Public vs Private Dentist: The Pros and Cons of Both
In general, adults should visit a dentist twice a year for a check-up.
If you’ve recently moved or it’s been a while, you’re probably searching for the perfect dentist for yourself or your family. If you are, you’ve likely wondered whether it’s better to go with a private dentist or a public or corporate-owned practice.
There are both pros and cons to both of these styles of dentistry. Factors such as cost, availability, and quality of care should impact your decision.
Below, we’ll cover everything you should know about both types of dentists so you can choose which is right for you.
Public Dental Centers
Public dentistry centers act more like corporations and likely have a few different locations. Public or corporate dentist centers are typically larger. You may hear them referred to as a DMO (dental management organization) or as a DSO (dental service organization).
Pros of Public Dentists
Being a larger operation, you can expect some advantages such as:
- Low cost
- Easy access for dental emergencies
- Many specialists on staff
- Allows walk-in patients
- Accepts many types of payment plans
The biggest advantage of public or corporate dental centers is the size of the operation, which makes it easy to accommodate many patients.
Cons of Public Dentists
Here are some of the downsides to dental centers or large, corporate-owned practices:
- No dental-patient relationship
- Focus on efficiency, and the number of patients helped
- Call centers or answering services can make it hard to ask questions/receive timely answers
- Employ many new dentists fresh from school without much experience
One of the biggest disadvantages to a larger dental practice is the lack of a dentist-patient relationship. It can make large dental centers seem less personable.
Private Dentist Practices
Privately owned dental practices are often owned by a single dentist or a smaller group of dentists. These smaller operations focus more on the patient and can result in a higher quality of care.
Pros of a Private Dentist
Here are some pros to a private dentist:
- Typically a greater interest in making sure patients receive the best care
- More consideration of patient needs and dental history
- Fewer patients mean more time to focus on each one
A local or community dentist can seem like a friendly neighbor, which can make both new and returning patients more comfortable.
If you’ve recently searched for a “private dentist near me,” you understand that finding a private dental practice can seem overwhelming.
We recommend doing your research and talking to the staff about any questions you may have. This can give you a better idea of what to expect with that dental office.
Cons of a Private Dentist
There are still a few downsides to a private dental practice, although some of these may vary depending on where you live and the size of your community.
These are some cons to consider:
- Might be harder to set up a specific appointment time
- Private practices may not always accept walk-ins
- May not accept all insurance types or payment plans
- Sometimes focus on one type of dentistry
Keep these factors in mind when choosing the right dentist for yourself and your family.
Making the Choice
In the end, choosing between private dental practices and a public or corporate dentist office depends on what you want in a dentist. If you’re in a hurry and you can’t wait to set up an appointment, you might want to consider a public dentist. However, if you want a dentist that focuses on your care, and understands your dental history, go with a private dentist.
We hope this article helped you make the right choice for you! For more tips like these, be sure to check out our other health-related articles.