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What Is the Most Important Question to Ask a Dental Office before Scheduling Your First Visit? 

In today’s world, we no longer open the yellow pages and look for a dentist, or any other business for that matter. Now, we ask our friends who they go to or ask Google. Either way, most of us, once we have been given the name of a dentist, still look at their reviews before scheduling. I have a post on reviews coming soon! 

There is another big change today versus the old days, especially here in Southwest Florida. In the old days, most dentists were self-owned mom-and-pop businesses. Other than these, there were dentists who practiced in public health clinics, and some served in the military, but that was about it. If you called a local dentist’s office to schedule an appointment, you could be pretty certain that the doctor owned the practice. But today, corporate dentistry has exploded in our communities. 

Corporate Dentistry 101 

From a consumer or patient perspective, there are two types of corporate dental offices in our area (and in most places).  

  1. Nationally branded dental practices. These practices have a singular brand and make it obvious that you are going to a chain.   
  1. Individually branded dental practices. These practices are branded to look like a typical locally owned dental practice. 

It’s important to understand what corporate dentistry is. This dental industry article explains it well. Pay particular attention to the fourth paragraph. 

The Most Important Question to Ask 

After you find a dentist that you’re going to try, it’s time to call their office. But instead of calling and scheduling straightaway, ask this question first.   

Who owns this practice?   

Now that you understand corporate dentistry and know who owns the practice, you have the information to decide what you want to do.   

Is Corporate Dentistry Bad? 

In our industry, there are very strong opinions about corporate dentistry. I’ll withhold my opinion on corporate dentistry from an insider’s perspective, But I will share how I view from a consumer/patient perspective.   

I believe that corporate dentistry is okay for a patient as long as you know what corporate dentistry is and who owns the practice.   

Our practice has a Patient Promise. We promise not to sell you things you don’t need, to only use high-quality materials and labs (not Chinese crowns), to be gentle, to genuinely care, and to be a seamless practice to deal with. We have two Core Values: do the right thing and tell the truth. We are also not in network with insurance companies.   

If this is what you are looking for as a patient, you’ll love our office! But if you’re looking for something different, you might make another choice. 

From a patient perspective, corporate dentistry has a role. As long as you know the deal and know who owns the practice, then that’s what matters.