Dental Chains: Are They Really Safe?


Finding the best dentist for your needs can often be a struggle. You want to find a practice that’s affordable but also comes with great reviews. Your teeth are precious, after all.

More often than not, you’ll end up hearing about group dental chains. They’re a growing trend in the United States and profit from the wide range of specialists that work in each office.

Although they may offer lower costs in the short term, are they as effective as they claim? Here’s a breakdown of why you should think twice before visiting one.

What Are Dental Chains?

Dental chains are practices that operate with multiple dentists at one location. Often, these dentists travel between more than one location, so they may come in only once or twice a week to your particular dental office.

At best, you could see different types of dentists all in a single day. At worst, you may have to wait over a week.

Unlike private practice offices, group dentistry is run by a corporation. Although chain dentistry is known for lower costs, they can require more services to be charged than is necessary.

Are Dental Chains Safe?

Chain dentists are just as qualified as private dentists, but the way the office operates can be problematic.

Group dentists may cut corners to treat more patients in a single day or suggest unnecessary operations. In 2020, one dentist was found to have drilled healthy teeth in order to charge for extra procedures.

In some cases, the rotation of dentists between different offices can mean extended wait periods for patients. Too long a wait and problems can pop up that could’ve been avoided.

Not every dental chain is out to take advantage of its patients. However, a private practice will take the time to get to know you personally, which can highly benefit your treatment.

Finding a Private Dentist

Your teeth are an important part of your body. A dental chain can be convenient, but a private dentist will put in the time and effort to give you the best treatment possible.

When you’re shopping around for a primary dentist, keep in mind these warning signs. They should never say you need a procedure immediately without elaborating. That includes heavy work you weren’t prepared for.

Make sure you see the x-rays before they do anything. The patient should be fully aware of what’s wrong with their mouth.

A practice also shouldn’t diagnose procedures that your insurance doesn’t cover.

Avoid Group Dentistry if Possible

A good private dentist works with their patient to optimize their health without taking advantage of them. Meanwhile, dental chains can often find themselves pressured by investors to stay profitable at the expense of the patient.

Chain dental practices see a high number of patients every week, and their dentists don’t always operate at a single facility. If you want to assure quality in your dental care, consider finding a local practitioner.

Check out our other articles if you’re interested in learning more about health, beauty, and more.