Word of Wisdom!
Over the past few years with all the changes in our healthcare system and sluggish economy, Physician and dentist practices alike have undergone changes to survive and remain profitable. Since you are on a specialty practice website, we will review some of the problems affecting our particular specialty and will focus primarily on why you as a consumer should be aware of the evolved changes, and how they may affect you or your loved ones.
Historically, the conventional specialty practices, such as oral surgery and Periodontics were privately owned and operated by the doctor, He/she made all the decisions and more importantly provided adequate follow up care for his/her patients.
Today, corporate dentistry has become profitable for investors that have no knowledge about the field of dentistry. Franchised dental clinics hire recent graduate dentists with minimal patient care experience. New dentists join the clinics primarily for financial security and lack of experience to run a private practice. Another model is for private general dental practices to hire independent contractor specialists. The specialist is only in that office for one or two days in a given month. A general dentist or a different doctor may perform the consultation visit; and if you are lucky your actual procedure is performed by a specialist doctor. Post-operative care, proper follow ups, unforeseen complications requiring close monitoring and timely interventions may not be done by your treating specialist.
“Educated patients make better doctors.”
For follow up care, relying on an individual with less or no expertise in a field, in this case surgery; increases chances of misdiagnosis, wrong treatments, or inadequate care. In the field of oral surgery, where our patients frequently undergo IV anesthesia for procedures, there needs to be strict protocol for patient safety. Unfortunately general dental practices and corporate dentists are not equipped and suited for surgical procedures, in particular surgical procedures under anesthesia.
What is our goal? Our primary focus is to educate our patients to learn the importance of specialty care. Our sluggish economy has changed the way practices operate and treat patients. You don’t have to be the victim. At Orange County Oral Surgery & Periodontics, we are devoted to the specialties we have trained for many years. Our facility is devoted to only our specialties. We utilize a surgical suite comparable to hospital surgical suites. This assures our commitment to you; that is Safety.
What measures can you take to become a more educated dental consumer?
- Do your research on the qualifications of the doctor.
- Make sure the facility focuses only on specialty care and the doctors are not “the jack of all trades.”
- Make sure the same doctor that performed your consultation will perform your surgery and follow up care.
- If you are going under anesthesia for your procedure, ask if the facility is accredited for surgery. Accreditation will insure strict protocol that every surgeon must follow for patient safety and optimal results.
- Ask if the doctor has had adequate anesthesia training. In this field, only Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and medical anesthesiologists have adequate training to perform safe and predictable anesthesia.
- Remember! Just because it is dentistry, it does not make your procedure risk free or less important.