Macomb County Dentist Explains Discount Dental Dental Plans

There have been recent discount dental plans introduced in the Macomb County area and I would like to discuss the pros and cons of such programs as they relate to you the consumer and to the profession in general.

I am fully aware that what you are going to read may be unpopular and quite controversial.

We are all aware of our current economic situation in the Metropolitan Detroit area and the effect that outsourcing has had on many industries. We all are affected by the downturn in domestic car sales and the trickle down effect it has had. In tough times everybody watches where they spend their money. Most of us in the dental profession have been slower than usual as a result of the down turn. We as business owners have tough decisions to make in these slow times.

There have been discount dental programs introduced by out of state companies. These companies have taken advantage of our economy and slowness in dental offices with the promise of new patients who would be willing to pay the dentist directly at reduced rates. At first this seems to be a great deal for both the patient and the individual dental office, but beware!!!

In these programs dental offices must agree to reduce their accepted fee by 30%-50%. These reduced fees bring the fee structure to the 1970s level. At the same time the cost of providing dental services has gone up significantly with insurance, payroll costs, dental materials and supplies, etc going up 5-7% annually.

I have serious concerns with the program in that it first appears to be a great deal for you the patient, but something has to give. There is no way a business can stay in business without making a profit. The only way dental offices who participate with the program can stay in business is to either:

1.Reduce the time spent with each patient. Therefore, the type of service that you have been used to could be diminished.

2.Quality may be reduced since the dentist would have to push more dentistry out and see more people.

3.Inferior materials may be used since costs have to be slashed to stay profitable.

4.You will most likely be scheduled at times that are inconvenient for you. Reduced rate paying patients are encouraged to be seen at slow times usually during the middle of the day and not on Saturdays, evenings or early mornings.

5. Need to outsource the laboratory procedures. I am aware that the organizers of the reduced fee program offer a referred lab that will do the crowns at 50% of their regular fee. The only catch is that the specialized lab work is outsourced to either China or Mexico. Can you believe that crowns and other laboratory work are now being outsourced just like all of the other industries?

This is just another example of the outsourcing that continues to erode our economy, communities and families little by little. Since we are all aware of the impact that outsourcing and job loss has had on our lifestyles are you sure you want this to impact your health? Dentistry is not a commodity and remember that you get what you pay for.

Macomb County Dentist Explains Dental Plans

Dr Antolak practices dentistry in Macomb County, Michigan. His office is located in Shelby Township. If you have any questions for Dr. Antolak, please give him a call today at: 586.247.3500.