Keeping up with the dentistry revolution
Today’s dental industry certainly doesn’t reflect the dental industry of tomorrow. Times are changing. NHS contracts continue to shrink, new dentist entering the industry plan to become private within the next five years and the sector is flooded with new technology that’s revolutionising patient care alongside their experience. It’s an exciting, yet daunting time for dentists – how do you keep up and remain profitable and successful?
New blood. New competition
According to the British Dental Association, 58 per cent of young, newly qualified dentists plan to leave the NHS within the next five years to go private, move overseas, or even quit the profession completely.
What’s more, it’s now standard for dental students to be proficient in the latest digital dentistry equipment.
Once they’ve practiced for a few years those who stay will move on and up, eventually going on to own their own practice and that means one thing – more competition in the private market.
Currently we’re seeing a shift from NHS dentistry to private, either gradually, one treatment at a time, or completely. The rationale for these dentists is clear, more profits, more patients, and less NHS contract red tape. The challenge lies in making that transition.
Patient experience is key
Private patients are savvy, the balance of power has shifted when a practice is private. That means their experience has to shift if you want to keep those patients coming back.
And it starts the moment the patient walks through the door.
We’ve all heard the jokes about dentist waiting rooms – depressing woodchip wallpaper, miss-matched furniture and magazines that predate the millennium. Patients terrified at the noise of the drill echoing through the practice and clinical smells.
Patients’ perceptions of dentists could indeed be the reason two million Brits admit to not going to the dentist in the previous decade and why more than half say they would ‘put up’ with toothache because they’re scared. And that’s a big problem.
Dentists looking to acquire more patients, private or NHS, need to look at their practice through their patients eyes and consider carefully what experience they will deliver to keep patients coming back.
Speculate to culminate
For patients looking to spend their hard-earned cash on cosmetic dentistry or facial aesthetics they are going to be attracted to a practice that has the latest kit, a pleasant environment and breaks down the barriers of a dreaded trip to the dentists’ chair. And that means investment.
Intraoral cameras are an essential piece of equipment for any dentists, but they also prove invaluable when it comes to involving patients in their own dental care and treatment.
Many of the dentists we work with use this technology to show patients what’s happening in their mouth to educate and engage them in the treatment. And it an approach that’s really paying off.
Open (your practice) wide
Typically, patients get to see two areas in a dental practice – the waiting room and a surgery. But what about showing them everything – the decontamination room, the lab (if you have one) - to reveal the attention to detail, skill and investment that goes into their dental care?
Many of the dentists we work with who want to attract new patients have success through open days designed to of course, show off the results or a new refit or investment, but also educate patients on the treatment options, as well as the expertise in a practice.
To equip your practice for dentistry of the future speak to DD
DD has a dedicated equipment department which supplies, installs and maintains everything from dental chairs and cabinetry through to the latest digital imaging systems and specialist product catalogues featuring orthodontic, oral hygiene and facial aesthetic product ranges.
It was founded almost 50 years ago and now employs over 600 people across the UK, including a state-of-the-art automated warehouse at the head office in Witham, Essex, which houses more than 27,000 product lines.