As a patient in need of dental care, you will have some options when deciding which of your local dentist offices to visit. You’ve likely heard of some of the large, national dental corporations which are available in most cities in the United States. Another option which may be a little harder to seek out is private dentistry. A private dentist office is one that is owned by a dentist or group of dentists who run their own business. There are a few important differences between care at corporate and private dentistry that every patient should know before choosing their dentist:
-Length of appointments and depth of care: Corporate dental offices are meant to function a lot like a factory: to get patients in, out, and on their ways as quickly as possible and maximize the amount of business done in a normal day. This means appointments are rushed and often the care feels detached or mechanical. While the dentists at these corporations likely mean well, they are pressured to minimize their time spent with each patient and opt for quantity over quality. These dentists are working for a corporation instead of working for their patients. This can leave patients feeling nervous and disconnected with their healthcare. In contrast, private dentists run their own businesses. Their main goal is not to quickly accomplish your appointment, but instead to properly, honestly care for your needs. Private dentists succeed when they invest time in their patients, creating a lifelong partnership toward health. A private dentist will work with you to make sure you understand your unique needs as a patient and your treatment options. This usually means that appointment times at private dentist offices run a bit longer. The depth of care is worth the extra time for the patient to feel confident and secure in their treatment.
-Intent to profit: Every dental office, corporate or private, is a business with a goal of revenue each year. However, sometimes in corporate offices the integrity of treatment is questionable when the best interest of patients is pushed aside in order to see more profit. Dentists driven by profit are more likely to misdiagnose disorders and prescribe unnecessary or excessive procedures in order to make more money from patients who would have otherwise needed only preventative care. In general, patients end up spending a lot more money over time at corporate dental offices that at private ones. A private doctor understands that the true value in a patient is long-term trust and maintained health. Private dentists do not have their offices run by non-medical corporate business people who are counting only on making more money from each patient. Your private dentist will help you find ways to afford a healthy smile and will invest in your lifelong health.
-Personal relationship: Going to the dentist can be intimidating or nerve-racking at first. It is a little uncomfortable to have a person examining and doing work to your teeth, and many patients are nervous to experience pain or discomfort. Something that can ease this discomfort is getting to know your dentist and establishing a relationship with him or her. It is important for some patients to find a dentist whose personality is likeable, whose explanations are understandable, and whose office is comfortable. Many corporate dental offices do not make this possible as patients can be treated by numerous different dentists on each visit. You could be treated by a different doctor each time you visit. Conversely, you have the opportunity to get to know your private dentist over time and will feel the personalized attention she or he gives to each of your appointments. It’s nice to feel like you know your dentist so you can discuss concerns or fears you may have as well as what’s going on with your kids’ soccer league or dance recital. Private dentists want you to feel comfortable and cared for.
Dr. Matt Wittrig, D.D.S is a dentist in Greenwood Indiana who provides thorough, gentle care to people of all ages. If you are in need of dental care or would like to discuss the services at our office, please feel free to contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.