What If There Were Dentists at the Grocery Store?
A dentist at the grocery store might seem like an odd combination in the US, but it’s not really that unbelievable. In fact, in the UK, two supermarket chains are adding dentists to their stores. Whether this trend ultimately jumps the pond or not, it’s something we have to consider.
Expanding Commercial Models
Grocery stores have long followed the model of adding new services to their stores to increase business and bolster their bottom line against volatility in the grocery market. While the stores only used to sell food that was meant for cooking at home, they now regularly have delis. Even the presence of a pharmacist, which we take for granted, was once a new addition.
It’s along the same lines that these two supermarket chains in the UK are adding a dentist to their stores. One of the chains, Sainsbury’s, has five dentist offices in its stores and is fighting to add a sixth, while another one, Tesco, has two.
Currently, most objections have been about potential competition issues with other commercial centers, but there is also the potential quality of care to consider.
What Quality of Care Would Grocery Store Dentists Offer?
As with other services, the primary benefits to consumers are twofold: convenience and possibly cost. With convenient locations and potentially hours, it might make it easier for people to get routine care, such as regular hygiene visits.
And some may ask: would it really be that different from pharmacists, optometrists, and small medical clinics that are commonly found in grocery stores, such as the Little Clinic we have in many King Soopers around the Denver area?
But it might also encourage people to utilize dentists as a service of convenience only, to just go to a dentist when they have a problem, and not maintain a regular dental home where their regular dental records can be maintained. Dentistry benefits greatly from continuity of care, and if you’re not going to the same dentist regularly, it can have negative impacts on your oral health, not to mention the fact that dentists may not be as concerned about delivering long-lasting quality treatments to patients that are not really theirs.
Hopefully, in the interest of quality care and overall health, grocery store dentists will not become common here in the US.
If you are looking for a regular dental home where you can receive quality care and long-lasting restorative and cosmetic dentistry, please call 303-759-5652 for an appointment with a Denver cosmetic dentist at Park Meadows Dental Care.