In the past week some incredible developments have happened in Spain. Two very large chains of dental clinics were shut due to illegal mismanagement from the people in charge. If you want to know more about this you can read this article.
In the case of Vitaldent it was so bad that the entire administration is now in jail pending trial, for money laundering and other serious charges.
This is something that is quite serious but comes as no surprise after seeing the incredible expansion that Vitaldent had enjoyed in the past decade. Many of you know this brand of dental clinics that only last year closed its doors in Portugal, but for almost a decade enjoyed an incredible network of clinics all over the Iberian Peninsula and abroad, including New York City.
It really was quite simple! They opened very large practices, quite modern, using a very simple formula: aggressive marketing tactics, promoting complex treatment plans at affordable prices.
This, of course, was something that the dental market needed. Apparently great dentistry at affordable prices with good payment plans. However, the formula for dentistry is not a very complex one: good dentists + good materials + adequate treatment time, and that’s not what was happening here.
And now we can see that it was not the actual success of the formula behind the rise of Vitaldent, but actually fraud and corruption.
My heart goes out to the tens of thousands of patients that have been treated by this company, because I’m certain that in many cases their money was not used to actually treat their teethbut for other purposes. I’m also quite sure that the dentists themselves are in general not to blame for the circumstances that occurred. However, as an advocate for excellence in dentistry, I always say the the final word is that of the clinician.
I strongly suggest that patients that have had treatment done in these large chains and networks of clinics get a second opinion by a respected and reputed dentist as soon as possible to ensure that their treatment was done correctly.
Most dental treatments even if not done under the best circumstances can last a few years, however us dentists should always focus on treatments lasting a lt longer than that.
Remember to always make sure your dentist takes the correct amount of time to do your treatments, under strict guidelines and that there are no such things as magical formulas to get great dental work done.
The bigger the problem, the greater the cost.