George Bernard Shaw once said,“Those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.” That would apply to all fields of life; including the sciences; and dentistry is no exception.
The rapid scientific developments of the day have kept dentists on their toes; and the result is the influx of new technologies, tools and practices that have kept dentistry moving towards the future.
Advancements in technology are making diagnosis more precise and therefore, treatment more accurate. Treatments such as lasers are making historically painful and feared procedures significantly more bearable.
Some of the amazing advancements have been elaborated for your perusal below.
The Industry is becoming more ‘Internet Centred’
This aspect of advancement should come as no surprise. Almost every aspect of our lives involves the internet of things (IoT) to some extent, and the fact that it is spreading its influence into the dental world can only mean massive improvements.
Databases with customer details and transaction histories are now accessible over cloud-based servers which would offer relief for frequent travelers as well as dentists working in remote locations. With easily accessible customer histories on mobiles and tablets, it offers doctors an opportunity to lead fast, adaptable lifestyles across multiple clinics and hospitals.
Patient-Centric Approach to Treatment
Increasingly, dentists are making patient-care their number one priority. This does not only mean paying adequate attention to their preferences, but it also keeping a holistic account of medical histories while devising treatment plans.
This specifically caters to the financial aspect as well as availability in busy schedules. Another major shift in this aspect would be considering the patient first and understanding their fears and quirks to make them more comfortable.
This is simply getting to know the patient, but it definitely makes a huge difference in upgrading the comfort level of patients and making their experience that much easier. Patient portals allow dentists to provide patients with increasing information about the history of their appointments as well as organise their future appointments. Medical insurance plans are also linked with these portals to allow better coordination between insurance companies, regulators and medical practitioners.
Furthering Financial Solutions
The last quarter of 2017 saw the Congress failing to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program which provides dental as well as general medical insurance. This brought to light the importance of having financial solutions in place for everyone for them to better afford the medical attention they need.
Medical and dental care is one of the basic necessities. Bearing this in mind, more flexible options are being introduced to make sure that a majority of people can rush to the dentists without worrying about the financial aspect of quality dental care.
Inflation is a common concern among all. Dentists are no different with the rising costs of running an individual practice; 2018 is seeing a rise in group practices.; a trend that has long been predicted due to various socio-economic trends in the context of the industry.
This trend has some benefits from the point of view of patients, as they are able to access multiple specialists under a single roof. This also has the benefit of progress for all, as one dentist could refer patients to fellow dentists who specialize in a different area.
The traditional gender gap that has existed in the industry is now closing in. There has been an increase in the number of female students studying the said subject, meaning there will be an increase in the number of female dentists and orthodontists in the future.
An increasing number of dentists are resorting to utilizing rapidly improving technology and machinery such as:
- 3-D printing
- CAD/CAM technologies
- Laser technology
All of them save time, seek to prevent pain, ensure better treatment and better results.
3-D printing is now being used, not just to create orthodontic devices, but also in general dentistry, implantology, prosthodontics and even to create custom treatment solutions with in coordination with patients.
Quality over Quantity
An economic truism states that doctors must treat as many patients as possible in order to increase their incomes. Dentists too, after all, are consumers in the larger spectrum.
There has been a marked change amongst medical practitioners, however, who have resorted to providing superior patient care and emphasizing more on patient’s outcome instead by giving patients quality individualized care. This shift is due to the increasing demands of patients in a world of social-media awareness as well as developing quality standards that require enhanced services from dental practitioners.