Dental hygienists sharply criticize corporate dental offices on Facebook

May 11, 2018
Dental hygienists respond to comments about corporate dental offices on the Facebook page for RDH magazine.  

Dental hygienists detailed their love-hate relationships with corporate dental offices while responding to a Facebook post on May 10.

The posts were prompted by a meme on the RDH Facebook page that simply asked, “What’s your opinion about corporate dentistry?”

One of the first responses was delivered by a very happy corporate dental hygienist who listed all of the reasons she would never return to a franchised-based practice (see below). She delivered a few zingers to the critics who are employed in private practices, concluding “You act like corporate dentistry is ruining the profession and creating prophy mills. But you ae doing that by arbitrarily defaulting to what the patient wants to do and spending 45 minutes wrist deep in blood and calculus and calling it a prophy.”

Overall, dental hygienists used words such as horrible, awful, scary, greed, or inserted thumbs-down emojis to express their sentiments about employment in the corporate setting. “The ruination of the field!” “Taking the heart out of our profession.” “It will be the downfall of the dental field.”

A few took a more conciliatory tone. One reader wrote, “Just like private practice, there are good ones and bad ones. The people in the office are what make the difference.” But a direct response to that comment states, “Unfortunately, it is not the people in the office. Corporates go by their own law, and everyone has to put up with it, like having a double schedule for hygienist or low quality of work.”

Another example of a middle-of-the-road approach was: “I can't believe how judgmental everyone is. I have been in corporate dentistry for almost 10 years and work my a-- off every day to give everyone that comes through our door the highest quality of care.” A response to that comment was, “It's not judgment. It's the harsh reality of unethical dentistry. Not your fault. You deserve better as a dental hygienist.”

Several respondents attempted to explain their concerns about employment in the corporate based on secondhand, word-of-mouth testimony. One hygienist reflected, “Never worked corporate, but I know several hygienists who have, and they are overworked/abused and pressured to sell. Not to mention (they) work nights and weekends. I am blessed to have always been in private practice with a three-day weekend always.”

Veterans of the corporate setting could be just as eloquent as the hygienist above who praised the work experience.

Another hygienist added, “I personally hated it. I worked for corporate Medicaid pediatric office, and they wanted you to see 6 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon. We took and ran our own X-rays and broke down our own chairs, so there just wasn’t enough quality of care. I didn’t feel good about myself at the end of the day, and I was soooo overworked.”