"By October and November, we have our senior team work on a top down/bottoms up approach to think about growth, stability, and sustainability in the context of what next year can look like. With this in mind, we think about what kind of growth we are hoping for and what initiatives we are going to focus on for the upcoming year that will drive the new revenue. By creating a 2 X 2 matrix of existing patients and existing services—and layer on new services—we can achieve business growth."
"As an endodontist and a practice owner, another year is coming to a close, which means now is the time to review my fiscal year-end planning and my tax strategies. To make the right decisions, I ask myself the following questions: Did I purchase equipment this year? Did I purchase, construct, or renovate my office building? Have I maximized my retirement accounts? I talk with my CPA and my financial advisor about these plans and make sure I execute the plans which will help my practice grow, bring reliable technology that can improve my efficiency and my patients' experience."
Route 66 Dental Implants & Periodontics
"Every year, my team and I schedule a meeting to review all aspects of our dental practice, but the most important for me is to evaluate the effectiveness of our policies and systems. This includes everything from website updates all the way to staff compensation to marketing strategies to equipment needs. The goal is to 'trim the fat' in the practice and eliminate things that are not working and reinforce the things that work really well. Everything we discuss has an action plan and a due date which we revisit quarterly."
Chief Consulting Officer, eAssist Dental Solutions
"My clients are finding creative ways to recruit team members since the onset of the pandemic. 1: Write a creative ad. Don't write the 'wanted Dead or Alive' help wanted ad. If you want to recruit a rock star team member, write the ad in this manner. 2: Hire for attitude and train for skill. Unless the team member needs a license to perform their job, hire for personality."
President, Compliance Training Partners
"One thing that is consistent with all of our clients across the United States is the difficulty they are presently having recruiting staff. We have had several doctors tell us that they have decided to drop participation in several of their low-reimbursing PPO plans because they do not have adequate numbers of staff. To their delight, the bottom line has improved as they focus on patients with insurance that does not create large write-offs! Other clients have shown creativity by developing in-office training programs for dental assistants, allowing them to hire quality individuals who may not have any dental experience, creating a larger pool of potential applicants."
Partner, Gray Pilgrim and Associates, LLC
"Throw Money At It—That's How You Solve The Problem!! Many clients say that they are struggling to recruit team members and have had to offer much more money to new hires. But money is not the only factor a new hire will consider when job shopping. Be creative with benefits like gifts! The tax-free value is limited to $1,600 for all awards to one employee in a year. Gifts awarded for length of service are not taxable, so long as they are not cash or gift cards. Create a practice where staff members actually want to come to work!!"
Founder, Aligned Advisors
"Many dental offices are looking outside of dental for hiring. Look for people with great people skills who may not have as much dental experience but are personable and trainable. It's easier to train the dental skills. Consider promoting from within. If you're having a hard time finding assistants, perhaps a front office employee can move to the back. Incentivize your staff for referring potential hires. Have your Hygienists join a HYG Facebook group and look for Hygienists there. Reach out to past employees who you would hire again and see if they're available. Always be looking for top talent."
Dental & Medical Counsel, PC, HR for Health
"The first step to successful hiring is the job posting. It's important you have strong job descriptions as your foundation, outlining your expectations clearly. The job posting is a great place to include information regarding your mission and values. What makes your practice unique? Why should a candidate work there? With how competitive the market is, now is a great time to re-evaluate your wage and benefit offerings. Are your competitors offering more than you? Are you losing quality employees to other practices that are offering more? Check out the tools you need to be successful in our Hiring Toolkit."
Owner & Chief Communications Officer, Jameson Consulting
"At Jameson, we live by the mantra 'hire slow and hire right.' This remains our mantra for our clients, even in times of limited team and limited recruiting options. Cross-training, communication and adaptability with your team is imperative. When your entire team understands the overall systems of the practice, you can adapt to maximize your day. Regardless of the urgency, once a great candidate is found, onboarding and training MUST be prioritized. If you want to find yourself back on track quickly, taking the time to intentionally set new employees up for success through training is an important investment of time."
DDS, Raleigh, NC
"My favorite technique for gaining treatment acceptance is using my scanner for a bite assessment and ortho simulation and DSLR camera for facially-guided diagnosis and cosmetic photography for a before-and-after smile gallery. Both of these tools give me the ability for better clinical diagnosis and help patients better understand their oral health conditions and the proposed treatment options."
DDS, New York City, NY
"Thankfully, parents are usually accepting of treatment for their children's caries. They tend to be more hesitant when it comes to elective procedures like sealants. I always pull up a before-and-after picture of sealants from Google and ask parents to come over and take a look inside at their child's groovy teeth. Cue dancing molar!"
DDS, MAGD, Greensboro, NC
"If a picture's worth 1000 words...why are you still talking? It may seem easy to give a patient a hand mirror and try to show a cavity, fracture, or missing cusp. We had eight operatories, and eight Digi Doc Intraoral cameras. Our firm rule was a picture on every patient for every procedure-before, during, and after. The results were the All-Time Biggest Gamechanger! Please remember that 'Evidence Defeats Doubt.' When the patient sees the changes, and owns their problems, practicing comprehensive optimal care dentistry is a slam dunk! JUST DO IT!"
