Dear Clients, one of my responsibilities as a dental consultant is to make sure my clients are aware of emerging trends and technologies which may, or will, impact their future profitability. Often this means setting goals and plans in place that require change, and change is never easy, but then again, it's never optional either. One of the most significant trends happening in general dentistry today is the significant shift toward GP's placing dental implants, and the impact this will have on them, their teams, and their practices.
Patrick Hayden is an expert on this subject matter and I thank him for sharing the following very important and timely information with Amy Smith Consulting, LLC and my clients.
Reinvent and revitalize your practice with 3D-guided implantology
By Patrick Hayden, M.Ed., Principal & Owner of Hayden Education
The Dental Market
In 2011 there were over half a billion missing teeth in adults 18-65 in America. Two million of those missing teeth were replaced by dental implants, and implant placement is expected to almost double by 2018. What is even more important is the significant trend toward GPs placing dental implants. Estimates indicate that by 2018, 58% of all implants will be placed by GPs.
Let's do the math on that. Four million implants by 2018, times 58% done by GPs = 2,320,000 implants placed by GPs in 2018. And the numbers are only expected to continue to grow.
3D Guided Implantology
3D guided dental implant procedures are an integral reason for this explosive growth in GP-placed dental implants. The 3D cone beam is the "Hubble Telescope" of diagnostics for dentists, and is the new norm. If the dentist can "see" through better diagnostics, they can offer a more accurate and predictable treatment plan, ultimately leading to a healthier and happier patient.
The Dental Team
While the GP is, of course, the 'leader of the band', they cannot succeed without an equally dedicated, motivated and educated team. The dental team is the most untapped resource in most dental practices, and the common thread in high-functioning, successful practices. The ability of the team to effectively communicate to patients a diagnosis and treatment plan that will improve their health is now more important than ever with the emerging technologies of dental implants and 3D digital technology. It is not at all uncommon for a dentist to make a dental implant therapy recommendation to a patient only for that patient to then turn to the hygienist, dental assistant, or front desk admin and ask them, "What do you think?" What would your staff say? How articulate and informed would their reply be?
An impactful, educated, consistent answer to that question by all the members of the team can dramatically impact case acceptance for implant placement. To maximize this significant practice growth opportunity, it is imperative for the entire team to consistently demonstrate proficient, consultative knowledge of dental implants and the 3D digital workflow.
Reinvent Your Practice Through Education
Some implant specialists may feel their business is threatened by more GPs placing dental implants. They should not. Most GPs (76%) will still refer their implant cases to their implant specialist partner. However, as the implant pie gets bigger, everyone's practice will grow. Implant specialists need to proactively prepare for these changes by reinventing themselves by offering 3D guided implant placement for their referral's patients. And GPs who choose to start placing dental implants will need a roadmap and education -- education on choosing a dental implant system, on a 3D cone beam, on 3D implant planning software, on guided placement of dental implants, and on how to effectively communicate the value of this exciting treatment to their patients.
In other words, education is key to maximizing the potential of this exciting new technology, and to unlocking a new era in greater patient satisfaction and greater dental practice profitability.