“Investors and corporations have figured out that dentistry and orthodontics are pretty profitable,” Dr. Doug Depew, DMD, a practicing orthodontist and trainer, told Healthline.
Dr. Depew said there may be more of this in the future, and patients will have to do their due diligence and check out the dental service providers offered in pharmacies.
“I’m biased because I’m in private practice, but I’ve seen it over and over again,” he said. “Companies come in and try to cut corners, and patient care suffers.”
Alex Zlatin is the chief executive officer of Maxim Software Systems, a company that advises struggling dentists on how to manage their practices.
He told Healthline that going forward, the increased competition from retail pharmacies may be good news for patients, but not necessarily for private practice dentists.
He says it could take an even bigger bite out of their already shrinking profit margins.
“The expansion of dentistry into pharmacies is a threat to those in private practice,” Zlatin said.
“The way for private clinics to deal with this is to focus on how they’re different,” he added. “They have to build on their strength as a smaller clinic in the community, build relationships with their patients, and create loyalty.”