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Dentistry Faces a New Economic Climate

There once was a time when a single practitioner could hang up a shingle and drill-and-fill the local community all the way to a successful career. But of course, the profession has evolved. Factors like the Great Recession, dental service organizations (DSOs), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), student debt, and digital technology all have affected today’s practices.

“What I’m trying to do for boomers, millennials, and Xers is to say that no matter what, the way you were taught dentistry, and the way you’re going to practice dentistry in the future, has completely changed,” said Richard A Dental Chair. Huot, DDS, an author, speaker, and founder of Beachside Dental Consultants.

Recent Grads and DSOs

For example, average earnings for general practitioners have dropped from the profession’s inflation-adjusted peak of $219,378 in 2005 to $183,885 in 2014. The recession and the subsequent drop in demand for dental care drove much of this decline, but it also was influenced by a competitive increase in the number of practicing dentists. And the cost of equipment isn’t getting better, either.

“The increase in overhead has got to go up, because the toys aren’t getting any smaller,” said Huot. “If you want a CAD/CAM, if you want the latest and greatest software, if you want lasers, and you have $400,000 in student loans, you aren’t doing it on your dime. The bank isn’t financing you for that.”

As a result, many dental school students who graduate with significant debt aren’t opting to launch and operate their own practices—or buy a retiring dentist’s practice. Instead, they’re joining established practices as associates. Often, they’re even accepting positions at corporate DSOs.

“In Florida after 2008, what I found was that the only people who were buying practices were the large DSOs,” said Huot dental handpiece. “I got a chance to see how they operated and how they were doing it, and it was very obvious. They were looking for practices that grossed a million dollars. Who else is going to buy them?”

These corporate practices come with pros and cons. On the one hand, dentists who work for them don’t have stakes in the ownership, though employee stock option plans may be available. Young dentists, then, can focus on learning the clinical and the management sides of the profession without the pressure of being a business owner.

“It’s teaching them the operations part of dentistry,” said Huot. “The younger dentists are learning that not only do they have to act like businesspeople, but they’re learning from somebody that already knows how to do it.”

Also, many DSOs provide opportunities and support for continuing education. It’s not just travel to regional and national conferences, either. Some larger organizations bring well-known experts into their offices to instruct their employees in new procedures and technologies right onsite.

On the downside, though, salaries at DSOs may depend on bonuses, which are calculated via spreadsheets that include both fixed and variable costs related to performance. While practice owners would be familiar with those figures due to the daily tasks of running a business, employees might not know what they’re looking at.

“If younger dentists aren’t astute and can’t read spreadsheets, they would not understand what’s on them,” said Huot.

Plus, dentists at these practices often are in charge of their treatment plans. Yet there still may be pressure to perform. There wouldn’t be any quotas to meet—“You will not find a written record of that,” Huot said. Such goals may be implied, though, along with parameters for when certain procedures should be performed.

However, the emerging DSO model may see some evolution of its own. Huot believes that the millennial generation of dentists may be more entrepreneurial and more collaborative than their predecessors. So just because they don’t open up their own individual offices, that doesn’t mean they’re going to join or stick with a corporate group either.

“While they’re still in school, a bunch of them will decide that maybe they should own a cluster of practices,” said Huot. “Or you could potentially have 4 or 5 classmates who spread out and all work for these companies, and then they come back and say, ‘Wait a minute. We can do this together as a group.’”

Patient Payments and Records

Regardless of the type of practice, dentists are seeing changes in how they’re getting paid. Even after insurance coverage—and especially in cases when there isn’t insurance at all—patients are putting treatment on their credit cards. Or, they’re skipping treatment or getting limited procedures that don’t get the job finished.

“For example, they won’t go for a crown. They’ll say, ‘Just fix it, Doc, and I’ll wait to get a crown later.’ And they’re putting things off,” Huot said. “Orthodontists would tell you that families were getting ortho for their first and second kids when the economy was doing better, but not for their third or fourth kids.”

