Private practice vs. employed dentistry — Dr. Anita Myers explains what dentists need to know

Dentists

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Dentistry is constantly evolving. In recent years, the emergence of dental service organizations has caused disruption.

However, dentists in private practices and dental groups have experienced various changes, from technological development to access to care. Anita Myers, DDS, is among those who have felt the changes of dentistry over the past three decades.

Dr. Myers practices in Boerne, Texas. She earned her doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston.

Here, Dr. Myers discusses the evolution of dentistry as well as what has remained consistent.

Question: What are a few of the biggest changes dentists have gone through?

Dr. Anita Myers: The materials we have to work with have changed tremendously in my 35 years of practice. The result is more natural-looking longer-lasting restorations, but it requires staying current with the ever-changing technology. Another big change is third-party payment involvement, with insurance benefits steadily shrinking in relation to inflation.

Q: What is one thing that has remained constant as dentistry has evolved that will always stay the same?

AM: Dentistry exists because patients want to avoid pain and to be able to speak, smile and chew. One day, robot-dentists may be implanting new teeth generated from stem cells, but only because the patient wants to be dentally healthy .

Q: Before joining private practice or employed dentistry, what should dentists be aware of?

AM: Whether a dentist is considering private practice or employed dentistry, the 'what' is crowns, fillings, orthodontics, etc., but dentists need to be aware of the 'why' before making their decision. Work environments differ drastically in the way they operate, with some focused entirely on production goals and insurance interpretation of care to patient-focused restorative treatments without regard to insurance limitations. You could say that some work environments allow dentists to treat teeth and others allow us to treat individuals.

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