Your dentist faces many hurdles when deciding how to join the dental industry. One of the most significant involved was what kind of practice they wanted to be. Solo practices bear the burden of purchasing all the necessary equipment to operate their facility. However, they are also known for having a more personalized approach to delivering care. This results in their being a popular choice for many patients. However, group practices can take advantage of a corporate structure that manages the purchasing and maintenance of the equipment. This relieves a significant amount of financial strain on the provider, which can lead to reduced costs for the patient.
Understanding Why Dentists Choose Solo vs. Group Dental Clinics
Dental clinics are a business and a career regardless of their underlying passion for ensuring patients have healthy, beautiful teeth. A dental practice is a presence in their community, and solo practices are often defined and shaped to fit the needs of that community. This significantly incentivizes dentists to move into a solo practice paradigm. However, solo practices also face numerous challenges largely avoided by larger group practices. Solo practices often run into difficulties that require them to sell their clinics.
In some cases, these struggles are financial in nature. However, many solo practices also choose to sell due to the pressures of running them. Those looking for a simpler (albeit often lower paying) way to practice dentistry will often opt to move into a group practice. This can provide financial security, reduced overhead costs, and stress reduction. Some dentists opt to join a group practice from the start, preferring to take advantage of the benefits involved.
- Solo Practices: A solo practice is owned and operated by a single dentist. This term can also be used loosely to include practices with a partnership of one or more dentists. While these tend to have a more personalized approach to dental care, they have some drawbacks for their patients. Among them are more limited insurance options. These practices tend to accept PPO plans preferentially over HMO plans. They also tend to serve a more affluent clientele.
- Group practices: Group practices are generally part of a corporate structure. They often form chain clinics, with offices operating in multiple cities. This results in them having greater stability and the ability to serve a less affluent patient body. This means they often accept HMO medical plans and perform direct restorations, fillings, and amalgams more than prosthodontic work. They can also provide a broader range of payment options than solo practices.
The Influence Of Dental Insurance Over Your Care
Dental insurance is a significant factor in determining which kind of practice a patient chooses. When looking for a dental provider for your family, start with this question. “Do you accept my insurance?” With this information, you’ll know whether to proceed or continue looking for a dental provider.