DDS, Owings Mills, MD
"I believe that the most important moment at this point in a case presentation is to ask the patient what I call The Commitment Question. It is a very simple and easy process. After you have built value through education and explanation, you simply look at the patient and ask 'Would you like to have this done?' This simple, but very powerful question, will always result in an answer of some type. If it is a yes, that is great. If it is a no, it is finalized. If it is a maybe, the patient will need more information and may need to consult other individuals. An objection is the same as a question and can be answered with a logical, calm and thorough example. Always be sure to ask The Commitment Question."
DDS, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
"Patients who are referred word of mouth are already in a mindset immediately upon entering the office to trust your recommendations. For other patients, digital radiographs are great. Enlarging an image on a screen allows you to diagnose along with the patient. The other tool that I find useful are YouTube videos. I have a shortcut on my desktop for a video that compares a 3-unit bridge to a single implant with a single crown...very useful!"
DMD, Durham, NC
"Having practiced for 40 years, I find the most valuable tool for increasing case acceptance has been the use of the intraoral camera. There are a number of parameters to consider around case acceptance. However, a patient seeing on a monitor directly in front of them a photo (or series of photos) of their mouth is invaluable. Seeing is believing. It is critical to communicate the importance of oral health as it affects their overall health. Building a relationship of trust, while bringing your patient to optimal oral health, fosters increased treatment acceptance."
DMD, Wilmington, NC
"As a prosthodontist, half the battle is getting the patient to understand their treatment options since sometimes they are complex. I find that one of the best educational tools are 3D patient models, such as a locator overdenture or a hybrid. Having the models for the patient to touch and hold helps them understand the different components related to implants. Additionally, I use the same models to illustrate oral hygiene methods. Education is a big part of my treatment plan discussion. Patients really appreciate when I spend a few more minutes explaining how the different treatment options work as well as the maintenance side of it."
DMD, Brookline, MA
"The simple formula, SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat), uncovers patients' goals. In asking what they like about their smile (Strength/positive aspect), and what they don't, their dislikes (pain, physically and mentally—Weakness/negative aspect), they begin to treatment plan themselves from their point of view. Then asking if they could change anything, what would that look like (Opportunity of the future), they share their ideal treatment and outcome. Finally, finding out what's in the way of those goals (Threat/their reality). There are five 'threats' keeping individuals from moving forward: Fear, Money, Urgency, Time, and Trust. The questions allow us to discover and address the issues, helping individuals move forward. Regarding technology, the scanner allows patients to see their teeth, occlusion, and smile on the screen, giving them the tools to take part in their own treatment decisions."
DDS, Pueblo West, CO
"My favorite tool for gaining treatment acceptance is intraoral photography. Patients believe the absence of pain means the absence of pathology, even if there is an obvious cracked tooth, fractured cusp or recurrent decay. Being able to show the patient the problem you are trying to explain, especially on a high-resolution monitor they can easily see, can be the difference between a patient saying 'yes' to treatment or becoming distrustful. The more that can be shown, the easier treatment plan presentations become. Sometimes, when the patient sees the issue, they will explain to you what needs to be corrected."
DDS, Hinsdale Dental
"The best advice I would give to today's dental school graduates for establishing a successful career is to take the time to form a personal connection to the patient you are treating. Regardless of if the treatment is emergency or routine care, taking the time to really listen to the patient and getting to know them on a deeper level will help to develop a more trusting and stronger relationship. This stronger relationship will allow for the best dental care."
DDS, Dental Arts at Washington & Vineland Dental Associates
"Listen to your patient's concerns and what they mean, not what they say. Master local anesthesia, it will make the most challenging patients become your strongest advocates and referral source. Continue lifelong learning after graduation. Understand systemic and wellness status before you proceed with treatment plan. Your first exam as well as every exam should be exceptional. Focus on the outcomes from the patient's perspective and show you care."
DMD, 3D MicroEndo
"Do the right thing for your patients! Work hard always, especially in the beginning, you're investing in yourself, you may not see the return right away, but everything you do is worth it. Do as many cases as possible and do them the right way. Quality always needs to come first!! Speed, confidence, patient management comes easier with more practice. Everyone runs into problems, do NOT get down from them. Learn from them and they will happen less and less! Don't be afraid to bounce ideas/questions off of other dentists in your practice and or mentors from dental school. We all learn from each other."
DMD, Central Park Dentistry
"The best advice I can give to a new graduate is to find the most successful dentist possible and shadow them. Specifically become their dental assistant. Do whatever it takes to get in that office. Even if it's without pay for at least four to six months. Take a ton of notes and photos everyday. Too many graduates inherit the style and mistakes of a mediocre dentist. A top dentist will teach you what to say patients, how to say it, and most importantly the best way to do it. It will pay off in spades, savings you years of trial and error."
DDS, Bryant Park Dental
"Build your network to build your future net worth. I have 4 main groups of dental colleagues-contemporaries, new dentists, those that are 10 years senior and seasoned dentists. I rely on them to help me with clinical concerns and practice management. My mentors in organized dentistry and the corporate sector provide a macro view of the state of dentistry. I also make sure to socialize with people outside of healthcare to keep my views fresh and learn more about the public view of dentistry, so I can provide the best care possible to my patients."
