Terry Reed, DDS
I applaud Dental Economics for publishing the viewpoint on high-volume practices (April issue) by Joe Steven Jr. As a small-town dentist with a very busy practice, I agree with all his major points. I fill an important niche in my area by providing high-quality, reasonably priced care with quick access to my services. I enjoy the challenge of being busy, and thrive on the pace of my day. I`d be bored stiff treating one patient at a time, and the down time due to cancellations and broken appointments would kill me.
Just as a chessmaster can beat 40 players simultaneously, I can provide excellent dental treatment to many patients in an hour. This requires a dedicated staff and a caring environment, but the demand for my services wouldn`t exist if this wasn`t the case - the patients would just go elsewhere. Just as courses claim that you can become an excellent cosmetic dentist, you can also learn to be a great high-volume dentist. I don`t want to deal with the individual who is paying a great deal for me to improve his or her smile, though I appreciate that there are other dentists out there who will fill that need, and I refer accordingly. I`d rather be the "Wal-Mart dentist" in my area, and let those who choose to shop at Bloomingdales go there. It`s very enjoyable doing different procedures all day long, and I make a good living doing it.
Not every dentist has the drive or the desire to be a "boutique" dentist. I enjoy dentistry immensely, and I don`t feel any unusual stress in my professional life. I encourage those who practice in the type-A practice mold referred to by Dr. Steven to come out of the closet and feel proud of the type of practice that they`ve established.