Publisher Lisa Moler sees our readers getting back to business after COVID-19 — with lessons learned and an eye toward success.
Here comes summer – we are already halfway through the year – many of us hit the ground running into 2021 – a robust reboot of the “Roaring 20s!” During this past year, we have all had plenty of time to think about our personal and professional lives, what works and what needs to be changed. It’s definitely time to get back to business.
Here are some interesting and positive facts from an ADA Health Policy Institute survey collected in January.
- Patients are back! As of the week of January 18, patient volume was estimated at 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels, on average. Staffing in dental offices was at 99% of pre-COVID-19 levels and four out of five employee dentists were being paid fully.
- Dentists are realizing their worth! At the beginning of the year, nearly a third of dentists had raised fees. Those who needed some extra help were proactive, taking out loans, reducing their dental team hours, and changing suppliers to those more appropriate to their goals. Retirement rates have not changed due to COVID-19.
- Practices are ready to roar! The sector has recovered nearly fully in terms of hiring and employment. Based on vaccine rollout and perceptions, full recovery of dentistry is anticipated by the summer or fall.
Research and development continues to bring new products and techniques to dental specialties, and now, it’s time to figure out how to stay ahead in this very competitive marketplace.
One valuable way is letting MedMark publications educate you about products, services, and techniques that can add to your armamentarium and boost your patients’ options. The more choices that patients have for treatment, the more ways that you can expand your practice’s scope and profits. This issue of Dental Sleep Practice features a cover story on Earl O. Bergersen, who developed OrthoTain® technology and the HealthyStart® system. Bergersen’s primary focus has been centered on the technological development and clinical implementation of better diagnostic and therapeutic systems and identifying access to care. Teresa Power’s article, “Struggle of the Juggle,” discusses adding DSM to a busy restorative practice, with stories of three dentists from three different time zones who are building their sleep practices and making an impact on patients’ lives. Drs. Jagdeep Bijwadia and Greg Manning’s CE article titled, “Home Sleep Testing, Telemedicine, and the Impact on Dental Sleep Practices” shows that dentists play a major role in identifying patients at risk and helping manage the epidemic of sleep disordered breathing. They say that despite individual variability, dental devices can be highly effective for patients with mild, moderate, and even severe OSA.
Many aspects of traditional dentistry have changed over the past year, and clinicians were pushed to find ways to serve patients better while maintaining safe protocols. Applications like teledentistry, patient texting, and online consultations showed that you can stay connected to your patients and serve their needs with secure options. Patients have embraced new technologies and still want these benefits even as offices return to full business as usual. Methods for scheduling fewer appointments and less chair time, while maintaining the personal connection with patients, have been created with more creativity and success that will continue into the future.
While 2020 started out as one of the most unusual in our lives, 2021 promises continued healing and the potential for great success. Let us help you get ready to roar into the future with high expectations!
Read more of Lisa Moler’s thoughts on getting back to business after COVID-19 in her perspective entitled, “Renewed Energy in 2021” here