Don't miss a digital issue! Renew/subscribe for FREE today.
Inside Dentistry
December 2021
Volume 17, Issue 12

Navigating the Uncertainty

As another calendar year draws to a close, many dentists find themselves evaluating their practice strategies, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and considering what has worked and what, if any, changes to make for the coming year. To provide dentists with a snapshot of the industry to benchmark their practices against, Inside Dentistry is proud to present the results of its annual readership survey in this month's cover story, Trends in Dentistry 2021. What volume of patients are clinicians treating? What types of treatments and services are they offering? Have they been investing in new technology or products? The article provides useful data and commentary on these questions and many more aspects of the profession.

Since the end of the shutdown and return to elective procedures, my practice hasn't experienced a reduction in patients. We're actually on track to have a record year. However, the costs of PPE and many clinical supplies are astronomical, and supply chain issues have put limits on how much clinicians can buy. Staffing shortages, another trend addressed in the article, have affected many regions, severely crippling the productivity of some practices. At my practice, I lost one hygienist and have since only been able to find a part-time replacement. Although some of this is related to the impact of the shutdown and changes in financial incentivization, some is related to the most publicized of pandemic-related trends: vaccination.

Personally, I made the decision to get vaccinated to help protect myself and my patients. The existence of vaccine mandates, however, has become quite contentious, and clinicians need to take steps to ensure that the issue doesn't negatively affect their practices. It is crucial to become fully knowledgeable regarding the requirements of laws and executive orders in your specific state and local area and understand what they necessitate for you, your staff, and your patients. In addition, consulting with legal counsel is highly recommended. After all, protecting your practice as well as the health and rights of your staff and patients to the best of your ability may have the greatest impact on the most important trend of all: your continued success!

Robert C. Margeas, DDS
Editor-in-Chief, Inside Dentistry
Private Practice, Des Moines, Iowa

Adjunct Professor
Department of Operative Dentistry
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

© 2024 Conexiant | Privacy Policy