Call me Old-Fashioned!
TIME- I don’t have enough of it. I need more of it, to take care of the little things in life, like my oral health. I just finished several rounds of market research (focus groups) with GP dentists and dental specialists.
Like many of you, I am a “one-stop-shop” type of guy. I love Costco® and mega-malls, saves time and makes my life easier. I used to feel the same way about dentistry. My GP dentist is awesome. He is a great guy who is very skilled at cosmetics, and I proudly show off his work on a daily basis every time I smile.
I am probably due for a root canal (asymptomatic at the present time, thankfully), but I remember his last words to me: “Mike, it’s a back molar, I could do it here, or refer you to an endodontist.”
Maybe I’m overanalyzing the situation. My gut says to go with the endodontist. My heart says I trust my GP. My smartphone calendar says that I don’t have time for either option this month.
So where is all this leading? I wish the referral process was much easier. I don’t want to be the one to decide who takes care of the procedure that I need; I don’t want choices. On the one hand, I wish my GP dentist would have said, “Mike, let’s schedule the root canal here, it will be a breeze and I have done 10,000 of them just like it,” or “Mike, Dr. XYZ is the endo that I refer to and she will take care of the procedure.”
From my very recent research, I have found that a large percentage of GP dentists truly feel that they can do it all in their office: endo, perio, implants, etc. On the other side of the coin, the specialists truly expressed their passion for the specialties in which they work.
My hypothesis is that GP dentists are fearful, in these economic times, to refer out of the practice and potentially lose the patient. I mean, a course of perio therapy with a periodontist isn’t a one-visit fix!
I am certainly not going to let my GP physician do a rhinoplasty; and, if I inquired, he would give me a referral with ease.
Is it me or is there a breakdown in the dental referral arena?