A dental office is owned and operated by a single provider, who has attended four years of dental school after college and is a licensed Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine. Since patients only see one provider, this type of office often can provide more personalized services than dental centers staffed by many dentists.
Benefits of a Dental Office
● A single-provider dental office offers a level of personalized care that cannot be found elsewhere.Dental offices benefit from a smaller staff focused on providing patients with a quality experience. Dentists and their patients have more freedom in how they interact and more leverage in their treatment plans. These patients often trust their dentist more and are more open to treatment recommendations.
● A dental office can make sure a patient’s preferences in communication, education, and specialized care are all taken into consideration.Patients are also often given more time in a dental office. Longer appointment times provide the dentist a chance to learn more about the patient’s oral health, overall health history, and fears about treatment. By taking the time to know their patients fully, a dental office can avoid falling victim to a "one size fits all" approach. Sometimes a treatment can be less aggressive or avoided altogether due to the significant advantage of knowing a patient’s long-term oral health history.
The Right Patient for a Dental Office
Patients who desire a warmer relationship with their dentist may benefit from a dental office.
Single-provider offices are more likely to get to know their patients and their specific oral health needs better. When it is time for an appointment, the dentist knows details beyond what is included in the patient chart. If quick, impersonal health care visits are a turnoff, a dental office may be the right option.
The Dental Office Team
There can be several types of dental professionals working in a given dental office, including the dentist, the dental hygienist (responsible for preventative treatment such as professional cleaning), and the dental assistant (helps the dentist during specific procedures).
Other members of the office staff include the receptionist and office manager who help the practice run smoothly. These staff members assist with check-in, appointment scheduling, billing and other necessary paperwork.
A dental office is owned and operated by someone who attended four years of dental school after college and is a licensed Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine. This person is responsible for the diagnosis of dental disease and treatment planning for the patient. Individual states also have licensing requirements, which include two exams covering written and clinical components.
Many dentists who manage their own offices also take business courses. The American Dental Association even offers an executive program in dental practice management. Patients who receive services at a dental office can be assured that their provider has the credentials to provide comprehensive treatment.