Patients Do Not Deserve Cheap Treatment | Manager Magazine | June 2012

ADVERTORIAL by Rumyana Docheva Photo by Yulian Donov

In dentistry the low prices mean lack of training and poor-quality materials,

says Petar Duchev Dr. Petar Duchev owns a Clinic for Implantology and Biomimetic Restorative Dentistry, member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dr. Duchev what has changed in dentistry – has the crisis affected this segment of health care?

The complex economic situation has certainly had its impact on the sector, but not in one direction only. I dare say that with the onset of the crisis our industry reacted a little instinctively. In order to retain their patients, many colleagues reduced their prices, stopped attending postgraduate programs and investing in new technologies, in anticipation of better times. In my opinion this decreased the quality of the dental treatment and increased the dissatisfaction of both the dentists and their patients. I want to make myself very clear – the lower prices require use of low-quality materials and technologies that worsen the oral health of the patients rather than improve it. Our team in the Clinic decided to do just the opposite. We invested in new equipment, innovative technologies and improvement of the qualifications of the dentists and the dental assistants. In this way we added more value to our dental treatment proposal.

If I understand correctly, you have raised the quality of work in proportion to the prices?

Exactly. Although most of those who are close to us thought that the increased prices would lead to а loss of patients, the result was just the opposite. In terms of materials and equipment, we chose to work with famous and trusted international brands which are well-established on the market thanks to their quality and durability. This increased the confidence in our work and further confirmed the thesis of the global crisis analysts – at times of stagnation quality becomes a leading motive in the process of choosing services and products, especially when it comes to health.

Implantology, for example, which generates 60% of our workload, involves serious investment in equipment and training, so it is one of the most expensive and labor-intensive treatments. The implant is not merely a screw that replaces missing tooth/teeth – it is a combination of elements and the result depends mostly on proper planning, preparation, positioning and the hygiene of the patient, as well as on the post-operative care. This is why I cannot understand the offers some colleagues make in the group buying sites for treatment with dental implants at prices which are many times below their real value. What they actually offer, is a calculation with the cheapest materials and consumables possible, without any mark-up or expenses for high-quality labor and guarantees, solely with the idea of cheap advertising.

Shopping for services via such sites probably provides more patients for practices that have just started operating. Don’t you think that this is a good approach and the discounts are justified?

I disagree. One cannot experiment with poor-quality implantology brands and technologies on people with the sole purpose of recruiting patients. Furthermore, these are complex surgical manipulations that are related to loss of integrity of one of the main barriers in the human organism – the oral mucosa , so if no reliable asepsis and sterilization of the instruments and materials are in place, complications and infection with hepatitis, AIDS or other blood-borne diseases is possible. The low price does not include high sterility, aesthetics or qualification, because the goal is to cover only the basic expenses by saving from hygiene and qualifications. The failure of such an implantology treatment affects the image of all practices, hence the mistrust and fear towards such a unique treatment.

Is there really such a big difference between the established implant brands and the cheaper ones?

The work with reliable partners is both a pleasure and a privilege. An example is the world leader in the dental implants’ manufacturing – Nobel-Biocare, with whom we work . This company has been offering innovative solutions in the implantology field for more than 40 years, it has been a trend-setter in the new materials and methods, and most importantly, Nobel-Biocare conducts large-scale clinical trials of its work. This is why the company had sufficient reasons to extend the warranty of their products. It currently offers a lifetime warranty of all implants and standard orthopedic elements. This is the highest level of quality possible. Our mission as professionals is to maintain this particular standard without any compromise.

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