Private Practices vs. Chain Dentists: The Pros and Cons of Each

It’s that time again. You’re due for teeth cleaning, and you’re searching for low-cost dental centers in your area with treatment plans in your price range. But unfortunately, you don’t know if you should be typing “corporate” or “private practice dentist near me” in your search bar to find a dentist for your next appointment. Thankfully, we’re here to help break it down for you.

It’s no secret that dental costs can be expensive. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation spends more than $124 billion on expenses related to dental care each year. That’s a lot of money! And for people who don’t have dental insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover all of their dental needs, the costs can be even higher.

One way to save money on dental costs is to choose a private dental practice instead of a dentist who is part of a chain. Private dentist’s offices are usually less expensive than their chain counterparts, and they often provide more personal service. But there are also some disadvantages to private offices that you should be aware of before deciding.

Here are some of the pros and cons of private dentist’s offices vs. chain dentists:

PROS OF PRIVATE PRACTICE DENTISTS:

They Can Be Less Expensive Than Chain Dentists

This is probably the most significant advantage of choosing private dental practices over a corporate practice. Private dentist offices may charge lower prices for their services than chain dentists. This would be because they don’t have the same overhead costs as corporate offices. They also don’t have to pay franchise fees, which can add up to a lot of money.

They Often Provide More Personal Service

Another advantage of choosing a private practice dentist is that you will usually receive more personalized service. This is because offices with a single dentist (or a small number of dentists) are typically more hands-on with their patient care. In addition, they usually have a smaller staff to get to know their patients better, reading to more patient-doctor trust. This can be a big plus if you’re looking for a dentist who will take the time to understand your dental needs and provide personalized treatment.

They May Offer a Wider Range of Oral Health Services

A private dentist may offer a broader range of services than chain dentists. This is because they are not limited by the services that their corporate office requires them to offer. Instead, they can choose to provide services that they think will be most beneficial to their patients. This can be a significant advantage if you’re looking for affordable dental care from a dentist who offers a specific service that you need.

They May Keep Emergency On-Call Hours

Private offices may be more likely to offer emergency on-call hours than corporate dental chains. As a result, if you have a dental emergency, you can usually get in to see your dentist right away. This is a big advantage if you’re looking for a dentist who can provide prompt, efficient care in an emergency.

They May Be More Flexible With Scheduling

Private offices may also be more flexible when it comes to scheduling appointments. This is because they usually have more control over their schedule. This can be a big advantage if you have a busy schedule or need to see your dentist outside of regular business hours.

They May Offer a Fee Schedule or Payment Plan

Another advantage of a traditional private practice dentist is that they may offer a fee schedule or payment plan. This means that you can pay for your treatment over time instead of all at once. This can be a significant advantage if you’re looking for more expensive dental work such as dental implants, dentures, or cosmetic dentistry but don’t have the money to pay for it all at once.

 

PROS OF CORPORATELY OWNED DENTAL CLINICS:

They’re Usually Conveniently Located

One of the most significant advantages of choosing a chain dentist over a private dentist is that they are usually conveniently located. This is especially true if you live in a large city. There are often several offices to choose from, so you can find one close to your home or work. This can be a big time-saver, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to drive around town looking for a dentist.

They May Offer More Services

Another advantage of choosing a chain dental office over privately owned dental practices is that corporate dental centers may offer more services than private dental offices. This is because they usually have more dental providers on staff. This means that they can offer a broader range of dental services.

We mentioned the same point earlier as an advantage of private dental clinics. The services offered by dental practices will be different for each dental practice. Patients will need to research the services offered by their chosen dental clinic.

They’re Often Open on Weekends

If you have a busy schedule, you may appreciate the fact that corporate dentistry offices are often open on weekends. This can be a big advantage if you need to see a dentist but can’t take time off from work during the week.

They May Take Your Insurance If a Private Dentist Does Not

Another advantage of choosing a corporate dental office over a private practice is that most corporate offices accept most major insurance plans. This can be a big plus if you have dental insurance. It’s always a good idea to call your chosen dental office to verify that they accept your insurance plan before making an appointment.

CONS OF PRIVATE DENTAL PRACTICES:

They May Not Be Conveniently Located

One of the disadvantages of choosing private practices over corporate offices is that they may not be conveniently located. This is especially true if you live in a rural area. Private practice dentists are more likely to be located in smaller towns or spread out throughout the city. So if you find a privately operated dental practice that you love, you may have to drive a bit farther to get to them.

They May Have Limited Hours

Another downside of private practice dentists is that they may have limited hours. This can be a problem if you have a busy work schedule or need to see the dentist outside of regular business hours. Some private practice dentists offer evening and weekend hours, but they are often limited.

They May Not Take Your Insurance

If you have dental insurance, you may find that your chosen private practice dentist does not accept it. This is because many private offices are not contracted with insurance companies. This means that they will not get reimbursed by your insurance company for their services. However, some private dentists accept payment from insurance companies, so it’s always good to call your dentist to verify that they accept your insurance plan before making an appointment.

They May Not Have Many Providers

One final disadvantage of private dental practices is that they may not have as many providers on staff as corporate offices. This means that they may not be able to offer as many services, such as orthodontics or oral surgery. However, each dentist’s office is different, so you’ll need to research the services offered by your chosen dentist before making an appointment.

They May Not Be As Technologically Advanced As Chain Dentists

One of the disadvantages of private practice dentists is that they may not be as technologically advanced as chain dentists. This is because they often don’t have the same budget as chain offices, which means they may not have the latest dental technology, such as digital x-rays or intraoral cameras.

 

CONS OF CORPORATE DENTISTRY:

You May Not Get the Same Level of Personalized Care

One of the disadvantages of choosing a chain dentist over a private dentist is that you may not get the same level of personalized care. This is because corporate dental offices are often extensive and have many patients. As a result, you may feel like just another number when visiting a corporate dental office.

They May Not Have the Same Services As Private Dentists

Another downside of chain offices is that they may not have the same services as private dentists. This is because private dentists often have more freedom to choose the services that they offer, while corporate dental offices may be more limited in the services that they can provide.

They’re Often More Expensive Than Private Dentists

One of the most significant disadvantages of choosing chain dentists over private dentists is that they’re often more expensive. This is because chain dental offices often have higher overhead costs, such as rent and marketing, which they pass on to their patients in the form of higher prices.

They May Not Offer Payment Options

Another downside of corporate dental offices is that they may not offer payment options. This means that you may have to pay for your treatment in full at the time of your appointment. If you’re unable to do this, you may need to look elsewhere for dental care, such as Care Credit.

As you can see, choosing a private practice dentist over a corporate dentist has both its pros and cons. Ultimately, deciding which type of dentist to choose comes down to your personal preferences and needs.

At Patient Empowered Dentistry, we believe that our patients should be in charge of their own dental care. We offer a wide range of services, including general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics, so that our patients can get the dental care they need without going to multiple offices. We accept most major insurance plans and offer financing options to make dental care more affordable. In addition, our dentist, Dr. Christopher Dyki, is available for emergency visits and after-hours appointment times for those with busy schedules. 

To learn more about our practice or schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Patient Empowered Dentistry