Huot also notes that parents are waiting longer to make appointments, and emergencies are cropping up, even though most of dentistry is preventable. As a result, dental hygienists are seeing their booking totals decreasing. The hygiene schools are still producing students, though, who now may be having trouble finding work.

Meanwhile, some practices are using in-house financing systems or discount plans to help patients afford care. Medicaid and Medicare also are growing options for many patients. Due to the reimbursement levels that the federal government provides, however, many dentists aren’t participating in these programs dental instruments.

“In California, 65% of children qualify for Medicaid. Some states reimburse at a better level than others,” Huot said. “Florida compensates its dentists about 30 cents on the dollar, which is very, very difficult. It’s difficult to make that work even on volume.”

Image Advertising Attracts Long-Term Patients

Advertising is as old as a merchant in ancient Babylonia crying out the value of his wine, bread, or silks. Even then, the intent was to get passersby to purchase on the spot—or at the very least, soon.

Today, advertising works best when it’s applied to consumer products and services. The purpose is still to encourage purchases in the very near term. Discounts, sale prices, two-for-one offers, and limited-time savings drive this sort of advertising.

Image advertising supplements the usual “Get it now!” come-on advertising. Its intent is to promote brand familiarity and to influence consumers to buy the product or service eventually. Done correctly over time, image advertising can promote brand loyalty.

Think about advertising by Lexus automobiles, Royal Caribbean cruises, or Seiko watches. Those advertisements may and do include offers, but the marketers don’t expect a huge surge in sales. Rather, the ads are focused on promoting brand familiarity and recall with the expectation that more and more consumers will eventually choose their brand.

What kind of advertising is your practice doing?

The Problem with Price

If you’re like most dentists, the bulk of your marketing is designed to attract new patients this month. Every month. Every month for years or even decades. To do that, you use discounted whitening and exams, reduced cost restorations, or something else to attract price shoppers Ultrasonic Scaler. Basically, you’re chasing patients.

The problem is that your competition is doing exactly the same thing. And there’s more and more competition all the time. All of you are engaged in a race to the bottom because you’re advertising on price, discounts, and specials. If you have corporate dentistry in your market, they’ll beat you every time on price.

Yes, your practice needs a steady stream of new dental patients. But are price shoppers and one-and-dones really the patients you want to attract? Will those patients allow you to grow your practice, increase your profits, and give you the freedom to handle more of the cases you love?

A Gradual Approach

Dentists who want to grow their practices with quality new patients can build on the lessons of the major luxury brands. Many new patients are willing to pay extra for dentists who promote the value of the services and experience they offer, not the price.

You won’t get those quality patients today, any more than Lexus can expect a rash of luxury car buyers because of a single television commercial. But with the right marketing approach, you can and will attract those patients over time. And over time, you’ll attract more and more of them.

To accomplish that, you need to establish a strong online presence, because that’s where most dental patients begin their search for the right dentist to solve their problems. Today, dentists are assumed to be clinically competent. The quality patients you’re looking for want a dentist they can like and trust.

Your online presence—your website, your videos, and your social media and blog posts—have to give them reasons to choose you as a trusted expert micro motor. That takes a good deal of exposure to your clinical expertise and to who you are as a person, so you must provide your prospects with a stream of quality content over time.

Google reports that consumers consult more than 10 sources of online information before making a purchase. Choosing a dentist is rarely an impulse buy. You want to be most, if not all, of those sources.

Getting Systematic

For dentists who want to experience double-their-practice growth or better, a patient attraction system (PAS) is the ideal approach to marketing. A PAS carefully integrates all aspects of online and offline marketing to target the new dental patients that a given dentist wants.

Website design and content, search engine optimization, pay-per-click and online banner ads, social media content, blog posts, dentist and patient testimonial videos, and more all work together to accomplish a single goal: to put more and better patients in chairs.

