There is a distinct benefit to being referred by a general dentist to an office dedicated to periodontal treatment instead of staying at that general dental office and being seen by a periodontist who practices there only one day a week. A referral-based specialty practice, such as Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington, offers more treatment options and more numerous successes.
To specialize in periodontics or any field of specialty requires a combination of specialized systems and features that make that business run well. For example, if you are a specialist in repairing Lamborghinis or Volkswagens, you are going to have specialized parts. You will be required to have special tools that work with parts designed specifically for those Volkswagens and Lamborghinis.
As a function of staying on the cutting edge and being in the loop of information as a specialist, you will constantly receive business updates from the Lamborghini or Volkswagen manufacturers. You will hear about design flaws that they have discovered over time concerning your product line, how to resolve those problems, and how replacement parts work.
As an example, the equipment in my specialty practice is different. We can afford to have specialized CAT scan equipment here on-site because we use it so frequently in the periodontal specialty practice. From a business standpoint, the equipment pays for itself. At a general dentist’s office where periodontics is not being practiced eight hours a day, four or five days a week, such a piece of equipment is not justifiable as a business expense.
It is not possible to be a master of everything. It takes much work to be masterful in a dental specialty, but it is feasible. In my periodontal practice, we have specialized equipment and supplies, and our staff is specially trained in the problems that periodontists address.
Dr. Karl A. Rose
Chevy Chase, MD