The Future of Dentistry

“Corporate” dentistry is exploding and it’s not good for you.  Let me explain.

Corporate dentistry is a term for dental practices that are owned by large corporations and fueled by low interest rates and the need for hedge funds and investment vehicles to get a better return on their investments.

Low interest rates are great for some things.   In this case, it’s pushing money to find a more lucrative yield and dental offices make money.

But money isn’t what dentistry should be all about.   Ultimately, dentistry, like any other healthcare system should be about preventing illness, promoting health, maintaining wellness and curing illness.

My concern (and I hope yours too) is that because a corporation is faceless and your face is unknown to the corporate decision makers, decisions that add to the bottom line and take away from the “mission” will be made.

Doctors are being squeezed.   They’re not being paid for their care, skill, judgment and gifts.   They’re being treated as commodities.  Doctors are seen as replaceable cogs in a corporate wheel.

These corporations know that if they don’t give a reasonable return on investment to the funds they’ll be shut down or sold.   So it’s in their corporate best interest to add to the bottom line.   That might not be in your best interest.

Corporate ethics are not dictated by State and Organized Dentistry.   Some would say that Corporations have no ethics other than profit.  They certainly aren’t subject to the same rules and regulations as licensed dentists and hygienists are.   Their only worry is from legal action or scathing reports such as the one aired on 60 minutes

I’m sure you don’t feel that your doctor is a replaceable cog, especially if you’ve had a relationship.   Corporate Dentistry doesn’t care about relationships because you can’t put a $ value on it.   It’s not quantifiable.

You want your healthcare provider responsive and answerable to YOU and not some corporate, paper pusher who sits in an office building far away.

Too bad, because I don’t see this trend going away any time soon.   In fact, I see it getting bigger, bigger and bigger and it’s NOT in your best interest.

I have no solutions other than to really know who owns the practice you intend to trust your health to.   Then you have to make a decision about where to go.   At least you’ll be making an informed decision.

To your health and wellness,