There’s no question that implementing a patient attraction system requires a particular mindset for dentists:

Dentists have to be willing to do what it takes to get more and better patients, even if it means stepping out of their advertising comfort zone.
Dentists must identify their ideal patient, understand that patient’s actual needs and desires, and position themselves as the logical choice (aka the expert) to solve that patient’s problem.
Dentists have to relinquish a “quick hit” mentality and adopt a long-term view of attracting the patients they need to grow their practices.
For dentists who are tired of the neverending advertising treadmill, of getting beaten up on price, and of not getting the patients they want and need to grow their practices, a PAS offers a very profitable new approach to dental marketing.What Are The Common Symptoms Of Orofacial Pain? for more information.

How to Build a Practice That’s Less Dependent on Dental Insurance

Are insurance companies killing your profits and scaring away your potential patients? I recently spoke with a doctor who told me about a patient who came into his office and needed a lot of treatment dental handpiece. The doctor made a diagnosis and created a treatment plan that was submitted to the insurance company.

Then, the insurance company rejected the claim and had the audacity to tell his patient and his dental practice that her condition was not bad enough for treatment, as if it knew better than an experienced doctor. Insurance companies can be unethical in their business decisions.

Insurance companies dictate your prices, cut profits, and reject your patients’ claims, giving them a bad experience and low-quality dental care. I have heard many dentists say that dental insurance is like a gift card. Patients can use it, but someone else dictates what they can and cannot get from it. It is a bad deal for your patients and for your practice.

Dental insurance is a barrier to entry for most dental practices because patients lose their dental benefits, especially those who are retiring, and are afraid to go see the dentist because they think they can’t afford it. This is a great opportunity for your office because you can create an in-house membership program that allows your patients to pay you a monthly or yearly membership, and they get structured benefits at your practice. You cut out the middle man, build loyalty with your patients, accurately diagnose issues, provide quality dental care, and generate recurring revenue.

Untapped Market

United States Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, says that 108 million Americans don’t have dental insurance. I have never had dental insurance, and he hasn’t contacted me or any other person I know who doesn’t have dental insurance Dental Chair. That probably is an inaccurate number and falls short of the real total. I believe that close to 55% of Americans don’t have dental insurance. Retirement also forces people to lose dental insurance. By offering an in-house membership program, your office will be able to attract more patients and build a solid stream of recurring revenue.

How to Manage an In-House Membership Program

Managing an in-house membership program or a savings plan can be very simple with the right tools and tricks. I recommend selling this type of program on an automated monthly or yearly schedule. This will allow patients to subscribe to your practice to get the benefits without all the hassle of periodic selling. This automatic renewal system will help things run smoothly. It will allow you to grow your patient base and recurring revenue for your practice, which increases financial stability. Using in-house membership software will automate payments and renewals for your program and allows your staff to easily manage it for your office.

How to Grow Your Membership Program

There are many strategies to grow your membership program turbine air compressor. According to Dr. Christopher Phelps, the best way to grow your membership program is to target retirement communities and schedule presentations there. Offer some sort of incentive to attend such as food and beverages, and educate your potential patients about your membership program. If you want to learn more about this strategy, read How to Create and Grow Your In-House Membership Program.

Another great strategy is to contact local businesses and have them offer it to their employees as a benefit for working for their company. This will enable your practice to leverage local businesses and gain a lot of memberships with one sales pitch. There are so many strategies and so many opportunities for your office to build an in-house membership program. This is truly the best way to reduce insurance headaches and increase your profits.


Creating and growing an in-house membership program for your office can be the best way to reduce your need to accept dental insurance, grow your patient base, and build sustainable revenue for your dental practice. If you want to learn more about in-house membership programs, you can schedule a demo to learn how to create, organize, and automate one for your dental practice.

Dentists Give Back While Serving in the Army Reserve

Many dental professionals want more than a salary as they look for ways they can dedicate their work to a higher purpose, a goal recognized on National Service Day on September 11. Based in Garden Grove, Calif, the US Army Reserve 185th Dental Company seeks to help underserved communities while providing hands-on training for its personnel.

Major John Endow of the Reserve didn’t know what to expect when he stepped inside a Guatemalan field tent during his first service trip abroad. All he knew is that he would put his dental skills to work for more than 1,000 local residents during a 2-week humanitarian mission with the 185th.

