Inflation is effectively increasing overhead by 5-10% in 2022 and staffing shortages are a reality for the foreseeable future.
Dental practices have two options:
- Add additional procedures
- Adopt more efficient processes.
To overcome ongoing staffing shortages, 41% of healthcare practices are now investing in new technology to help compensate for staffing limitations.
In a July 2021 ADA survey, the top two technologies that dentists believed would “have a transformative impact on their practice this year” included intra-oral scanners (55%) and 3D printing (50%). These technologies can help decrease overhead through increased efficiencies while simultaneously boosting the practice’s profitability.
Surprisingly, 47% of practices are still using traditional impressions. The National Institute of Health’s research shows that patients experience lower stress levels, quicker appointments, and less physical discomfort from digital impressions. Benefits to the practice include streamlined staff workflows, decreased appointment time, and improved clinical efficiency. A 3D scan on a screen allows the patient to visualize treatment—enhancing communication to support case acceptance. Monitoring enables patients and clinical team members to track and quantify changes supporting a team-centered approach to oral health.
3D printing is an easy way to improve efficiencies and add services to your treatment mix. Practices can now print nightguards, temporaries, surgical guides, full models, denture teeth, and more with advancements in resins. The addition of 3D printers promises to make the digital workflow more effective and profitable for practices while increasing patient comfort and convenience with more predictable outcomes. 3D printers support case acceptance and can eliminate the need for additional scheduling. Most importantly, it provides better patient care with greater accuracy of final restorations and appliances. The cost to design and print a nightguard is under $40. A surgical guide can be modeled and printed in 30 minutes—ensuring safer, faster, and more accurate surgery than with traditional methods.
Don’t overlook two additional “workhorses” of practice profitability:
Lasers help dental practices meet and exceed patients’ expectations, improve healing, and lower overhead as well. Patients report better outcomes after laser procedures. Lasers provide a reduced chance of infection, less need for anesthetic, enhanced efficiency of procedures, and support single-visit dentistry among other benefits.
Intraoral Cameras (IOC)
Intraoral cameras are a powerful tool for increasing a patient’s treatment acceptance. The images captured by IOCs have been shown to increase case acceptance by as much as 35%. These “workhorses” need to be available in every operatory with every patient since they support clinicians, patients, production, collections, communication, and internal referrals that ultimately grow the practice.
Most dental CPAs recommend that 3% of practice revenue be budgeted for investment in small equipment. Reap the rewards of increased production, decreased overhead, improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, and enhanced internal referrals and team morale by investing in your practice potential.
Practice Support Team can help with integration, setting appropriate fees, coding, and communication strategies along with additional resources to support your practice investment—at no charge to you as a Gold or Platinum Burkhart client.
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