Wednesday, October 04, 2017

How I Know My Dentist Is Good

At my first appointment he said "looks good."

A test patient who does not need treatment is sent to 180 dentists to receive treatment recommendations. In the experiment, we vary two factors: First, the information that the patient signals to the dentist. Second, we vary the perceived socioeconomic status (SES) of the test patient. Furthermore, we collected data to construct several measures of short- and long-term demand and competition as well as dentist and practice characteristics. We find that the patient receives an overtreatment recommendation in more than every fourth visit.

I had not been to the dentist in awhile in part because I am lazy but in part because all of my friends have tales of "upselling" which is fine from your appliance dealer but not from the guy with the drill. It's expensive and also... a drill.