With more than 23 years of experience in dentistry, Endow joined the Reserve to fulfill his desire to do humanitarian work while supporting his family as his children neared college age and pursuing his dream of his own private dental practice.

“Resiliency and adaptability are key in life,” Endow said. “I know it was the right time to give back and set the right example for my daughters through continued learning and community service.”

Endow is not alone. According to the CASE Foundation, potential employees ranked the opportunity to serve a higher purpose third among the considerations they seek in new employers. The Reserve offers those who enlist 120 career specialties in addition to opportunities to participate in humanitarian efforts.

Certified dentists who have a DDS or DMD degree can enlist in the 185th, pending eligibility, as an officer dental lab equipment. In fact, Reservists make up 75% of all soldiers with doctorates and 50% of all soldiers with master’s degrees.

However, there are no formal educational requirements to join the 185th at the entry level. The US Army provides foundational training for those recruits, which include those who don’t see patients directly such as technicians.

Like Endow, Sgt. Caroline Fuel also has participated in global humanitarian missions including trips to Guatemala, Hawaii, and the Dominican Republic. In addition to serving, she is studying full time at California State University of Fullerton to become a physical therapist.

“Some of our patients have never had a dental checkup dental air compressor. I’ve never seen people so happy to see a dentist,” Fuel said. “The amount of gratitude and fulfillment you receive is overwhelming. They’re even grateful to receive a toothbrush. It’s that type of feedback that keeps you going, that lets you know you’re doing something right.”

Financial benefits, including tuition assistance, student loan repayment, and the G.I portable dental unit. Bill, all are available to help reservists pay for education. Obligations include one weekend a month dedicated to training, along with serving 2 weeks a year, for 8 years, though the requirements for applicants with prior service are determined on an individual basis.

Sgt. Janet Lay, also serving with the 185th, is an in-home care support services professional in her civilian career. She is taking advantage of the Reserve’s benefits to continue her education while taking part in community service.

“The nature of the Reserve lets me care for my aging parents during the day and go to school nights and weekends. When my dad had his second stroke, I knew it was my turn to care for him just like he’s cared for me,” Lay said.

“The Reserve helps me get the training I need to become a dental hygienist while helping my family and others through our mission trips,” Lay said.

“While rewarding, these mission trips are also challenging,” said Endow, who noted that the training he has received has helped him to be more agile in adapting tools for nontraditional uses and communicating between cultures. “We have to be ready to help others without the infrastructure we have here at home. We have to be quick on our feet and solve problems.”

Mycobacterial Outbreak Teaches a Hard Lesson About Infection Control

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) now reports 48 cases of mycobacterial infection—15 confirmed, 33 probable, with all 48 hospitalized at some point—involving children between the ages of 3 and 9 years receiving pulpotomies at the Children’s Dental Group facility in Anaheim between March 1 and August 5, 2016. More cases may await, however, as symptoms have been appearing between 15 and 85 days after the infection.

After the initial reports of infection, OCHCA ordered the practice to stop using water in its procedures. The agency then found mycobacteria in 5 water samples taken from the facility. While mycobacteria are common in the environment and generally pose minimal risk, OCHCA believes that the organism multiplied to dangerous levels in the waterlines of the practice’s dental units. Remediation efforts are now underway.

“Mycobacteria is naturally occurring within water. All water that comes from our treatment plants has a recommended number of colony forming units (CFUs) allowable by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and that’s 500 CFUs or less,” said Leann Keefer, RDH, MSM, director of education and professional relations with Crosstex, which is now working with Children’s Dental Group to replace its water system.

“Mycobacerium, Legionella, and Pseudomonas are the 3 most common opportunistic pathogens, and you will find them in low numbers,” Keefer said. “The issue comes into the dental unit waterlines because those lines are so narrow, and the flow is relatively low. The water stagnates, and that’s how the biofilm develops. And they multiply into much higher numbers that have the potential for causing disease.”

