TheWealthyDentist.com (TWD), a well-respected online dental practice marketing resource, found that 70 percent of the practicing dentists who participated in a recent survey think that the U.S. dental insurance system is broken.
Comments from the majority of dentists ranged from thoughts that insurance is a “curse on the profession”; to observations that dental insurance is really little more than a dental marketing strategy to get patients into the office; to criticism that most plans pay too little — such as a $1,000 yearly limit — to cover anything but the most superficial dental treatments.
“It’s conventional wisdom that the American healthcare system is somewhat broken — and most dentists think that dental insurance is at least as broken as medical insurance,” says Jim Du Molin, editor of TheWealthyDentist.com and founder of dental marketing leader Internet Dental Alliance, Inc. (IDA). “So it’s not really a surprise to find that dentists think the system is not meeting the needs of most Americans.”
With such overwhelming agreement among the majority of dentists, the survey also revealed some interesting insights among the 30 percent minority. There were a wide variety of reasons given for not agreeing with the statement of a broken system.
One dentist volunteered that his practice relied on patients who have dental coverage, and commented that without insurance many people would not be able to have any dental treatment at all. Another dentist commented that the state of dental insurance impacts the profession far less than medical insurance affects medical doctors: M.D.’s would be out of business if they refused to accept patients with insurance plans, but most dental patients are accustomed to paying for their own treatments.
A different TWD survey asked dentists if they had stopped taking dental insurance. A majority (55 percent) said they had either completely or mostly dropped it. One third said that insurance was necessary in their markets.
Jim Du Molin, Editor in Chief of TheWealthyDentist.com, has been helping dentists improve their dental management, marketing and profits since 1985. He helps dentists improve their business skills and manage their practices more effectively. As founder of sister company Internet Dental Alliance, Inc. (IDA), Jim helps dentists attract more new patients that fit with their clinical skills to maximize cash flow. IDA is North America’s largest provider of websites for dentists and online dental marketing plans. Its New Patient Marketing Machine™ packages include dental directory listings, and customizable dental websites with automatic Facebook page integration and interactive mobile applications.