There was a time when all physicians were private practitioners, today most doctors work in groups to be cost effective. Is this same phenomenon headed towards dentistry?
Today you see more and more dental groups. Often these groups contain a few general practitioners working as a collective. More recently you start to see dental groups that include a few specialists with many general dentists.
The trend is that there are and will be fewer single dental offices and there will be more groups and mega-groups in the future. The economics of dentistry is driving this model at warp speed.
Why would a single dentist want to rent 2,000 square feet and put in 5 dental chairs when a team of five dentist can use 3,000 square feet and 10 chairs. By grouping the dentist in the group is only paying for 600 square feet and 2 chairs - but has access to everything.
Why would a single dentist want to hire 4 staff members when a group can function with 10 staff members - thus paying for only 2 staff members?
Why would the Brits want to have live phone hours 40 hours a week when the group phone will be manned 70 hours a week?
With the complexities of insurance continually increasing, the group can afford to hire a t quality person to handle this area.
Dental groups is the direction that delivery of dentistry is heading. It is not a better direction or a worse direction - it is just the more economically feasible system.
Sad but the day of the sole practitioner is going the way of dial up Internet and fax machines - they will still be around and work but you will see less of them each year.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems
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