When dental unit waterlines haven’t been treated, CFU counts could exceed one million as biofilm develops and sticks to the inside walls of those lines. As water flows over that biofilm, it starts to break away from the inside walls and join the stream entering the patient’s mouth. Or, it may enter any aerosol being used as part of that waterline, which then puts the dental professionals at risk as well.

Not all people who are exposed to these bacteria, even in large quantities, necessarily get sick. Outbreaks such as this one and a similar case in Georgia in 2014 and 2015 may have affected children so significantly because their immune systems are still developing, Keefer said. Even then, only 1% of the pediatric patients who were treated at that Georgia practice came down with the infection water picker. The Children’s Dental Group says that it treated about 500 children with pulpotomies, and only children treated for pulpotomies are at risk in the current outbreak.

“But in my mind, one child is too many. One patient is too many,” said Keefer. “This is something we could easily control.”

OCHCA has approved the Children’s Dental Group’s replacement plan for the infected water system, which will be installed by October 31. The new system will include clean water sources, institutional infection control and water routing devices, and ongoing monitoring of purification levels dental implant machine.

“Some people think that using distilled water in your bottle is treating the water. It’s not. The distilled water is still running through those lines. It could be contaminated,” Keefer said. “So if you’ve not been doing anything, you pretty much know that you’re going to be off the charts with CFUs, so it’s time for you to evaluate which method would be best for your particular practice vacuum forming machine dental.”

The ADA says that dental unit water that remains untreated or unfiltered is unlikely to meet the 500-CFU/mL standard, so one or more commercial devices and procedures designed to improve water quality should be employed. Commercially available options include independent water reservoirs, chemical treatment regimens, source water treatment systems, daily draining and air purging regimens, and point of use filters.

Use “Social First” Digital Marketing to Win New Patients

Social platforms are quickly becoming the gateway for brand discovery. Their use is no longer limited to fun and friendship. Social media is connecting people in new and numerous ways, not just with other people but also with digital brands.

Along with driving people-to-people conversations and brand interactions, social sites are being used more for search activities, including information on healthcare. For a large majority of potential patients, healthcare discovery begins on social sites.

In addition to searching for information on healthcare topics, patients are taking to social platforms such as Facebook to discuss various health conditions, to check for treatment options, and to read reviews. Increasingly, the decision to further engage with a brand takes place only after a patient is impressed with the social presence of the brand.

Social Media is Changing

Social media can help you build brand authority, but it does not directly impact page ranking for your dental website. Google does not use social signals in its ranking mix. However, given the crucial role that social media plays in brand discovery and engagement, dental brands simply cannot afford to ignore social marketing dental air compressor. The focus when it comes to social marketing should be on building brand traction by way of brand promotion: expand visibility in all the right places, and gain authority.

Social media is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for distributing content optimized for search engines directly to readers. And with controllable newsfeeds on social media and highly personalized search results, the need for highly personalized content and advertising is becoming the norm.

Furthermore, features such as Facebook’s Instant Articles are pushing the boundaries of social content dental handpiece. Today, brands feel the need to distribute content via social channels first for the simple reason that social content enjoys greater visibility. Readers don’t have to leave their social apps to read long-form or full-fledged articles anymore.

Brands are also increasingly under pressure for providing answers to user questions and for offering issue resolution in real time. For example, 72% of Twitter users expect responses from brands they follow within the hour Ultrasonic Scaler. In fact, with client interactions on social media on the rise, dental brands might need to consider moving client services to their social accounts very soon.

Another very important aspect of social marketing has to do with the rise of social video content. Snapchat has more than 10 billion daily views for video content, exceeding even YouTube. Thanks to faster mobile internet connections and social sites such as Facebook and Periscope, live-streaming video figures are set to go up even further.

NYC’s Student Athletes Get Free Custom Mouthguards

Effective mouthguards are essential in ensuring both safety and performance in athletics. But many kids don’t have access to personalized gear and have to settle for off the shelf solutions, if they have mouthguards at all.

