The Wealthy Dentist Survey Results
]The clear majority of dentists (94%) report that their dental practices offer in-house denture services for prosthodontic patients, according to a poll by The Wealthy Dentist. Only 6% of dentist respondents say they refer patients out to a prosthodontist for dentures.
Many dentists questioned whether prosthodontists were really more qualified. "I don't know why one would refer to a prosthodontist. Many of us are more highly trained than some of them are," said a Florida dentist. "Why? Unless it is maxillo-facial reconstruction work, what do they know that I do not?" asked a Pennsylvania dentist. "Prosthodontists certainly cannot make dentures better than I can. Send all of your cases to me, a dentist," wrote a Texas dentist.
Lots of general dentists never refer patients out to prosthodontists. "I have not referred a case in 32 years of practice," stated a Texas dentist. "Having made many thousands of dentures over the years, with the facility of an in-house dental lab with a certified technician at my side, I've never referred a denture patient to a prosthodontist. I have, however, received denture referrals from prosthodontists," claimed a New Jersey dentist.
Of course, the patient's needs always come first. "The needs of the patient take precedence," pointed out a California dentist. "When the patient's needs require the services of a specialist, the dentist refers to the specialist. When the dentist has the capability to treat the case himself, he does so. This has always been true for all types of dental treatment, not just prosthodontics."
In general, dentists only refer out denture patients with specific dental problems. "Only for the most difficult cases. I do not like sending profits out the door," wrote a Delaware dentist. "I refer out very complicated cases, but I have found that most dentures can be handled in my office with the support of a good lab," said a California dentist.
Prosthodontists are particularly likely to end up with not just difficult cases, but difficult patient personalities. "They are a great place to send your nightmare patients," commented an Illinois dentist. "Thank goodness for these specialists. I referred my 'denture patient from hell' to a dentist that specializes in dentures, and he told me the only mistake I made was taking this patient on," wrote a New Mexico dentist.
Dental implant technology gives patients other options besides dentures. "I never enjoyed doing dentures until I began offering dental implants for support and retention; now every complaint has a solution," wrote a California dental implantologist.
"It would seem that there's money to be made off of dentures," said Jim Du Molin, dental marketing consultant and founder of The Wealthy Dentist. "As a dental consultant, I'm surprised to learn that so many general dentists are treating denture patients in-house, but it's clear that they don't want to lose high-value patients by referring them out to prosthodontists."
For additional information on this and other Wealthy Dentist surveys in the areas of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Implants, Braces and Sedation Dentistry, as well as more dentists' comments, visit www.thewealthydentist.com/survey
The Wealthy Dentist is a dental marketing and dental management resource featuring dental consulting expert Jim Du Molin. The site’s weekly surveys and dental newsletters are viewed by thousands of dentists across the United States and Canada. The Wealthy Dentist is a sister company of the Internet Dental Alliance, Inc. (www.internetdentalalliance.com). IDA is the largest provider of websites for dentists, email patient newsletters and dental directories in North America.