Projections for the dental industry are looking up, with an estimated 2% growth in business coming within the next several years. Technology, treatments, and consumer habits are sure to evolve more as the future unfolds. So it’s important to know what’s coming next. If you’re looking to lead your dental practice into great success for the new year, it’s important to be aware of changes with your customers and changes in the market. Check out some trends that may help you to create positive growth for your business in the new year.
If you didn’t already know, your online presence is incredibly important. Digital marketing is a trend that won’t be dying out anytime soon. Over the past year, 63% of businesses have increased their budget for digital marketing to reach clients where they spend a significant amount of time – online.
This is a positive thing for your practice because you can reach a larger audience than just by word of mouth or printed advertisements. Digital marketing is also popular because it is cost-effective. By creating a website, you get to control the content that potential and current patients see. It’s also budget-friendly, since it costs as little as $10-20 per month to have your own domain (my-dental-practice.com).
Another positive aspect of digital marketing is social media. Social media is a free platform designed for interaction and sharing. The average American spends around two hours a day on social media, so creating a presence to be part of that world is beneficial for your practice. Social media also makes it easy for satisfied customers to leave comments, reviews, and testimonials. Wherein these can help to generate more business for your practice.
Coming out of a global pandemic, so many average, everyday parts of our lives like buying groceries or chatting with friends have been transformed so they can function in an online setting. Healthcare is one of the many parts that also had to make a transition. While dentistry is a service that does require a patient to be in-person most of the time, dentists are still finding more creative ways to work in an online world to provide great patient care.
Getting an appointment at a local dental practice can be challenging. And may even prevent some patients from getting the proper dental care. The option of telehealth offers the flexibility and ease of addressing some problems without the visit to the office, which increases the likelihood of gaining patients as well as retaining patients who appreciate the options your practice is able to provide.
Not only does it benefit the patient, but you and your dental staff reap the benefits, too. With fewer in-office appointments for simple services, you have more time to focus on the patients who need in-office services the most. Here are some of the things that can now be done via telehealth:
- consultation and treatment for tooth pain
- evaluating potential gum disease with a photo or video
- beginning the process of tooth repair
- assessing bite alignment
If you haven’t noticed the pattern already, technology is playing a big part in dental practices lately. Another technological advancement trending in the dental industry is 3D printing. In t he past, dental practices may have needed to use an outside contractor to complete the following jobs:
- other equipment molded to a patient’s mouth
Now, more practices can get the job done in-house. Meaning, less expense for the patient and less time to get a patient what they need. This technology may just be the cause for the rise in popularity of more aesthetically pleasing methods of straightening teeth, like clear teeth aligners. The market for these clear aligners has grown around 23% and online searches for clear aligners have increased by 53% in the past five years.
Another useful tool becoming more popular with patients is replacing the traditional dental drill. Performing a dental procedure with a laser allows dentists to provide routine care such as:
- removing cavities
- reshaping fillings
- speeding up the process of some cosmetic dentistry (like whitening procedures).
Without using a drill for some procedures, patients feel less pain during and after the process. And experience reduced healing time post-op.
A study has also shown that infection is less likely after a procedure, as the laser has an incredible reduction rate of bacteria in the mouth – even more effective than traditional hydrogen peroxide. Laser dentistry procedures are generally on the more expensive side of treatment options. However, patients are still choosing laser procedures over more traditional methods of dental care. This is due to the added benefits of quicker, less invasive procedures that offer fewer negative side effects.
It’s plain to see that technology has made great advancements in many areas of life, including dentistry. The most common trends of today and the ones likely to lead us into the future are centered around an online presence and the use of technology to enhance the procedures that patients need to maintain proper oral health. Digital marketing, 3D printing, and laser procedures are just a few highlights of an ever-changing practice.
As you adopt these and other technological advances to improve your dental practice, you may be able to raise your rates for certain procedures. Schedule a consultation with PPO Negotiations today to learn more about negotiating better fees from insurance companies and how we can help.