GuardLab, which uses digital scanning technology to create custom mouthguards for athletes of all levels, teamed up with Henry Schein to provide free pieces to student athletes during the Greater New York Dental Meeting this week.

Aidan Butler, CEO of GuardLab, discussed his company’s outreach with Dentistry Today.

Q: Can you tell us a little about GuardLab?

A: Absolutely. We make sports mouthguards. We started with neuromuscular guards, and we use digital technology to capture the images we need to make them. We look at mouthguards as a really good addition for dentists who have digital equipment or for dentists who are looking to get into digital dentistry. It’s an easy way to get in there. You start with a scan and you’re able to produce a product that is not overpriced and of very high quality, and that is a really good entree to get patients to see how digital dentistry can be applicable.

Q: What are the advantages of a custom mouthguard over the typical mouthguards you can buy in any sporting goods store?

A: This is where digital plays a big part. It’s really all about comfort and fit. Old fashioned mouthguards, you put them in hot water. They’re no good for man nor beast. They block your airway. One size fits all fits none, as we say. Your teeth can be compared to a fingerprint. Everybody is so individual. Dentists always joke that it’s still one of the things they use when they find a dead body. They look for dental records. How you can get a “small” mouthguard or a “large” mouthguard to fit a population makes no sense. So, we start with accuracy and comfort. And because of that, you get all the benefits of a mouthguard. It’s seated better from a protection standpoint and from a performance standpoint. If your airway is unobstructed, you can breathe. You can perform better.

Q: How did GuardLab get involved in community outreach?

A: We’re partners with a couple of quite cool charities, one of them being Right to Play International, the other being Big Brothers Big Sisters New York contra angle handpiece. We’re trying to be a socially responsible company. We understand that even though we’ve reduced the price of a normal dental-made guard because of efficiencies, we realize that not everybody can afford high-quality mouthguards. We don’t feel that protection should be dictated by your personal wealth. If you want sneakers, I get it. Some people want fancy sneakers. That’s not my place. But protection should be for everybody. So, we try our best to give back and really help a lot of the inner-city kids who wouldn’t ordinarily, not necessarily afford them, but they wouldn’t have any access to a dental office that could produce them.

Q: How many student athletes do you expect to help out during the show this week?

A: Over 3 days, we’ve got 70 kids coming through, primarily from the Business of Sports School up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We’ve got 2 charities that have provided the kids. And, FC Barcelona, the football team, has actually given a lot of stuff for the kids as well Dental Chair.

Q: How old are the students who are going to be receiving these mouthguards?

A: They’re all high school kids. Though to look at some of them, there’s a guy who’s 6 foot 8. It’s hard to believe, but he’s definitely a high school kid.

Q: How many programs like this do you do throughout the year?

A: We are literally just announcing the partnership with Henry Schein, between the 2 companies. And we hope to be at a lot of the shows. If Schein is there, we think this is a nice offering to come along as well. We will be doing a lot of shows throughout the year, not just in the United States but internationally. We are the official mouthguard of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In Australia, we are the official mouthguard of Australian Rules Football scian nebulizer. So globally, we are really starting to get out there.

Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

A: We love just how we can show off a very simple use of digital technology. A lot of dentists look at scanning and ask, “Is it really going to change my practice?” The answer is yes. With the number of products coming online, it really starts with the scanning. It gets people back into the dentists’ office. In particular, you should buy mouthguards from a dentist. Protecting teeth should be through your dentist. That’s a great utilization of digital technology.

Better Angulation Gives Celebrities Their Winning Smiles

Philosophers have been debating the definition of beauty since the dawn of time dental vibrator. But clinicians who deal with patients demanding a better smile need more data and less poetry to succeed. Researchers recently responded by exploring whether deviations in the angulation discrepancy between the intercanine line, which connects the tips of the canines, and the interpupillary line, which connects the pupils of both eyes, significantly affect attractiveness.

