Dental Businesses and challenges

The 7 Biggest Challenges Dental Businesses Face

Dentistry is one of the most vital medical professions of the 21st century. Gradually, it has grown from a basic medical service provision, to highly complex dental procedures.

In the past, dentists dealt majorly with tooth and gum illnesses, and perhaps correction of misaligned teeth. Today, there is more to dental businesses than treating illnesses, teeth alignment, or emergency dental care. More people are now seeking teeth aesthetics services. In fact, these procedures are in huge demand, especially from celebrities. On top of that, there are considerations such as marketing, scheduling, procurement etc., tasks not related to the health part of the business at all.

This means that dental businesses today have so much more on their plates than they admit. During the course of duty, it is not uncommon to encounter a variety of health and legal issues. This might sometimes threaten one’s job. Knowing who to turn to for legal services is a big step towards preservation of one’s career. After all, who knows when eventualities may arise during emergency dental care? Taking precaution is therefore vital.

Although dentists play a major role in oral treatment and procedures, they encounter numerous challenges within the course of their practice.

1. Competition from other dental businesses

Due to the huge number of practicing dentists, many are qualified and licensed to practice. Setting up a dental clinic in an area overcrowded with the same professionals poses a huge challenge, especially for a newcomer. Competition should inspire a professional to up their game. When competition appears tight, upgrading one’s services can help win more patients.

2. Time management

Time management remains a huge challenge for most professionals. Balancing between work and fun is not one of the easiest practices for everyone. To appropriately manage time, dentists can set goals which are not only realistic, but achievable as well. Prioritizing schedules according to urgency and importance can help streamline each day’s activities. Setting time limits, while planning ahead, could also help manage time.

3. Educating patients

A dentist handles more than just teeth problems. Some of these include educating patients on the right oral procedures. As dentists tend to patient dental needs, they also determine areas where patients may be in need of more information. 

Important areas to cover include: proper ways of brushing teeth and brushing frequency, foods to avoid and those to incorporate into the daily diet. However, few patients adhere to these – most of them choose to follow their own routine instead, not following the dentist’s suggestions. This can be frustrating for any professional. However, regularly reminding patients of dos and don’ts and putting emphasis on them until they adhere to these guidelines, while occasionally changing tact, can be helpful.

4. Consistency with patient care

Consistency with patient care is not an easy task for most medics. Since each day presents its own fair share of challenges, sometimes living up to the expectations of patients fails to hit the target. 

A dentist might recommend a given course of treatment, which might fail due to a number of reasons. Any time a patient feels a treatment plan has not been satisfactory, trying out the next professional is the most likely scenario. The best way to deal with this is always upgrading one’s services. 

Keeping pace with new and emerging information, purchasing the latest high-tech gadgets, and advertising services to a wide number of audiences may boost patient confidence. This can lead to winning new patients in a competitive profession, and dental businesses have shown to be highly competitive.

5. Debts accumulated during the course of study

Debts accumulated during the course of study haunt a number of dentists. Debts hold most practitioners back from ownership practices. Asking for loans to finance small clinics is almost inconceivable for many dentists who are still burdened with student loans. 

This alone denies many of them the comfort of leading an average life. To carefully handle this situation, dentists could work more hours in order to quickly repay debts. At the same time, championing a waiver of some of these debts may work in their favor.

6. Raising Revenue

Today, running a successful dental practice requires careful financial planning, to cut overhead costs and increase revenue. Unfortunately, in this competitive environment, this is easier said than done. On top of that, patients demand premium services while expecting minimal treatment costs, which further adds to the dental office operational costs. To increase their earnings, some dentists offer a wider range of services, including esthetic treatment options like Botox and dermal fillers, while others are forced to increase their practice operational hours – many offering emergency dentist services to increase the earnings.

7. Emergence of pandemics

The emergence of pandemics like HIV and Covid-19 has taken a toll on dentistry. Handling teeth requires proximity to patients, which generally compromises a dentist’s health during the Covid-19 period. At the same time, whenever dentists have to handle HIV patients, any slight mistake can result in serious repercussions. 

To stay safe, dental businesses must put all safety measures in place. Encouraging patients to take the necessary tests before treatment is also very important.

As rewarding as dentistry may be, it has its fair share of challenges that call for properly outlined solutions. A dentist’s services are demanding, but can also lead to legal concerns at any moment. Keeping abreast with medical – as well as legal – information during emergency tooth removal is vital for every professional dentist

Roseline Okumu

Roseline comes from an educational background, with a strong link to medicine - special needs in development and education. Over the years she has established herself as a regular contributor to dental and GP sites around the world.

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