Dental Industry Trends 2021
2021 is the continuation of a rather unusual operating environment for dentistry. This does not mean that your practice must slow down or become stagnant in any way. Today we look at some of the emerging dental industry trends that your practice should consider for keeping your practice functional, retain your patients, and increase your new patients.
Create and Maintain a Trustworthy Brand for your Practice
Being outside is hard enough with a raging pandemic. Asking your patients to trust that they will be safe in your practice away from their homes might seem impossible, but we assure you it is. Your patients need to be made aware that you are operating with their safety as well as their oral health at heart.
Show your patients that you and your dental team exceed all health and safety measures and that ensure that their visit to the dentist will be a safe one. Post your COVID precautions on your website and your social media so that your patients who are afraid to ask can be reassured by your level of precautions.
Patients’ fears do not end there. Some patients avoid the dentist because they are worried about their ability to pay for treatment or are not sure if their insurance will cover the treatments they receive.
Remember to take the time to demonstrate and educate your patients on the various ways they can get quality dental care at a cost they can afford. Utilize patient care financing options that will make your dentistry more affordable. Your patients will appreciate affordable options for financing their dental treatment. In addition, use outsourced insurance verification for patients so that your practice can provide more accurate estimates for their patient portions. More and more patients are relying on dental practices to interrupt their benefits, so an accurate estimation of benefits is crucial for case acceptance.
The best way to attract more patients is to demonstrate your trustworthiness. Communicate with your patients through videos, blogs, and other educational content to inform patients about what to expect if they choose your practice.
Prioritize Online Reviews
Patient reviews and referrals are without a doubt the most powerful tool you can use to improve your practice in 2021. As the number of patients who place trust in your practice grows, encourage online engagement through a well-managed website. This will help you build on trust and help you attract more patients.
In today’s dental business, patients live online, so the dentist needs to engage with the patients where they are. Always be on the lookout for any negative review and be quick to deal with it. This not only wins over a current patient but also shows potential patients that they can depend on you to deal with and issues they might have.
Offer unbeatable Convenience.
Patients today have become accustomed to being able to access services at the click of a button. In this regard, your practice should start employing systems that offer all-in-one convenience that is a cut above the competition.
Convenience is not limited to simply improving communication with your patients. With the ever-changing and new emerging trends in dentistry convenience can be any of the following:
An online portal that allows patients to schedule appointments, pay their bills, fill in paperwork, and ask questions in the comfort of their home or on the go is a must-have for any dental practice. Patients work the same hours that you do, providing them with options to make payments or message the office after hours provides them with convenient alternatives to having to step away from their work commitments to contact your office personally when it isn’t ideal.
The Continued Use of 3D Printing.
3D printing is a rising trend in the dental industry. It uses innovative materials such as resins, and also increases the speeds of creation for custom dentures, crowns, and more. 3D printing increases your practice efficiency by ensuring that images that used to take weeks are generated in a matter of minutes.
If you had not yet invested in a 3D printer then we strongly advise to you investigate this as an option for growing your practice. Dentistry is moving to a new form of efficiency where there will be faster delivery of services and you want to get ahead of this phenomenon to stand out and stay ahead of the competition.
Stay up-to-date with Social Media
Social media is your go-to but even online marketing is evolving. Newer trends and engaging influencers are being introduced and you should be in the know of all that is happening with social media.
Apart from taking advantage of social media, you need to better know which platform works best for you. Facebook for example might have services that do not benefit your practice as much as LinkedIn or Twitter. In that case, you need to invest more where you will get the most traction. Track where your new patients are coming from so you know where to invest your time, energy, and hard-earned money.
Social media offers a lot of features that dentists can take advantage of. Facebook allows you to boost your posts making sure that more of your potential patients get to see them. Instagram allows you to create stories so you can better connect with your target audience. Although social media is not a new thing, it is better improved to make sure your practice is a cut ahead of your competition.
Improve Patient Experience
Every trend we have covered so far aims to improve your practice processes and patient retention. There is a need, however, to look at how the patient will be treated once they have decided to be a part of your practice.
Patients can change their minds about you at the drop of a hat, so it is vital that their experiences always be memorable. Make sure your workspace is clean and not crowded. In addition to this offer special services to ‘pamper’ your patients and make them feel valued. Some of the ways you can achieve this is through:
- Creating video content that is both educational and entertaining so that all ages can enjoy
- Allow patients a moment to talk to you as a dentist about any fears they might have or any questions they may be hesitant to ask.
One of the dental trends that have been most useful during the COVID-19 pandemic is teledentistry. This has allowed dentists to be in contact with their patients without having them come to the practice in person. Video calling has also offered dentists the advantage to see what a patient will be talking about and make suggestions on how they can fix them.
Dentists, and other healthcare providers, have turned to technology to help them interact with patients when the patient cannot safely see the dentist in person. Although you cannot provide direct patient care via a virtual platform, you can keep up-to-date records about your patients and advise them on a way forward towards reaching their dental goals and optimal dental health.
In 2021 the ADA has created a list of ways that dentists can make their practices more environmentally friendly. They include:
- Using organic or environmentally friendly scrubs
- Reducing or eliminating the use of aerosols
- Designing practice layouts to maximize natural light and ventilation
- Using eco-friendly sterilization products and procedures
- Using natural cleaning products in the office
- Stocking all-natural oral care products and encouraging patients to use them
This will help your practice appeal to millennials and environmentalists. Not to mention that the world as a whole is moving in a more environmentally friendly direction.
Outsourcing is a business practice performed within the operational structure of the organization. This means that hired team members become part of your business even if they work remotely. Remote team members can assist your practice with scheduling, insurance verification, claims follow-up, recare, and reactivation, A/R, billing, social media posts, tracking referral sources, as well as inbound and outbound calls. Look for companies with no long-term contracts and a dedicated person that works only with your practice. Find the right fit for your practice and they will become an invaluable part of running your successful business.
These are the dental industry trends that are taking root in dentistry. For your practice to be ahead of the competition, you need to sieve through the trends and find out which best works for your practice. SupportDDS offers the best way to help you get in tune with the latest trends and elevate your team members.