What can we expect to see trending in the field of dentistry? Trends are inevitable when a business and customer relationship concept is involved since it’s becoming more focused on the customer. In this case, the focus is on the patients, their experiences and what they want and expect. So, how does all that affect the field of dentistry? The field of dentistry is influenced by the growth in economic and technology trends since they make up part of the experience patients have as well dental staff.
A recent technology breakthrough in the field of dentistry came when a robot dentist succeeded in an autonomous implant surgery in China. Medical staff was present during the procedure but in no way played a role in the operation. Does this mean we don’t need dentist anymore? No. In the case of China, technology has been designed to accommodate the needs of patients’ dental care and the shortage of dentists who are qualified. This successful procedure by technology broadens the field of what technology can do for dentists besides assisting them in reaching small areas of the mouth and 3D printing of an implant. It could even address the shortage of dental care in such countries like China where the demand for qualified dentists doesn’t meet the needs of people’s dental health care. In addition to the robotic type of technologies, the dentistry field needs to keep up the digitization that sweeping over medical fields including their own.
Technology is a trend we can’t avoid even more so when it comes to the dental trend of digitization of health records. This form of trend keeps your practice competitive as there will be a continuation of digital workflow impacting the industry. Some of the conventional technologies that can be found in some dental practices are CAD/CAM dentistry, 3D Cone Beam Imaging, and electronic statements and insurance claims. Another trend impacting the field is the economic side of it.
You heard right, the field of dentistry is changing and affect dental practices from the economic aspect. What does that even mean? It means that dental offices need to be aware of the financial direction of the trend for their field markets and where it operates in to make effective plans for their practices to succeed. This covers how dental offices emerge and appeal to patients. A significant change that has occurred in recent years and will continue to grow is the opening of group practices over solo practices. The growing costs and influence of PPO insurance and third parties are some of the reasons for this trend picking up. Then there are the new ways dental practices are emerging as a niche.
The need for niche dentistry is becoming more of a dental marketing platform as more dental offices open. It’s a way of competing against other dental practices and keeping yourself apart. Having a dental office that offers a specialty is the best way to make a distinction from the rest since it allows you to show potential patients you’re the best option. Some of the specialties can include pediatric dentistry or senior dentistry both of which cater to two different demographics. The trends of appealing to patients is another that is changing especially now with more value being placed on the customer experience or the price.
Competing against price and in the field of dentistry is challenging which is why dental offices are now offering what is known as custom service, a major deciding factor for patients and prospective patients. In the dental field customization and value are key points over the price or in addition to the cost of the treatment option since patients are more likely to invest in value. Part of the value is having payment alternatives for underinsured or uninsured patients. Having easy and affordable payment options keep patients happy and coming back to dental practices for their dental care. Offering rewards to patients for their loyalty gives dental offices a boost in providing custom services so, making sure that patients are aware of their option helps create trust between them.
There is constant change and innovating ideas that can have an impact in the dental industry and how dental practices are coping and adapting to trends within their field. Becoming aware of trends in the area of dentistry help dental offices plan efficiently and accordingly for success, or to further improve their practices. What trends are you seeing in your dentist’s practice?