The dental industry has had considerable strides in innovation, overshadowed by its cousin, the healthcare industry. Although dentistry, in general, has traditionally been slow to adopt digitalization, recently, there have been major changes in the sector. The reason can be accounted for the massive benefit of increasing operations productivity and efficiency by as much as 30 percent, according to Henry Schein.
To better understand the changes in the industry and their effects on both ends of operations, here are the 2020 trends in dentistry.
Online Presence Is a Must
Continuing the trend of digital shifts, dental clinics and practitioners are increasingly becoming active online. Most people now have social media accounts — many of them expect the organizations and businesses they deal with to be the same. That is because people now turn to social media to air out concerns, recognize achievements, and engage with other people and brands. Sure, there is still a place for email and suggestion boxes, but social media is now the primary go-to for communicating.
Of course, there has also been a growing appreciation for website chat features. The ability for consumers to visit a website and within minutes, start discussing with an expert on the field is something that has benefits for both ends of the business.
The idea of online presence then has evolved from static bulletin board-like announcements into something more organic and interactive. This bridges a few gaps, not just in the dental industry, but across multiple sectors as well.
Aside from the huge changes brought by digitalization, there are still also more tangible innovations in the dental industry.
One of these innovations is 3D printing. The ability to build physical representations of virtual models is aptly suited to the industry that thrives on precision and accuracy. Aside from being able to create models faster and at a much lower cost than what was previously possible, 3D printing can also be used to guide dental surgery.
Herbst has also been gaining popularity because of how it is the more convenient way of correcting the bite, compared to its predecessor, the dental headgear. For this reason, Herbst appliance labs are also becoming more prevalent in the industry.
It’s in the Cloud
Like the entirety of the healthcare sector, the dental industry is shifting towards the use of more digital tools. Among these are cloud-based ones that allow for a whole new level of efficiency and accessibility.
There are a lot of similar functionalities between dental practice management applications and those that are used for medical practice. However, there are also significant differences between them. Built-in, these dental practice management programs can work with a suite of tools required in dentistry, including dental plans, intra-oral cameras, x-ray sensors, and panoramic or cephalometric units, according to Tech Radar.
Like software for medical practice, the applications also usually include aides for the administrative side of the business, like scheduling, billing, insurance claiming, and other helpful tools for both patients and dental practitioners.
The applications offer a way to access patient dental records from a database. That allows those in the industry to get quick and accurate information about patients, even from different clinics. That significantly helps boost the quality of care.
These dental industry trends are here now and do not indicate going away any time soon.