We realize times can be relatively tough. We realize it is getting more and more difficult to spread your earnings among all your expenses. Times have changed, medical expenses are rising, and dental insurance plans offer higher premiums with lesser benefits. We know patients want to spend their dental dollars wisely. However, what you may think as a wise dental provider decision may be more expensive than you realize.
Lower fees are a huge attraction for the general public. Even free services are a huge attraction. Many dental offices provide lower fees and even free services. But is this truly in your best interest? Any business that uses these marketing methods to attract customers are honestly hoping you will spend even more money in their business. It has to be this way. No business can survive simply and only by offering lower than market fees and free services unless they have an alternate supply of money like having won the lottery or unless they modify or create their business practices to account for this method of marketing. To make up for the lower fees and free services they may depend on you to spend more money or they may cut their expenses in some way. Perhaps they can entice you to purchase other goods and services while you are present in their place of business.
I am not inferring that a practice should not offer anything free–on the contrary-we offer free “happy air”, anesthetic (the numbing medicine) or the VelScope, the oral cancer screening light. Just be sure that the “free” is not hidden in the overall cost of the treatment. We provide these services for your overall comfort and preventive health. Others may upcharge to build in the “free” service.
More and more often we have found patients being told and/or pressured to pursue dental services that are either not truly needed or are a bit “overboard”. Yes, people and dentists have tendencies in their personalities and in their way of living. Some of us are more aggressive and some of us are more passive. Some of us are more honest and some of us are not as honest. This is life. So when patients are enticed with lower fees and free services, there may be more of a need to make up for those early losses in revenue. This is where the honesty and ethics of your dentist fits in.
If a dentist is an employee of a clinic or retail-type practice who may be pressured to “meet the numbers, he is perhaps working for stockholders and may not have a vested interest in providing what is best for you, the patient.
We all have these differences in our personalities and in our tendencies. But, I would hope a patient would give some thought before entrusting their care to the lowest bidder.
Our practice is a a traditional, quality-oriented one that humbly prides itself upon unmistakable personal care. Our patients very often recognize the traditional values of honesty, treating others as we would want to be treated, doing our best, and centering my dental practice on the patient. We are like that small town dental practice in a large city with the advantage of newer, proven technologies and care. We are very passionate about maintaining these traditional values and we focus upon quality care with that special personal touch.
Excerpts from Dr. Mark Veniucasa