Some things in dentistry will never change, like the importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day. But to remain competitive, dental practices must consider the latest industry trends. Are there changes you need to make? Answer these seven questions to see how well you’re keeping up.
- Is our patient experience up to snuff? Patients want personalized care with short wait times, a modern and welcoming waiting area, and friendly employees. They also want dentists who genuinely connect with them and listen to their concerns. Nervous patients, in particular, need gentle care.
- Is our online presence current and optimized? Consumers search the web for everything from dentistry deals to office reviews. They research local dental practices, looking for expertise, technology, and dentists’ biographies. Make sure you post accurate, up-to-date information, positive reviews, and mobile-friendly content.
- Should we offer multiple payment options? Yes. Many patients don’t have dental benefits or need treatment not covered by insurance. Consider offering flexible payment plans, loyalty and referral programs, CareCredit, and discounts for cash payments. Make sure payment options are easy to find on your website and in social media.
- Should I join a group practice? Maybe. Between the high cost of student debt and the rising cost of going solo, new dentists are looking for alternate ways to practice. A group or corporate practice provides an existing client base and resources to invest in marketing, new technologies, and training.
- How efficient is our office? Management software programs have improved the way dental clinics do business. Patient billing and scheduling, customer communication, supply reordering, marketing data - automated programs can manage them all. Plus, you can load patient charts to the cloud, making them easily accessible and creating a paper-free environment.
- Is our equipment and technology up to date? Today more dental practices than ever use digital technology to take impressions. It’s a more comfortable experience, so patients are happy, and turnaround times are faster. Other new and improved technologies to investigate include 3-D printing for accuracy and efficiency and using cone-beam imaging technology to plan for dental implants. Make sure you advertise your office’s new technologies.
- Should we hire a female dentist? Probably. Dentistry is no longer a male-dominated profession. Fifty percent of today’s dental students are women. According to one study, patients feel more relaxed in the care of a female dentist. Having a female dentist on staff may help attract anxious patients who avoid regular checkups.
Here’s one last question: What else can you do to remain current and competitive? Consider talking to us about new marketing strategies to promote your on-trend practices.