The oral care industry is constantly evolving. Dental professionals continue to come up with new methods that deliver excellent service to patients and make the lives of dentists easier.
Dental practices looking to stay competitive must have the right technology to deliver stellar oral care to the modern patient. What’s more, they need to stay up to date with the latest trends in their industry. This will enable them to stay a step ahead of their competitors.
Here are six trends that your dental clinic can implement to save time, streamline operations, improve patient care and boost patient volume.
This trend refers to a set of approaches and techniques that center on the mental aspect of going through dental procedures, like dental implants and teeth whitening. Emotional dentistry enables patients to envision what their teeth will look like once the process is completed. Dentists will show digital photos and virtual mockups associated with the patient’s procedure. These pictures ease patient fears and give them the confidence necessary to go through these processes.
People typically associate this term with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Blockchain, however, is more than just these two terminologies. When used properly, it can help facilitate easy access to patient data to insurers and healthcare institutions.
Various startup businesses are taking advantage of blockchain’s potential. One platform they’ve recently introduced is Dentacoin (DCN), a cryptocurrency specific for the global dental sector. This blockchain-based application helps make oral treatments easily accessible to everyone regardless of financial status and social class. Also, Dentacoin has an assurance program that enabled patients to dentists a low fee per month in exchange for preventive and lifelong oral care.
Lasers aren’t exclusively for removing body art, such as a lightning bolt tattoo. They also play an important and useful role in the world of dentistry. Dentists can use lasers in the following situations:
- Whiten teeth more effectively and efficiently
- Remove oral lesions and tooth decay
- Eradicate the bacteria during a root canal
- Change the shape of gums
Here’s how lasers can benefit both the patient and the dentist:
- Reduced Pain – Laser dental procedures are less painful and discomforting for patients.
- No Anesthesia Required – Since patients won’t be in too much pain, anesthesia may not be necessary. This is fantastic news for individuals who may suffer from health conditions when they’re under anesthesia.
- Accelerated Healing or Recovery Time – Effective laser procedures can translate to less blood loss and damage to the patient’s gums. Lasers are minimally invasive, as dentists won’t need to cut up the gums or other parts of the mouth using a scalpel.
Dental 3D Printers
3D printing has revolutionized and benefited various industries, including the dental sector. Take the orthodontics industry as an example. Dental professionals use 3D printers and software in the production process of orthodontic appliances, such as aligners, veneers, spacers and crowns.
The use of these printers is advantageous for both the patient and the dentist. Patients won’t have to wait several days or weeks for their prosthesis. As for oral professionals, they don’t have to depend on third-party laboratories to develop orthodontic products. They can take the production process in-house, saving them time and money.
Dental 3D printers, however, come with a hefty price tag. They can cost thousands of dollars – a price that may be out of reach for small dental practices.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Dental practices all over the world generate large amounts of data, such as patient information and oral treatment cycles, every day. Artificial intelligence can help dental professionals use this data wisely. AI programs, for instance, can provide comprehensive and valuable insights on routine dental processes, patient behavior and research papers.
AI also offers practical benefits. It helps dentists minimize their workload by optimizing processes in the clinic.
The Rise of Natural Dental Products
Going green is becoming a trend among young consumers. According to a report from Investopedia, a new generation of consumers is driving demand for natural products. These individuals, for instance, opt for eco-friendly dental products, like bamboo toothbrushes and charcoal toothpaste.
Dentists have picked up on this trend. Some of them are providing alternative, natural products and ridding their inventory of dental goods made with unnecessary synthetic chemicals. If consumers continue to choose natural products, dental practices will need to adapt by incorporating these products in their clinic.
Apply these six emerging trends in your dental practice to improve its business performance. But don’t overlook the value they will bring to enhancing patient experience as well.