Honestly, until yesterday, I was biased with my own jaded perspective on corporate dentistry from my experiences, which mostly have been negative. Here’s what happened:
I went into an art gallery and began talking to the gallerist. She said she had a broken tooth and needed an implant. Well, of course, a conversation ensued about dentistry. I asked her who she was seeing and she mentioned the name (which I will omit), and I replied, “That’s a corporation you know.” Her response amazed me, “Fine with me! I love the dentist and their technology. As long as they do a good job.” I impulsively said, “They tend to over-diagnose, over-treat…….,” but she was still smiling so I stopped myself, regrouped and said, “If you can afford it and you’re happy, that’s all that matters.”
However, I suppressed my biggest pet peeve; a corporate dental office is motivated by profit first and foremost. The gallerist didn’t seem phased by my hinting, but if a corporation meddling in your mouth matters to you, read on.
Corporate Dental Offices Tend to Over Diagnose
My first introduction to corporate dentistry was when the first one moved to town. A teen and his mom came for a second opinion to the dental office I was working at with a huge treatment plan from this corporation. First, the dentist saw him, made his treatment plan, then, I saw him for a cleaning. With both treatment plans in front of me, I did my own exam, and I concurred with the dentist I worked for with one exception.
The corporation had overdiagnosed by several thousand dollars and I felt horrible for this low-income family. This quickly spread through the office as we were all shocked. A few years went by and several more corporations crept up, and several more patients came in for second opinions, and I’d say 7 times out of 10 the corporate treatment plans over diagnosed. Ironically, corporate offices piqued my curiosity as I wanted to learn more about them, and wasn’t opposed to working in one sometime so I could find out.
I have now had two experiences working in corporate dental offices, one national, and one regional. They both started with a morning huddle
See my blog, Corporate Dental Offices; How to Navigate
Dental Staff is Too Complicit with Financial Goals
It’s also disturbing to witness the office staff swayed and altered by the financial demands. They’re not selling vacuum cleaners folks, they’re using your teeth, your mouth, your health, to meet their goals. It’s extremely uncomfortable for me to start the morning seeing patient’s names on the schedule accompanied by dollar signs; from the moment patients enter the waiting room, it is not their person who is seen, but how much money will be received from them.
Corporate pressures change employees and