In order to keep up with the rest of the healthcare industry, dentistry has made some positive changes. These changes have made dentistry better in many ways from patient retention and patient generation to the technology used. The need to improve services as well as to keep up with competition has accelerated this transition in a big way.
Increasing Technology Used in Dentistry
Digitization of the dentistry industry has highly increased over the years. The transition has seen simple tools being replaced with new, well-developed and accurate equipment; digital X-rays and electronic health records have been employed. Furthermore, there have been attempts to incorporate CAD/CAM, Guided surgery, Electronic statements, 3D cone Beam imaging and insurance claims into dentistry. Andrew Koenigsberg DDS have stated that some other technologies will continue to improve the dentistry industry. Such include chairside milling, CEREC crowns and digital workflows. The benefits of these new technologies are uncountable. They minimize failures by reducing material failure and provide better diagnostic metrics that help to stabilize the dental healthcare services. There is a great need for dentists to use these new technologies to attract patients.
Improvement in Gender Parity
The industry that used to be very much male dominated has now become more female dominated. Although this does not directly affect how the practice is carried out, it contributes to the way in which group practices work in comparison to solo practices. Half the total number of those in dental schools are women, and those that were currently working in the field had risen by about 20%. As female dentists work for lesser hours compared to male dentists, there have been speculations by a group of experts that this shift will lead to more group practices.
Rise of Group Practices
With the number of dentists operating solo slowly shrinking (it was previously 8.6%), group practices have been embraced by many professionals. This was according to reports by Dr. Marc B. Cooper, a dentist and practice management consultant. This change was due to the rising cost and accelerating influence of PPOs, third parties as well as the student loan debt, which was about $221,000 for graduating dentists. The latter was proven by the Dental Greek that showed that about 41% of graduating dentists chose their type of practice as a result of the loan debt influence. According to the words of Dr. Mark B. Cooper, dentists should embrace and accept the trend.
Presence of Uninsured or Underinsured Patients
Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, affects the dental industry in that most insurance plans it sponsors do not include dental insurance. However, insurance plans given to children must include dental coverage. From this, demands for pediatric dental facilities have risen. With the Trump presidency, things might change as he is already signing executive orders to revers various aspects of the Obamacare.
Calgary Cosmetic Dentist Services
A group of Calgary dentists combined efforts to start cosmetic dentistry, which would work to provide a variety of oral care services. Most of the services offered were aimed at improving the appearance of teeth such as the application of porcelain veneers or teeth whitening.
In conclusion, the dental industry has seen major revolutions previously and is set for even more transformation in 2017. All these are aimed at providing better and accurate practices.
By: Kevin Faber