“Even from ancient Greece, symmetry and parallelism were considered significant for the perception of attractiveness. In this context, symmetry and parallelism have played a crucial role in both arts and science ever since,” said Dr Dental Chair. Vasiliki P. Koidou of the Advanced Education Program in Periodontology at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and one of the study’s 3 authors.

The researchers examined the presence of parallelism between those 2 facial lines in a sample of celebrities and of otherwise average subjects. Their work began with an Internet search for “best smile” and “celebrity” that identified 108 well known people, including Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Harrison Ford, and George Clooney. Dental students were used as a control group.

Next, the researchers selected photographs of 94 of these stars (62 women and 32 men) smiling within 10 degrees of a frontal view, along with photographs of 97 dental students (54 women, 43 men), examining them through Adobe Photoshop. The celebrities had smaller mean angulation discrepancies, with an average of 0.97 degrees, than the dental students, who averaged 1.33 degrees. The differences between men and women were not statistically significant.

The examiners performing the measurements were blinded to ensure that bias wasn’t introduced into the results of the investigation, so the researchers could not specifically name which celebrities or students had the lowest or highest angulation discrepancies. Yet Koidou did note that Julia Roberts, for example, exhibits close parallelism between her intercanine and interpupillary lines. Of course, there’s more to beauty than these lines.

“Our study concludes that parallelism may be important for the perceived attractiveness, but still the mechanisms of interpretation of attractiveness or symmetry or parallelism are not completely understood. In this context, minor adjustments of dental or facial elements may not significantly impact attractiveness,” Koidou said.

The researchers also are investigating other parameters such as the proportions of the anterior teeth and the number of teeth revealed by the smile, though those results have not been published yet. Future investigations, Koidou said, may highlight elements that are more critical to perceived attractiveness. And while clinicians can address angulation and these other issues, they may not be able to do so alone.

“Angulation discrepancies can be corrected, and that would require multidisciplinary approaches with dental teams including prosthodontists, periodontists, and orthodontists,” Koidou said. “Dentists should be aware of a general sense of parallelism and symmetry governing the perceived attractiveness when planning for aesthetic interventions.”Will Treatment Be Uncomfortable? for more information.

Clinicians Discuss Dentistry’s Showing on Recent “Best Jobs” Reports

Dentistry has seen some tumultuous times lately, with new regulations, a shifting economy, and cutting-edge technologies all changing the single-practitioner drill-and-fill model. Perhaps that’s why US News & World Report and CNNMoney/PayScale have released a pair of “Best Jobs” reports, with similar pay and job growth expected, but drastically different overall rankings for the profession.

US News & World Report called dentistry the number one job overall and the ninth best job in terms of pay. According to its figures, dentists enjoy a $152,700 median salary and a 0.1% unemployment rate, along with an 18% employment growth rate between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings expected. The researchers also noted dentistry’s average stress level and agreeable work-life balance in calling it the top profession.

CNNMoney and PayScale’s annual list of the top 100 careers in the United States also cited its 18% employment growth rate and estimated its median pay at a similar $151,000 figure, but ranked dentistry in 44th place dental equipment. In compiling their rankings, CNNMoney and PayScale recognized today’s stronger job market, opportunities for advancement, job satisfaction, and overall job availability and growth in addition to pay. Stress and whether or not a profession is “meaningful” were factors as well.

“Dentistry is a business that allows you to work only a few days a week and make a great living, which leaves more time for you to spend with your family. It’s also great because of how much you interact with people. Nowadays so many jobs are computer based, and with dentistry you have to actually be there and you get to work with people,” said Desiree Yazdan, DDS, MS, an aesthetic dentist at the Center for Reconstructive Dentistry in Newport Beach, Calif dental scaling machine.

“Of course, one of the most valuable aspects is that you get to make a difference in someone’s life on a daily basis,” Yazdan added. “Whether it’s a small filling, or a full-mouth reconstruction, as a dentist you are creating a healthier oral cavity for your patients, and they are benefitting from you in one way or another.”

