Dental Practice Management Survey Reveals Dentists’ Resistance

Dental Practice Management Survey Reveals Dentists' ResistanceIn the latest The Wealthy Dentist survey dentists overwhelmingly agree that dentists should own and run dental practices.

When asked if they agree or disagree that “only dentists should own dental practices” 89% of the dentists responding to this survey answered, “I strongly agree. Dentists should be owners, not dental management companies or private investors.”

9% responded that they “somewhat agree that practice owners should generally be dentists, but there are exceptions” with 2% stating that they “somewhat disagree and it’s okay for others to own practices, but it’s good when dentists do.”

Dental Practice Management Survey Reveals Dentists' Resistance Survey graph

A Texas dentist wrote, “The ethics of the practice become that of the management company, not that of the dentist. This is very dangerous to the profession.”

Even though dental management companies allow dentists to focus more on dental patients, some dentists are resistant to the idea of this dental practice model.

Dental practices who partner with corporate dental management companies typically serve areas where there is limited dental care and patients haven’t visited a dentist in years.

Even so, in this survey, many dentists are resistant to the corporate dental management model –

“Corporate dentistry is here but only a dentist should be allowed to own a practice/corporation as they will more likely to put the patients best interest first before corporate profits to shareholders/investors if push comes to shove.” (California dentist)

“This is the destruction of the profession–making a trade to be regulated. The younger members do not realize it. Is this what they signed up for when applying for dental school?” (Indiana dentist)

“Some dentists are just not cut out to be business people and should just stick to clinical treatment.” (Colorado dentist)

“I have worked under the thumb of an accountant in a dental mill. He had no concern for the welfare of the patients- only the clinic’s bottom line. It is OUR licenses that are at risk. We damn well better own the show. Otherwise, the corporate suits will put us and our precious dental license at risk increasing their bottom line by any and all means possible.” (Georgia dentist)

“Dentistry will soon look like Walmart. The era of privately owned dental practice will soon be over. This is a tragedy for our patients and dentistry in general!” (Oklahoma dentist)

“The dentist is ALWAYS ultimately responsible, and therefore MUST have complete control over the business.” (General dentist)

But one Texas dentist did write to sing the praises of dental management companies, “Working with a dental management company was the best decision I ever made!”

Dentists, what are your thoughts on dental management companies?

Are Private Equity Firms Good for Dental Practice Management?

Are Private Equity Firms Good for Dental Practice Management?Dental practice management companies are popular among dentists because they allow dentists to focus on dental procedures over office administration.

Many dentists prefer to spend their time working with dental patients instead of dealing with the everyday hassles of managing a business.

Dentists argue that working with a dental management company makes them better dentists.

Thomas A. Climo, a dental consultant and past professor of economics in England, feels the use of widespread dental practice management companies in dentistry is inevitable due to the economies of scale and centralization of management.

As healthcare and dental treatment costs continue to rise, dental management companies argue that their model can streamline billing, payroll and marketing costs, thus keeping dental practices viable. This model is what attracts private equity investors to dental practice management.

Mr. Climo calls attention to the fact that private equity firms are more inclined to invest in dental practice management over a solo practitioner because of the mostly unprofitable nature of solo-owned dental practices. He suggests that there is very little genuine net income in solo dental practices anymore.

“Dentists put a lot of effort into building their practices,” Climo states in his recent article in Dentistry IQ, “and only with proper management can this effort be translated into business valuation dollars that make sense.”

Climo bristles at news reports that private equity investors influence the practice of bad dentistry, pointing out that private equity investors choose health care for its usually steady yield and low-risk — not to push unnecessary procedures on vulnerable dental patients in the name of profits.

Large dental chains can actually offer dental treatments at a lower cost.

The idea that private equity investors would promote pushing unnecessary dental treatments and bad dentistry is crazy to Climo because of the risk of lawsuits and litigation, something that interferes with the “low-risk” model that private equity firms look for in an investment.

Many dentists point out that the dental practice management model is similar to what dental patients already experience in other medical services and believe it will be the future model for providing affordable dental care to the public.

And Mr. Climo would argue that’s good for everyone.

To read more on this subject by Mr. Climo, see: The Emergence of the Dental Practice Management Company

Dentists, what are your thoughts on dental management companies?

Dentists: Do You Project Practice Revenue for 2011 to Be More Than 2010? (survey)

take the TWD dental survey on the cost of veneersDentists: please participate in our survey on dental practice revenue for 2011.

As part of The Wealthy Dentist dialogue on dental practice management and marketing, we offer weekly surveys and invite your participation.

In order to understand different perspectives on the dental industry, we have developed surveys to canvas a diverse group of dental practices on their view of the dental industry, what constitutes current good practice in dental marketing and quality care.

The information collected will be used to prepare articles for The Wealthy Dentist readership.

The survey should take no more than 90 seconds to complete –

If you’d like to be notified about future dental surveys, please sign up for our weekly newsletter in the right sidebar.

Dental Practice Management and Employee Theft (Video)

Dental Practice Management and Employee Theft (Video)Embezzlement and employee theft are major problems for dentists and dental practices.

In this survey, 59% of dentists said they had discovered evidence of embezzlement.

But that doesn’t mean no one has stolen from the remaining 41%… it just means they haven’t been able to prove an embezzlement took place.

Sadly, dentists are often embezzled.

“My office manager (of course) was setting aside dental insurance checks, then picking out cash that matched the amount of the checks,” said an orthodontist. “The checks were never deposited into the patients’ accounts, so the bank deposit balanced. She did this for almost 10 years, for a total of at least $700,000. Her litigation is currently pending. The insurance accounts past due eventually became overwhelming and she was finally caught.”

“A dental assistant who worked for another doctor who shared space with me was stealing my materials and making teeth bleaching trays out of her home after hours (and charging for tooth whitening!)” said another dentist.

To hear more of what dentists had to say about employee theft, Click on Play to watch the following video —

Have you experienced employee theft?

Read more about this dental management issue: Dentists - Has Your Dental Practice Been Embezzled?

Dentist Decision-Making: Dental Equipment

Dentist equipmentDentists rely heavily on the advice of colleagues in making dental equipment purchases, found a survey of UK dentists.

Two out of three dentist respondents said that peer recommendation was a major factor in making purchasing decisions.

Here are some other interesting facts the dentist survey found:

Read more about dental management decisionmaking: Dentists go for new tech based on colleague recommendation


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