As the dental industry evolves, so has the relationship between general dentists and specialists. They have formed close-knit bonds to ensure their patients receive optimal care. At Heartland Dental, we encourage and foster relationships between our supported general dentists and specialists. When the two work together, we believe our philosophy of lifetime care comes full-circle. It’s all about teamwork.
"It's important to me that I have a good relationship with the doctor whose practice I'm going into. This isn't just my patient or their patient. This is our patient, and together we have to create the best treatment plan for him or her."
Priti Rana, DMD
Practicing dentist at Dixon Park Dental Care in Kokomo, IN
All dentists have a primary responsibility to take care of their patients. Since general dentists are usually the first point of contact, they are considered the gatekeepers of oral care. After the initial encounter, general dentists will evaluate the oral and dental health of the patient and determine the type of treatment that is needed. This is where a specialist can be a valuable resource. Heartland Dental supported general dentists have seen success partnering with supported specialists as well as hosting them in their office.
Bringing a specialist into the office can help general dentists enhance the patient experience while maximizing productivity. Dr. Priti Rana is an orthodontist who travels throughout the state of Indiana providing orthodontic services to patients at a variety of general dental offices. The arrangement has allowed Dr. Rana to grow her patient base and allows the offices she travels to the opportunity to expand their services. This team approach gives the patient a complete, convenient and consistent experience.
“It’s important to me that I have a good relationship with the doctor whose practice I’m going into,” said Dr. Rana. “A team approach allows the patient to have a more cohesive end-result. This isn’t just my patient or their patient. This is our patient, and together we have to create the best treatment plan for him or her.”
Dr. Monica Munante-Paz is a general dentist at Markland Family Dental in Kokomo, IN. Dr. Rana travels to her office every other week. When asked why she first sought this opportunity, Dr. Munante-Paz had a simple answer: It just makes sense.
“Having a specialist in my office allows me to provide a dental home for all needs, not just some. Patients’ love that they can stay in one place, and they’re often surprised and extremely appreciate, because they don’t expect that. I am able to reassure them that this is someone I trust and they can trust too,” she said.
The alliance between general dentist and specialists allows more cases to be diagnosed and treatment to be completed more quickly. Giving patients the ability to have all of their dental needs met in one location eliminates the patients’ obligation to travel elsewhere. There are even small benefits like less paperwork and more efficient scheduling. These accommodations often makes the patient more inclined to accept treatment. Diversification and interdisciplinary communication are critical components to helping patients be informed and confident about welcoming the proper oral care.
“When a general dentist and specialist work together, the result is increasingly more effective than it would be if they were doing the work separately,” said Dr. Rana.
This synergetic concept allows general dentists and specialists to provide greater convenience, proficient, comprehensive care, increased satisfaction and an overall better patient experience – and that is the greatest benefit of them all.