How the entire industry benefits when general dentists and specialists work more closely

As the dental industry continues to evolve and expand, so does the need for more close-knit relationships between dentists and dental specialists.

Mar 22nd, 2016

Rick Workman, DMD

As the dental industry continues to evolve and expand, so does the need for more close-knit relationships between dentists and dental specialists.

The ever-changing and advancing nature of today's dental technology makes it possible for patients to receive highly specialized care. Of course, this type of care would not be achievable without the knowledge and expertise of the dental specialists who perform these advanced procedures on a daily basis. For this reason, it is necessary that those in the industry continue to help foster strong relationships between general dentists and specialists.

Dental specialists are an important and essential part of a plan for lifetime dental care. While general dentists can provide routine care and several advanced types of treatments, there may come a time when a patient needs care that is beyond a general dentist's realm of expertise. Specialists, whether they be orthodontists, dental surgeons, or endodontists, bring a whole host of vital skills to the table-skills that have been honed and mastered through many years of training and education. By teaming up with general dentists, specialists can help ensure that a patient receives the precise type of treatment that is necessary for a healthy mouth.

In addition to the advanced treatment options that dental specialists can provide, partnerships between general dentists and specialists can make for a stronger overall business model for all types of dentists. As general dentists act as the first point of contact for patients, they can easily refer patients to specialists they work with closely. By referring patients to nearby specialists or even bringing specialists directly to patients in their own offices, general dentists are able to enhance their patients' care while also maximizing productivity for both the specialists and themselves.

In 2015, Heartland Dental recognized the growing importance of the general dentist-dental specialist relationship, and has since created new opportunities for dental specialists to find the administrative support they need. Just as general dentists face the everyday burdens of having to maintain an office while trying to provide their patients with quality care, dental specialists also have the same difficulties. Therefore, nonclinical administrative support is just as important and can be just as beneficial to them. What's more, by providing these support options for dental specialists, doors are opened for Heartland Dental-supported dentists to build new relationships with supported specialists within their network. Thus, a win-win solution is created for both teams.

The establishment of this new dental specialist support system will bring new opportunities for success in the dental industry as a whole. By connecting established general dentists with experienced dental specialists, all while relieving both parties of administrative burdens, supported dental teams can finally maximize their talents in a way that helps them achieve their ultimate goal: to provide quality lifetime dental care to the patients they serve.


Rick Workman, DMD, is the founder of Heartland Dental. After practicing full-time, Dr. Workman created Heartland Dental, a world-class dental support organization, offering nonclinical, administrative services to supported dentists. Heartland Dental has over 700 supported dental offices in 32 states. Dr. Workman may be reached at rworkman@heartland.com.

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