Seven Benefits of Modernizing Your Dental Office
Resist complacency and fear of change and seize the opportunity to grow
The demand for modern dentistry has never been higher. Today, the general public possesses an increased awareness of dental techniques that can make them feel better and look younger. In addition, technology is advancing at a rapid pace.
As a species, humans adapt to change; however, our brains are hardwired by the amygdala to resist it. Don't let complacency or the fear of change prevent you from seizing the opportunity to grow. If your dental practice could benefit from an upgrade, don't procrastinate. There are many benefits to be realized by modernizing your dental office, including the following.
1. Giving Patients What They Want
Common knowledge regarding the effect of cosmetic dentistry procedures on oral health is a recent phenomenon that didn't exist much before the turn of the millennium. Thanks to celebrity culture and the fact that the media reports on every innovation for turning back the hands of time, patients now request a host of procedures and techniques. From things like soft-tissue grafting to the now commonplace dental implant, you might be surprised just how knowledgeable modern patients are.
In the pursuit of attractive smiles, the culture of dental care has shifted from "need" to "want." However, because patients are more informed than ever before, the importance of healthy teeth and gums has also grown in prominence.
One new realization for patients is that cosmetic dentistry treatments aren't as effective in the absence of a clean bill of oral health. They know that issues such as tooth decay or gum disease must be successfully treated prior to esthetic treatments, so there is a greater need to maintain oral health to obtain that stunning smile.
2. Providing Better Services
Patients are savvier than in the past and desire the best treatments. This often requires investment in state-of-the-art technologies. Moving from analog protocols to digital ones should be the first step in modernizing your practice. Although front- and back-office functions will benefit as well, going digital will allow you to offer more advanced diagnostic and clinical services.
Digital dentistry enables a variety of technologies that utilize computer-controlled components to carry out diagnostics and procedures, including the use of CAD/CAM to design and manufacture crowns and other restorations on-site while the patient waits. Digital technology is fundamental to delivering the newest treatments that patients are now looking for.
3. Increasing Your Knowledge
The pace of technological change is fast, and many patients are asking for new procedures that they have read about or seen on the television. Taking steps to offer your patients the latest techniques available will require you to continually update your knowledge, making you a better clinician.
Times change, as does dentistry's understanding of science and its ways of doing things. Expanding your familiarity and knowledge of the options available to your patients, as well as their pros and cons, is essential to practice success. Then, patents can then make their own informed decisions based on credible information from someone whose know-how and skills are up to date.
4. Enhancing Your Credibility/Reputation
Reputation will continue to play a role for businesses, particularly online. Engaging with at least some of the online platforms that are used by patients to search for and determine whether a clinic is worthy of their care can help shape and improve the public face of your practice. Claiming your Google My Business profile is a must. It is free and showcases your practice in local search results. In addition, it allows patients to leave reviews. If your patients are satisfied with your services, this can be a powerful marketing tool.
Furthermore, increasing engagement with your clients by using social media pages, such as Facebook and Twitter, offers an informal way of connecting with patients and informing them of your services or latest offers These are marketing tools that you shouldn't ignore. With a minimal investment of money and time, they can enhance your credibility as a bona fide business and help to attract more patients.
5. Improving Efficiency
Time is precious, and anything that can be done faster and more efficiently benefits both you and your patients. Saving time for your patients by minimizing their time in the chair is likely to improve their satisfaction. It also benefits you because you can see more patients, improving your profitability.
New technology is the cornerstone of a clinic's ability to deliver faster and more efficient services. Technologies such as digital radiography; 3D imaging, scanning, and printing; CAD/CAM; laser dentistry; and practice management systems are changing the face of dental services, and they can all be connected seamlessly, enhancing the patient experience.
Updating your office with the newest equipment and technologies will provide you with value that could last for decades. It may be a big upfront cost, but eventually, you will realize a return on your investment.
For example, implementing digital radiography benefits practices because they no longer have to spend money on film, chemicals, and waste disposal. Film-based radiography is also more labor-intensive than digital. Over the years, the costs of not upgrading to digital far outweigh the initial set-up costs. Furthermore, digital radiography is much safer for patients.
Moving to newer systems is not only more efficient, but also enables you to see more patients, which will increase your profits and benefit you for years to come.
7. Reducing Maintenance
With new equipment, your costs for maintenance should be lower. New equipment is much less likely to break down, and you should get years of trouble-free use from it.
One of the major benefits of upgrading is that your new equipment will be under warranty for many years, which saves you even more on maintenance costs and provides you with hassle-free service if there is a breakdown. And some companies even offer lifetime warranties.
Undoubtedly, modernizing your equipment is initially a big expense; however, it can pay for itself over the years as you save on maintenance costs. And your bottom line will improve because the increase in efficiency will allow you to increase the number of patients you treat and because you can offer services that other less-equipped, unmodernized practices nearby do not.
It's often said that humans are resistant to change. However, we constantly evolve, adapting to new environments, challenges, and opportunities. Change is disruptive, and familiarity is comforting. The thought of change may be scary, but allowing it to control us prevents growth. Don't let complacency or fear prevent you from turning your dental office into a modern clinic that delivers on expertise, efficiency, and effectiveness.
About the Author
Amanda Duffy is the lead dental writer for Bond Street Dental in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.