As the world evolves, so does the field of dentistry. Innovative technologies, patient preferences, and business strategies are reshaping the landscape at an unprecedented pace.
In this era of transformation, it's not just about keeping up — it's about leveraging these trends to your advantage so your dental practice can thrive.
DCS is your resource for ensuring profitability at your dental practice or group. As an end-to-end revenue cycle management provider, it’s our duty to stay abreast of where the industry is heading. We want your business to be ready to move into the future, too.
In this article, we delve into 5 pivotal dental industry trends that are poised to revolutionize patient care, streamline business operations, and shape the course of the dental industry's future.
As a bonus, we’re giving you free access to our guide: How to Capitalize on Dental Industry Trends.
But first, let’s cover the 5 dental industry trends you need to know now.
1. Staffing shortages continue to impact dental businesses
A qualified staff is the heartbeat of any dental practice. But the ongoing staffing shortage is reshaping the way practices operate. Recruiting and retaining skilled professionals, from dentists to dental assistants, is an uphill battle.
The impact isn't just operational; the quality of patient care is on the line, along with practice efficiency.
Like other dental businesses, you’re probably facing one or both of these effects of the staffing shortage:
You don’t have enough people on your dental staff to run the business side of your dental practice or group — and you aren’t getting any bites on job postings.
You have enough people on your dental team, but they lack the expertise needed to manage your revenue cycle effectively.
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.
Luckily, more and more solutions to the staffing shortage are beginning to crop up for dental leaders. Check out our new Guide for practical alternatives to hiring additional staff.
2. Struggling dentists are turning to DSOs
Dental service organizations (DSOs) are rewriting the rules of practice management. The appeal of a lighter administrative load has sparked a DSO boom among dental practice owners. But is this path right for your dental business?
According to Fortune Business Insights, “(DSOs) provide better reimbursement support, minimum risks, and lack of professional overhead burden for new dentists in group practices,”
For some dentists, turning to a DSO is a premeditated business decision. But for others, it’s a last resort to rescue their practice. Struggling dentists don’t want to lose their autonomy or let go of tenured team members — but if their cash flow is a slow trickle, they might not have a choice.
There are certainly pros and cons in selling to or partnering with a DSO. Ideally, you aren’t choosing that as a last resort, but as a considered strategic move that’s the best choice for your dental business.
In an age of Amazon Prime and doorstep groceries, convenience reigns supreme. Patients expect flexibility and ease in all their consumer experiences — including their dental appointments. Virtual consultations, telehealth options, and seamless online bookings are now essential to patient-centric care.
And as a dental treatment will always require an in-person appointment, there are small things you can do around your dental office to ensure an easy, efficiency patient experience, such as:
Manage scheduling efficiently
Oversee easy check-in and check-out
Deliver a concise and easy-to-understand patient treatment presentation
Going to the dentist isn’t usually fun for patients, and they will appreciate that you’re working hard to ensure they have a smooth and pleasant dental experience. They’ll also tell their friends and family, and that word-of-mouth advertising is your free bonus for cultivating their satisfaction and loyalty.
Maintaining a modern, convenient dental business is crucial for retaining patients, and also for getting new patients to grow your business.
4. Cybersecurity is a must-have for today’s dental practices
The digital age brings great advancements, and it also brings great risks. Cyberattacks are a constant threat to your patients’ data and your practice’s reputation. Protecting sensitive information isn't just a good idea — it's an imperative.
According to Field Effect, “In the past 12 months, 74% of healthcare organizations experienced a security incident. In these attacks, more than 30 million records were compromised. Just one of these data breaches compromised the data of more than 25 million patients.”
These security breaches can come in the form of email phishing, ransomware attacks, and even internal embezzlement.
That’s right, we said internal embezzlement. It’s hard to hear that one of your team members could be taking money from your practice, but it’s actually pretty common in dentistry. According to Dentistry Today's interview with Prosperident's CEO, David Harris, studies suggest that the lifetime probability of dentists being targeted for embezzlement is 60% to 70%.
We’re not saying you should start doubting the honesty of your team. But security and embezzlement threats will always be present in the dental industry, so you must take the necessary steps to protect your patients, your business, and your livelihood.
5. Digital dentistry is here to stay
We touched on this when we mentioned patient convenience. But technology isn’t just for patients—it makes your team’s job easier, too.
Technology is rewriting every page of the dental business playbook. Digital advancements from imaging to automation are reshaping how practices function.
“New technologies are changing not only clinical practice, but also the way dental practices receive and digest data in everyday decisions” - CliftonLarsonAllen
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation relieve dental teams of monotonous administrative tasks such as scheduling and patient collections. Patient billing automation, specifically, even improves the accuracy of what you collect from patients.
Automated patient billing improves your revenue and takes a load off your team, and it also improves your patient experience by providing easy payment methods.
DCS will help you stay competitive through current trends
Now that you’ve explored the 5 big dental industry trends — you need to know how to profit from each of them.
Download our free guide: How to Capitalize on Dental Industry Trends. Fill out the form above, and our ideas and insights for what you should do about each of the 5 trends will immediately land in your inbox.
These tips include how to proactively benefit or learn from the industry trends, plus resources and tools to steer the impact of each trend to your dental business’s advantage.
Don’t let the changes brought on by new industry trends scare you: Use the knowledge you just gained as power, and see the trends as opportunities to grow financially and professionally.
It’s one thing to know the industry trends, it’s another to profit from them — DCS can help
To recap, we covered the following dental industry trends:
Staffing shortages continue to impact dental businesses
Struggling dentists are turning to DSOs
Convenience is dental patients’ first priority
Cybersecurity is a must-have for today’s dental practices
Digital dentistry is here to stay
As dental industry leaders, we believe the path to profit lies in understanding and embracing these trends. While challenges abound, the potential for growth and excellence is unprecedented.
DCS is your resource for nurturing the growth, performance, and profitability of your dental business by providing end-to-end revenue cycle management — no matter what the future holds.
Take control of your dental business’ future by using RCM as a tool for success: Schedule a call with our experts today.