“We have so many tools to make dentistry efficient, predictable, and pain-free,” said Rico D. Short, DMD, an author and clinician practicing in Smyrna, Ga. “As an endodontist, I love instantly getting patients out of pain who have been hurting for days or even weeks contra angle handpiece. They are so shocked that a root canal can be done virtually pain-free and so fast.”

Generally, dentistry can expect growth in the years ahead. The ADA reports that dental spending increased again in 2015, indicating that the profession is rebounding from the flat years of the Great Recession. National dental care expenditures were $117.5 billion in 2015, compared to $114 billion in 2014 and $113.3 billion in 2013. Dental expenditures accounted for 3.7% of overall national health expenditures, down from 2000’s peak of 4.5% but still comparable to recent years.

The ADA notes that the increase could be the result of increased dental care utilization among children and adults covered by the recent Medicaid expansion. Dental expenditures financed by public sources have risen from 2% in 1990 to 12% in 2015, with a significant decrease in out-of-pocket spending since its peak in 2008. This shift in public funding also may reflect reduced private dental benefits, which are having an effect on the profession as well.

The Top 7 Digital Marketing Predictions for Dental Practices in 2017

2017 is just around the corner, and the big question for dental practices is how it will shape the digital landscape. The biggest disruption could come in the form of Trumpcare. Will the President-elect introduce minor changes to the Affordable Care Act, or will he completely revamp the American healthcare system micro motor?

While it is difficult to say how things will play out for the nation’s healthcare system under a new administration, the one place where we can safely make predictions is the digital landscape. A lot changed in 2016, and based on those trends, here is a compilation of some of the major areas of focus for dental practices as we step into 2017.

Mobile in 2017

Mobile communication hardly needs any introduction or explanation. The mobile domination that began in all seriousness in 2013 picked up steam in 2014 and 2015 and turned out to be one of the biggest areas of focus all through 2016. Your dental website and blog, your email and social campaigns, and any other marketing media you use have a higher chance of attracting audience attention if it is optimized for mobile devices. This narrative is going to continue in 2017 and beyond because the small screen is the screen of choice for most people. How To Keep It Clean? for more information.

Personalization is the New Marketing Mantra

Brands such as Amazon and Sephora have been killing the art of personalization. It’s not about being on a first-name basis with your patients or using their names in marketing emails. Personalization requires a deeper and better understanding of audience behavior. If you know the spending habits of your audience, and if you know their preferences and the kinds of devices they use, among other things, targeting them becomes easier. Instead of carpet bombing them with marketing messages, use personalization to connect and build better engagement with current and potential patients.

Content Marketing Strategy

The days of random and scattered content are long gone. Digital consumers want content that is personalized to their needs and expectations. The most effective content format is original, value-based and informative, and easy to understand. Pieces that are customized to these guidelines are the ones with highest engagement potential. Mix up your content marketing strategy to include articles, blog posts, social posts, and visual items. Also, be sure to back your content strategy with an editorial calendar, as it allows you to keep track of how your content is performing.

The Power of the Influencer

YouTubers, Instagrammers, and bloggers are the new social engagement favorites for brands. Products or services that are endorsed by “influencers” naturally find favor with digital consumers. The reason why influencer marketing is set to make big strides in 2017 has a lot to do with the fact that digital natives, in particular millennials and Gen Z, tend to avoid or completely reject traditional advertising mobile dental unit.

The arrival of the influencer in this scenario can be a welcoming marketing option for dental practices that want to connect with audiences who favor social proof in the form of endorsements from their favorite social media star or a reputable industry influencer. Dental practices can use influencer marketing to showcase the value of their content and their services in a way that is both educative and entertaining.

Coordinated Cross-device Marketing

Marketing today happens on multiple platforms, is delivered in multiple formats, and is consumed over multiple devices. Desktop and mobile broadly define the device types that are widely used to consume digital content. This means that optimizing for different screen resolutions and sizes is crucial. This also means dental practices need to ensure their marketing happens in a coordinated and consistent manner. In addition to optimizing for multiple devices, it is important for practices to track metrics, which are crucial to understanding how far their marketing strategies are delivering on set goals.


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