Corporate-run Dental Offices

“Corporate Dentistry” – or dental practices under the control of dental management companies, are increasing in number. How do they differ from traditional dental practices?

People in Colorado are aware of some of these dental chains – that begin with a “C” or a “P”, for instance. Others are not so obvious – they may have an unique name, but still are part of a large organization. These offices usually have the following:

– dentist owns only part or none of the business

– dentist is under pressure to make a profit

– new, younger dentists go through the practice with a high turnover, so you don’t always know who you will be seeing

– high cost dentistry in high volumes are usually expected of the dentists

– some of the practices do not employ dental hygienists to cut costs, and use unlicensed assistants more to compensate

– practice managers often have no dental background, but have a say in what treatment is done

– some practices are for children, because a general dentist can see a high volume of kids covered by Medicaid and it is lucrative

We have provided a link to a presentation from Columbia University Dental School specifically about this type of practice. Below the link we have printed negative comments from the dentists who participated for this project.

Link for the negative comments below:

Negative comments from dentists who worked for dental management companies:

•”Very few have any ethical standards; profits are main goals, a “good” doctor is only one who makes lots of production, regardless of patient satisfaction.” ~ 2yrs DPMC

•”Most of my concerns stem from no autonomy in managing the office. I would like it run a certain way, corporate runs it another. We need to share our office space with general. Budgets restrict what I am able to do.” ~ 3yrs DPMC

•”These institutions should be banned by the ADA. They are unethical in what they do and their services are below standard of care.” ~ 2yr DPMC

•”On the whole, dental corporations are very money oriented. I have witnessed many scenarios where the office managers without a dental degree dictated what treatments (usually the more expensive ones) were need by the patients.” ~ 1yr DPMC

•”I think they are entities more focused on making money rather than patient care. The practitioners I know including myself have only been able to work for these large companies for under a year due to the high stress and burn out rate.” ~ 2yr DPMC

•”’Practice Manager’ dictating treatments and not the treating dentist. / They never know when to refer and the quality of work, when I see it, is horrendous. These recent graduates are pressured into performing too many procedures and unnecessary work is often being performed and the patient care is substandard, in my opinion.” ~ 0yrs DPMC

•”They are destroying dental field.” ~ 0yrs DPMC


•”Chains are ruining the quality of care patients deserve. They are mills to make a quick buck. Chains are ruining private solo practitioner practices.” ~ 0yrs DPMC

•”Though I have no real personal experience to draw from, I automatically assume a negative bias about dental management companies. I assume that quality of care will be compromised, I assume that production and profit will drive patient care and that I won’t have control over my treatment planning.” ~ 0yrs DPMC

    Our advice – if you are a patient of a “corporate ” practice and are given a surprising treatment plan, go get a second opinion! Try to find a dentist who is a full owner of his or her practice and seek their advice before you proceed with the plan.