The world is a fast changing place. Change is often disguised as progress but I wonder sometimes if we are beginning to be brainwashed into thinking that we have more choice, when in fact often, quite the opposite is true.

We live in a 24-hour society, it’s possible to buy groceries at midnight, shop for clothes in the early hours of the morning and pay bills at our convenience.

Demand is the word of the moment; movies are watched ‘on demand’; the consumer ‘demands’ delivery of products within 12 hours.

As a busy working mum, I get this. It is hugely convenient to buy a birthday present for someone from the comfort of my own home but I worry that we are becoming such a demanding society, that we are being manipulated by huge corporates who are able to meet these short term demands without caring too much about the long term.

Over the course of my career, dentistry has changed enormously and one of the biggest changes has been the introduction of corporate companies set up to offer chain store dentistry.

On the surface, this has led to a rethink of the way that we, as dentists offer our services.

Gone are the days of readily available NHS dentistry. Budgets have been slashed and governments have squeezed the dentistry profession to provide dental care of a gold service on a plastic budget.

The best way of being able to meet these unrealistic targets has been for large companies to sweep in and buy huge numbers of dental practices, fill them with cheaper staff and churn out dentistry cashing in on economies of scale.

From the outside, it’s been great for patients. Dental practices that are open almost 24-7 and availability to dentistry for people who may otherwise not have been in a situation to receive it.

There have been some undeniable benefits, not least to the huge corporates now pasting equally huge profits.

However, in many cases, the patients come second, after the bottom line on the balance sheet.

High streets are becoming increasingly generic places, there can’t be that many people left in the UK who live more than 10 miles from a Tesco.

In the quest for instant gratification, are we losing sight of the enjoyment for a personal service where we are treated like people and not just a number or a delivery address?

When I buy a book on Amazon, I know I will get what it says on the tin. Compare this to the experience of going into a small independent bookshop where the bookseller cares about the books they stock.

They will offer opinions, guide me towards books I may not have considered, and in some small way get to know me as a person. Yes, there are times when a faceless click is quicker and more convenient, but if this lead to the demise of the independent, should I consider my decision more carefully?

How long will it be before Amazon are dictating the books that they make available, based on profit, and manipulating the choices that I think I’m making?

Smaller retailers and even dental practices often can’t compete with the giants, there simply isn’t the same financial buffer. I really hope that in 40 years time, we are not living in a world that despite having 24 hour access to, we have no choice about. I’m not quite ready for Teeth-by-Tesco.