In recent years, many large corporate dental practices have grown increasingly accessible in large cities and other metropolitan areas across the nation. While this isn’t necessarily surprising, it also does beg the question as to what exactly the different differences are between a local dentist‘s practice and that of a large corporate practice owned by an experienced local dentist. A large corporate practice can employ thousands of employees, offering a wide variety of services from routine cleanings and preventative care to more specialized procedures like orthodontics and cranial surgeries. But even with these potentially lucrative services on offer, a local dentist can still excel.
The primary difference between public dental practices and private dental practices is that the latter often do not advertise the services provided at their facilities. This means potential patients may have no prior knowledge that such a facility exists in their town or city. Additionally, many large dental clinics are relatively anonymous, operating solely through their websites and marketing to customers over the phone rather than in person. This alone can make it difficult for a patient to research various private dental practices in their area before visiting one.
The quality of service offered by a large corporate practice is also likely to be much higher than a similar private practice. Unlike a bank or other financial institution, a large dental practice typically does not have to worry about competing for limited business. In fact, the majority of them are established businesses with decades of expertise in providing top-notch care. Furthermore, many of the largest corporations tend to provide personalized care for their clients, often paying for specific procedures based on a patient’s needs. This type of personalized care certainly has the potential to differentiate one local dentist from another.
Yet another important distinction between a large corporation and a small, anonymous practice is proximity. Dentists may not work very far from their place of business, but most large dental practices can offer clients more than just a driving route. In addition, a large corporation may be able to hire a professional crew of sales reps who will visit potential customers’ homes to discuss the benefits of dental services. A small dentist may not have this luxury.
One final, yet significant factor is availability. A good dentist is one who is easily accessible. For this reason, choosing a local dentist over a corporate practice has nothing to do with location, and everything to do with comfort. A dentist who lives in your community is preferable because he knows the routine and the processes and knows how people relate to one another. In contrast, many corporate dental practices are run from an office and thus, care is delivered at different times depending on the hour. A local dentist is likely to know the schedule of your child’s pediatric dentist, for example, and will treat him or her according to the needs.
The choice between a local dentist and a corporate dental practice really comes down to a matter of comfort. Corporate practices may offer some convenience, but they often lack the personal touch that only comes with a real live person. There is no substitute for getting the services of a licensed general practitioner, but if you expect to receive truly personalized care in a comfortable environment, then you should expect to see a dentist who is local. This means a family dentist who does his or her best to ensure you get the highest quality care for each and every individual you deal with. Your search for a local dentist is therefore not so much about cost as it is about the comfort you can expect.