7 Top Dental Industry Changes Expected in 2018

A group of dental utensils with a magnifying glass.

As we begin to say goodbye to 2017, it is time to look ahead to what the new year will bring. The dental industry has been growing exponentially, especially in orthodontics and 2018 will be no different. Here are 7 top dental industry changes expected in 2018:

More Internet-Centered

You are probably thinking everything is pretty much online today as it is, but you will definitely see more of a growth in this in the dental industry this year. You will find yourself being able to do more of the paperwork and informational transactions online besides just setting up your appointments. Dentists and orthodontists know how busy you are and want to make it easier for you to get the information you need without a whole lot of fuss so look for websites to become more interactive and to have more mobile options.

More Patient-Oriented

More and more dentists and orthodontists are making their patients their number one priority. Besides offering the best treatments at a reasonable cost, they are also spending time and money on advanced technology and a comfortable office environment. There is also more of a focus trying to emphasize more with the patient, letting them known that their individual feelings and situation matter and that they are really being heard by the doctors.

More Financial Solutions

Because of the condition of the healthcare industry today, the dental industry is seeing the need to offer more variety in financial solutions and the need to educate patients not only on their financial responsibilities, but all the possible resources available to them. Expect to see more flexible payments options and in-house loyalty programs as well as CareCredit.

More Group Practices

If you haven’t already, you are going to start to see group practices replacing all the single doctor practices because of the rising costs of running a practice. This can be beneficial for patients as well. Scheduling appointments are easier and there will be more resources available to you as well.

More Female Practitioners

With more female dental students entering school, you will see more and more female dentists and orthodontist at the practices you visit which will decrease the gender gap that has traditionally in the industry.

More Technology Savvy

Besides an increase in the use of the internet in their practice, dentists and orthodontists have also been making a lot of technological advances in how they treat patients as well. More and more practices will be utilizing 3-D printing, CAD/CAM technology and cone beam technology to treat you. All these changes will save you time and improve results.

More Quality over Quantity

In any business, it can be easy to focus on bringing more people in the door, but dentists and orthodontists are now emphasizing the individual patient’s outcome instead. Giving their patients quality individualized care is more of the priority now.

If you are looking for a new orthodontist, keep these few tips in mind:

  • Get referrals from family and friends. Ask the people you trust if they would recommend a particular orthodontist. Ask about their particular experience and any pros and cons about the dentist that they can share. Your regular dentist is also a good person to ask for a referral. See if they will share who they chose for orthodontic work for their own children. While not everyone is looking for the same criteria, gathering referrals will at least give you a best sense of your options.
  • Do a google search. It is also a good idea to do some internet searching as well. Start by googling orthodontist in Philadelphia. Look for reviews and check out the websites of orthodontists in the Philadelphia area to get an initial feel for who is out there and what they offer. Also make sure that any orthodontist you are interested in is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontics. The best orthodontists are up to date on all the cutting edge technology and latest trends in treatment. Their website is also a good place to find other referrals.
  • Set up a consultation. Most of the time, we can’t really get a good feel for a new doctor or dentist until we go in for a visit so it is important to set up a consultation with at least a few orthodontists. While it can be time-consuming, it can really help you feel more confident about your final choice.

Here are some questions you should ask?

  • What are their credentials and specialties?
  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • What are their office hours? (Some are more flexible than others)
  • What are treatment options and costs? Ask about Invisalign and accelerated orthodontics.
  • Ask for references from current or past patients.
  • What is their policy for emergencies?

While you are there, you should pay attention to your surroundings. Is everything clean and sterile? Are they using the latest technology? Do they keep their patient’s comfort in mind at all times? Is the office comfortable and the staff friendly? Also pay attention to how the orthodontist interacts with you. Is he very brusque, acting like he doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with you? Or does he really sit down and get to know you and what your needs are? If you have a fear of going to the dentist, make sure that the orthodontist you choose has a gentle chair side manner. Everyone has their own needs when it comes to which types of personalities they prefer to interact with so make sure you are going to be comfortable because you are going to be spending a lot of time with this doctor and his staff. Orthodontic treatment can least between 1 year to about 3 years.

If you think you are interested in Invisalign in particular, make sure you find an orthodontist who specializes in this sort of treatment.

For more information about upcoming dental trends and to get an initial consultation on orthodontic treatment for the new year, call Orthodontics Limited today. They will answer all your questions and offer you what they think is the best treatment plan for your particular needs.