What is Corporate Dentistry?

What is Corporate Dentistry?

Corporate dentistry is when a dental office is owned by investors, venture capitalist, or any providers that have multiple dental offices. These are also called DSO’s in the dental world, meaning Dental Service Operators.

This has become a big and lucrative business. Dental schools tuition has gone from around $40,000 debt upon graduation in the 1980s to an average of nearly $400,000 today. With interest rates for school 6.8% and higher, most have no choice but to just get a job. Opening a practice is no longer possible with debt like this… and investors know it.

So, they very often employ recent graduates that just need an income to pay these incredibly high loans.

A Bad Situation Even For the Most Ethical Dentist

Employment from corporate investors comes with a certain expectation. You must produce (do treatment) and do enough treatment or likely be let go.

Corporate practices have advanced metrics, algorithms, and numbers. They expect an average amount of diagnosis and treatment per patient. Let me remind you, these are NOT dentists telling the dentist what they should be doing.

How does that make any sense?

This puts even our best and most ethical dentists in a bad situation. What are they to do? Obviously, always the ethical thing and what is best for the patient, but that clearly isn’t always the case.

Feeling like a used car salesman is pushing you as a patient in these places has become common. The trust between dentists and the community is fractured compared to what it once was.

 What’s the Solution? 

Understanding why you might feel pushed and why its so expensive is a good start. 

These practices are not named obvious things like “DSO Dental” and “Corporate Dental Center”. They blend and use city names, local names, and try not to let the public know they are a corporation most of the time.

At Helping Hand Dental Clinic, we are NOT a corporate dental office. We educate. We diagnose and explain the pros and cons of each way we can attack an issue. Then, we let you know the options and let you decide according to the education, information, finances you feel comfortable with. 

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