The Benefits of Dentistry Unhurried

And Medicine, too?

[By Kellus Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruittThe hidden truth about managed care dentistry: Unhurried dentistry is generally of higher quality than hurried dentistry; anyone up to challenging this economic law?

Dental Handiwork

Dental care includes intricate handwork performed to exacting tolerances in sensitive mouths of nervous patients. When dentists compete on discounts (fast dentistry) instead of quality (slow dentistry), fear of bankruptcy fuels the race to the bottom with clueless, vulnerable patients.

 “‘Slow medicine’ strikes a chord – Nearly 500 people — doctors, nurses and ordinary people with an interest in health care — attended a forum Thursday to hear Dr. Victoria Sweet, a physician and author, talk about how ‘slow medicine’ could improve the quality of life of patients. Sweet is Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco.”

Melinda Morales for the Visalia Times-Delta

[Visalia, California – October 16, 2014]

Morales writes: “When Sweet told the audience she had once wondered to herself, ‘If I could do one thing to improve the quality of health care, what would it be?’ and then followed it up with her solution, ‘I would put time back into the hands of physicians,’ the audience burst into applause.”


Insightful or clueless dentist?


Enjoy the Teeth

Dentistry is far more enjoyable for all concerned when it is not rushed in order to squeeze out a profit from unsustainable pay offered by unaccountable, conniving discount dentistry brokers … like CIGNA.

“Cigna to launch rating system that ADA calls scientifically flawed – Cigna will launch in 2015 what it calls a cost-effectiveness designation program that rates in-network dentists based on cost and utilization patterns. These ratings will appear as stars within Cigna’s provider directory. According to Cigna, dentists who receive a three-star rating have a fee schedule that results in greater potential cost savings within their geographical area.”

Kelly Soderlund

[ADA News, October 13, 2014]

Good reporting, ADA News

This isn’t the first time CIGNA has been busted for selling intentionally misinformed, captive patients discount healthcare with no quality control – depriving Americans of the opportunity to choose providers which most patients prefer. Seven years ago, CIGNA and other insurers were reprimanded for employing Ingenix, UnitedHealth Group’s wholly-owned ranking algorithm designed to drive clients from out-of-network providers to cheaper in-network providers:

“Attorney General Cuomo Announces Agreement With Cigna Creating A New National Model For Doctor Ranking Programs – NEW YORK, NY (October 29, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an agreement with one of the nation’s largest health insurers, CIGNA HealthCare (NYSE: CI), as part of his industry-wide investigation into doctor ranking programs. Under the agreement, CIGNA will enhance its doctor ranking program, fully disclosing to consumers and physicians all aspects of its ranking system. Additionally, CIGNA will retain an oversight monitor known as a Ratings Examiner (‘Rx’) who will oversee compliance with all aspects of the agreement and will report to the Attorney General every six months.”

Eric T. Schneiderman

[Office of Current NY State Attorney General]

See also, “UnitedHealth Group Shenanigans – Ingenix’s Lack of Independence”

Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

[Medical Executive-Post, January 16, 2009]

As you can see, history reveals that Cuomo fruitlessly reminded CIGNA that price is only one variable in “cost-effectiveness.” As dentists and their patients know, correcting careless mistakes is always more costly than doing the job right the first time with the best materials for reasonable pay.


slow down


CIGNA Speaks

Cigna spokeswoman Karen Eldred tells ADA News,

“Cigna remains committed to introducing enhancements to the’s dental network directory that provide customers with cost [but not quality] transparency and insights when using their dental benefits.”

If anyone in the ADA is allowed to consider non-member dentists’ advice, I would recommend publicly confronting CIGNA with an easy to document comparison of the popularity of CIGNA’s one, two and three star, cost-effective dentists with competitors using – arguably the most transparent dentist-rating site in the nation.

Anyone who is interested in performing the simple, consumer-friendly study is almost certain to discover a direct correlation between the amount of time dentists can afford to invest in their work and their preference by patients in the community.



Have you ever experienced a cost-effective injection of local anesthetic?

Hurried Care?


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6 Responses

  1. FAST medicine

    Women might like a SLOW hand, but I like it FAST; medicine that is.



  2. Beware

    Discount dental plans where patients have no freedom of choice in dentists is dentistry by the lowest bidders with no quality control. Since consumers know so little about dentistry they are easy to rip off.

    Darrell Pruitt


  3. Dentistry is better served unhurried
    [On the other hand, Doctors’ time is a resource Delta Dental cannot promise]

    “Slow down and humanize your dentistry”
    By Primitivo Roig DDS, December 28, 2016.

    Slow down and humanize your dentistry

    In a world where technology and groundbreaking techniques get more than their fair share of attention from the public and dental professionals, Dr. Primitivo Roig wants to focus on the human side of dentistry. Technology has its place, but he wants you to slow down and talk with your patients.


    Carrying out procedures in a hurried manner can transform dentists into mere “executors.” Slow dentistry reminds us that, above all, we are “thinkers” who make thoughtful decisions first and then base our actions on these decisions. Investing time in a thorough thinking process before we act brings greater benefits and profits on all levels.

    Roig continues: Time is a resource that enables professionals to ensure that we are precise in our interpretations and diagnosis. The slow method prioritizes correct time management, especially during the critical first phases of the relationship with a patient, because not knowing how to use time well could mean serious clinical problems and consequences, such as the following:

    – Greater number of incorrect diagnoses

    – Loss of patient trust

    – Inadequate or mistaken treatment plans

    – Decreased practice performance

    – Loss of reputation and prestige

    We need to hearken back to the times when communication with patients and with our own staff was at a maximum. When we remind ourselves how precise communication made us successful, we will be encouraged to unite the best part of our training with the possibilities that today’s dentistry affords us.


    “Dentistry unhurried” has been the credo of my practice for decades. It is indeed encouraging to see it come back into style, but it is bad news for discount dentistry brokers. For example:

    – Delta Dental promises clients 30% discounts – regardless how quickly their contracted dentists perform intricate dental work in tender mouths.

    – Delta Dental is dentistry by the lowest bidders without quality control, – performed on uninformed captive clients.

    – Delta Dental is immoral. It has always been immoral. And it shows.

    Delta Dental: Consumer Affairs – 1 star out of five

    Delta Dental: Pissed Consumer – 1.2 stars out of five

    Delta Dental: Better Business Bureau – 2.5 stars out of five

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS


  4. “MCNA Dental data breach impacts 8.9 million people after ransomware attack”

    Have you gone digital yet, Doc?
    Darrell Pruitt DDS


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