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The Difference Between Solo Dental Practice vs. Group Dental Practice

The dental industry is filled with many economic costs, and one of those costs is where dentists go once they finish going to college. Many dentists are often encouraged to develop their own practices and manage their careers full-time. In other cases, however, many dentists often join themselves with group practices or practices run by several doctors. Both solo practices and group practices offer their benefits and disadvantages, and while a heated debate by many dentists in the community, patients wondering what these terms mean can often wonder what impact these practices will have on their care.

To further dive into this topic, we’re going to explain some of the ins and outs of these types of practices, what ultimately shapes them, and which type of practice is better for patient care.

The Two Forms of Practice in Dentistry

When dentists talk about their practices, they’re often referring to business strategies to help maintain their careers. Our practices represent the name we put out to the world to define who we are, and for dentists who’ve recently graduated, there’s a huge amount of pressure placed on them to determine where they’ll find their place within the industry. On the other hand, many dentists who have run 10 to 20 years in the industry are often facing significant economic struggles that lead them to sell off their solo practices and join in with group practices to mitigate costs and bring better security.

The choice between a solo practice or a group practice all depends on the individual’s circumstances, but what do these types of practices actually entail? Here’s a short summary of both:

  • Solo Practices: Solo practices are practices owned and operated by a single dentist. Most dentists often go this route despite economic concerns and tend to operate on specific criteria. PPO plans are more often accepted by solo practices, often catering to higher-income patients, and more often than not perform more restorative treatments such as crowns, composite resin restorations, and fixed prosthetics. While more restorative treatments tend to be the major driving force for solo practices, solo practices tend to have more responsibility for their decisions, and depending on how finances are handled, solo practices can run successfully and provide a more personalized experience for the patient.
  • Group Practices: These practices, which work to consolidate dentists and their teams into multi-branch organizations, come with their own benefits and disadvantages. Group practices tend to accept HMO plans to be able to receive patients, which tend to be carried by lower-income patients. These practices often work with treatments such as direct restorations, amalgams, dentures, and fillings. Group practices have become an ever-growing trend due to economic disparity and have increased efficiency with their finances, thus providing more security for those in the dental industry.

How Dental Insurance Influences Your Care

Both of these types of practices have their own systemic problems when it comes to their care, but one important factor to pay attention to when looking for a dentist is how your insurance influences your treatment. Because of this, we highly suggest contacting your dental insurance company to talk about your treatments to learn which dentists accept your insurance in your area.

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