“The State of Dentistry” – it’s a frequent subject line in your email and the focus of podcasts and articles. This barrage may be creating some anxiety for you and your team and cause you to lament for the “good old days of dentistry.”
Dental school applicants have more than doubled from 5,123 in 1990 to 11,873 in 2017, according to the American Dental Education Association. The ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI) recently released their updated dental forecast, indicating the supply of dentists will continue growing through 2037. They expect this increase in dentists to outpace U.S. population growth, resulting in an increase in the number of dentists per 100,000 population, from 60.9 in 2017 to 63.7 in 2037. Additionally, despite the significant economic recovery of recent years’, dental net profits adjusted for inflation have continued to decline. No doubt, practices will face more competition and tighter overhead pressures in the years to come.
We encourage you to reframe these thoughts. There are a lot of positive trends occurring in dentistry. You have the power, in your hands, to improve your practice, maintain a competitive edge, and not be discouraged or overwhelmed.
The Good News:
- Dentistry was rated as the number two profession recently by U.S. News & World Report, based upon income level, flexible hours, work/life balance, and stress level.
- When we asked dentists if they would recommend the field of dentistry to their son or daughter, 59% said they’d recommend it.
- With practice values at an all-time high, 45% of doctors 65 or older retired in 2017. If the trend continues, this could ease competition in some areas.
- Dentistry will benefit from increased demand from a growing, aging population. The 65+ demographic will grow from 12% of the total population to a peak of 20% in 2035. We know as patients age, they tend to spend more on dentistry.
- Household Income is increasing now that the US is at full employment.
- Highly evolved (and more affordable) digital technologies will help decrease overhead.
- Access has never been easier to practice management support and “best practice” resources to help your business
What will you choose to focus on? What you can or can’t control?
For the 32% of dentists we spoke to who would not recommend a career in dentistry, they cited overhead, insurance, and management pressures as the cause. Burkhart’s Practice Support Team can offer you a lifeline through:
- Overhead analysis and production enhancing strategies
- PPO analysis and recommendations
- Leadership resources
We believe focusing on what you can control and targeting your efforts on a few key performance indicators in your practice will help you create a brighter future than some would predict. We’ve seen it through our newest offering, the Practice Analysis. On average, we find $196,442 in lost production opportunities. What would an average boost of 13.2% in production mean in your practice?
Reach out to your Burkhart Account Manager to see if a Practice Analysis is right for your practice.
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