dental school debts may recommend more treatment than is actually needed, or warranted.
Examples of these practices have been demonstrated by national chain of dental clinics theoretically founded to provide services to underserved communities and its management company has agreed to a $23.9 million settlement with the Justice Department for allegedly submitting false Medicaid claims for “medically unnecessary” procedures performed on children.
For some patients, they could care less about any of this. If the corporate office is advertising cheap dentistry, that’s all that matters to them. For them, dentistry and periodic cleanings are like oil changes for the mouth. For other patients, they see the value of doing business with people in their community where the doctor is the only one making the decisions in regards to their health.
The good news is that the majority of dental offices are still privately owned and the owner is in the building and treating patients. If you’re not sure what kind of office you’re in, ask. If you have an issue, the owner doctor should be available to help you. It’s our name on the door and it’s our reputation on the line.
If we can be of service feel free to give us a call.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Chamblee, GA 30341