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Inside Dental Technology
August 2017
Volume 8, Issue 8

Optimism on the Rise

Why your clients are bullish in 2017 and beyond

Pam Johnson

The majority of dentists in the US are excited about the prospect of building practice revenue over the next 5 years, according to data collected from a nationwide survey. Nearly three-quarters of small, privately-held dental practices surveyed by Citizens Bank, with results published in February 2016, found that dental practices are predicting a high level of confidence in being able to grow practice revenues over the next half decade.1 This bullish outlook was corroborated in part by polls conducted at two major East Coast dental trade shows by TD Bank in November 2016 and January 2017, where more than two-thirds of those surveyed expect practice revenue growth over the next 2 years.2

The Citizens Bank survey of the state of the industry for independent medical and dental practices went out to 450 medical and dental practice groups in the US with fewer than 10 doctors or dentists. According to the results, both groups surveyed shared the same business objectives for growth, maximizing revenue, acquiring new patients, and improving operational efficiency and profit margins. Optimism among the dental groups surveyed centered on 92% of respondents, saying “there is a high demand for the services my practice offers.” They also expect that their primary competition will be coming from other independent practices, not corporate practices.

The TD Bank poll of 290 dentists and dental practice owners was carried out at the Greater New York Dental Meeting and the Yankee Dental Congress. More than two-thirds of those responding to the 2017 Dental Practice Survey expressed confidence on increasing practice revenue over the next 2 years. Strategies to increase practice income focused on investing in new equipment or technology, increasing marketing efforts to grow their patient base, and hiring additional associates.

More positive projections on the profession came both from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. News & World Report. The Bureau has forecast that employment for dentists will be faster than the average for all occupations.3 This fast-paced growth is reportedly due to increased demand for dental services as the population ages, increased popularity of cosmetic dental services, and continued growth in access to health insurance. Corroborating these results, U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of best jobs in America placed the dental profession in first, fifth, and ninth places.4 Dentists were ranked as having the best job in America, followed by fifth place for orthodontists, and ninth place for oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The reasons cited for why dentists were ranked number one? “A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate, and agreeable work-life balance boost dentists to a top position on [their] list of best jobs.”


For more on this subject, read Inside Dentistry's interview with TD Bank executive Dan Croft, an expert in commercial lending for dental practices, at


1. More than half of small, independent medical and dental practice groups preparing for revenue growth through 2021, according to new Citizens Bank survey. Citizens Bank Web site. Published February 2, 2016. Accessed June 9, 2017.

2. Dentists are bullish on 2017 practice revenue outlook, TD Bank survey reveals. PR Newswire Web site. March 21, 2017. Accessed June 9, 2017.

3. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Dentists. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor Web site. Published December 17, 2015. Accessed June 9, 2017.

4. U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2017 Best Jobs. U.S. News & World Report Web site. Published January 11, 2017. Accessed June 9, 2017.

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