Running (or working in) a dental practice, it’s crucial to stay up to date on the changes (and challenges) in the dental industry is vital.
Some trends are tech-related, like staying relevant and increasing the practice’s digital presence. However, other trends focus on enhancing treatments and procedures.
The challenges facing the dental industry aren’t new (unfortunately). Running an optimal office that produces profits regularly and managing the highly-competitive waters of the dental industry are common issues.
Other challenges, like finding time to stay current with the ever-changing trends, will also be addressed. Read on to find out what’s going on in the dental industry, and how you can benefit from that information.
Challenge: Patients and Profit
Patient retention is a standard administrative issue for many dental practices. Likewise, finding patients that can afford the dental care they need is an entirely different hurdle. The best way to do this is by taking a look at your current patients with the highest repeat visits (or sales volume).
After understanding the characteristics of these patients, you can implement a strategy to attract new dental patients.
For example, find what your patients need and deliver high-quality services and treatments that appeal directly to that patient’s dental needs.
Trend: Providing Convenience
The healthcare industry has begun to treat patients more like consumers. One of the biggest trends sweeping the dental industry is convenience. Patients want services nearly on-demand. Patients expect to visit the office, or speak to a dental professional on their time and when they need to.
A lot of patients want direct communication with the dentist to discuss their dental health concerns. Hiring on additional hygienists and office staff will enable your practice to offer your patients appointment times that work best for them.
Pro tip: Administration staff should have access to an online or mobile payment solutions they can offer patients to pay for treatments quickly.
Challenge: Trends and Staying Relevant
Even if you’re a dental hygienist, it’s essential to stay up to date with what’s currently trending in your profession. Dental practice owners are all striving to stay ahead of the competition, and carving out the time to understand what’s relevant isn’t always ideal.
Taking days to experience dental exhibitions, trade shows, and conferences will play up your dental game. Moreover, these events commonly showcase the changes and innovations the dental industry can expect.
Crack open a book or take a browse on social channels like Facebook.
Writing and engaging online content is a great way to maintain your presence, so your patients don’t forget about the dental practice.
Finally, Hashtags on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, or creating Google alerts specific to what’s trending are great (and free) resources.
Trend: 3D Printing
3D printing is a significant game-changer in many business sectors, including the dental industry. Dentists are taking advantage of 3D printing, with the trend expected to grow in 2020.
Crowns, dentures, and other dental procedures are being fast-tracked and completed in record time thanks to 3D printing. Instead of a patient waiting weeks for dentures, they are waiting for days. 3D printing has decreased the wait time from creating the dental product to the patient reaping the benefits.
Summing it Up
Any challenge can’t be resolved, and there’s no trend that cannot be implemented. Therefore, take time to ensure your practice doesn’t get lost in the sea of dental offices by hiring administrative staff that can manage your online presence.
3D printing and patient convenience are two trends that will continue to grow this year. Think about bringing on additional dental hygienists and expanding your hours to be more flexible for patients.
Finding (and retaining) patients visit your practice regularly takes a little bit of planning and a small marketing strategy, but it is doable. This way you will see an increase in profits. When the office does well, employees like clerical staff and hygienists reap the benefits as well.