DMD, Dr. Gail Schupak Orthodontics
"Ever since I finished my Orthodontic residency program at Columbia, I have made it a point to be a mentor to dental students and orthodontic residents. When I was a resident it was rare to find women mentors but now we have so many more female dental school graduates. The questions always came up as to how to balance a career and family without compromising either one. I started my practice my first day out of residency but I also worked in many other practices part time. I learned the business of dentistry working for other dentists and tried to take as much continuing education to keep myself current."
DDS, Spektor Dental
"Be humble, dentistry is difficult and taxing and there are no short cuts to success. Talk to your patient and listen to what they want. Reach out and discuss cases with those that have been in practice longer. Take classes and keep learning. Be creative, be conservative and if it doesn't work at least you tried and move to the next option. The days of starting your own practice may be waning. So try to join a dental team that can provide all care related to dentistry. Participate in your community—your efforts will be rewarded. Participate in local and national dental organizations. The amount of information you can learn is amazing from other colleagues."
DDS, Weisbard Dental
"The best advice I would give today's dental school graduates for establishing a successful career would be to always be true to your values. In today's world it is easy to be lured into practice options that may not be right for you. Trust your instincts and know integrity, respect, compassion and service will lead you in the right direction. Don't be dollar driven. Create strong relationships and community, and the dollars will come and so will an incredibly rewarding career."
DDS, Open Door Community Health Centers
"In dentistry, there are so many different ways to achieve the same end result. For example, a simple class II restoration can be completed using different bands, different materials, and in the end, the cavity is filled, tooth is in contact and occlusion is on point. As you get out of school, you should explore these different methods and techniques and adapt them in the way that you practice. Take your time, don't be afraid to try new things and more importantly, do not rush! Lastly, don't forget to just have fun! To see how I have fun with dentistry, check out my Instagram page @Dr_Gibbz."
"I am most excited about the advancements in technology that continuously evolve the practice of dentistry. I know this will lead to better outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. Another component that excites me is collaboration among different fields in healthcare. Partnering with other providers will lead to healthier patients overall. I am confident about the future of dentistry and I look forward to growing in the profession of dentistry as it is bright."
University of Utah School of Dentistry
"The future of dentistry is placing more emphasis on interprofessional relationships and maintaining communications amongst dentists. Dentistry is a team-based profession, it flourishes when everyone works together for the best interest of the community around them. Whether we connect virtually or we are working in the same building, sharing our knowledge amongst each other and providing channels to grow and learn, dentistry's importance and role in overall health will be more broadly understood and appreciated."
University of Nevada Las Vegas
"The integration of oral health into primary health care. Dental professionals now have a deeper understanding of the many connections between oral health and overall health. There's more opportunity than ever for dentists to collaborate with physicians in providing holistic care. I envision a future where oral health services are included in routine primary care visit, where communication between a patients' physician and dentist routinely occurs in the same office that treatment is being provided. I'm eager to help break down these barriers and be a part of a team that's able to better manage my patients' chronic diseases."
"This past year was filled with unprecedented challenges as the world battled the coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, and global climate crisis, to name a few. As a young provider entering the field during this turbulent time, I am especially encouraged by recent strides in diversity and inclusion efforts. I believe it's important to recognize early on that our professional demographics should reflect those of our patients across the nation. In particular, the American Student Dental Association has stood in solidarity with students against injustice and furthered its efforts to protect and advance the rights, interests, and welfare of dental students and their communities. I am hopeful that our generation's spirit continues to reduce health disparities through advocating for patients and providers in the coming years."
University of California, Los Angeles
"The continual efforts to increase access to oral healthcare. The notion that oral health influences an individual's overall health is a known fact to us as dentists, but we still have room to grow in our public health policies to reflect this. As dental students, we at UCLA spend countless hours serving our community. Now, so close to graduation, I cannot wait to see how we will serve them at an expanded capacity as dentists. In my case, I will strive to give children a strong foundation in their oral health as an FQHC pediatric dentist."
New York University
"Every year, great advances are made in dentistry and in the way patient care is delivered through innovative research and through developments in technology. The way that dentistry has been perceived over the last decades has been significantly altered through the emergence of technologies such as Virtual Surgical Planning, 3D Printing, and zirconia implants. These advances play a role in altering the patient experience so that dental services are more efficient, comfortable and predictable as when compared to the past. I am honored to be a part of the journey that improves dental care through the development of new technologies."
University of California San Francisco
"Technology has helped evolve every industry on the planet, with dentistry being no exception! With each year, dentistry has transformed to be more accurate and efficient in several ways. But it's not just the technology! Rise in awareness, availability of resources and focus on prevention has shifted people's relationship with their teeth. People have started believing that good oral health resonates with one's systemic health, considered anecdotal for the longest time. It is indeed exciting to see the paradigm shift from pain relief procedures to elective procedures for enhancing the quality of life, that continue to reshape the future of dentistry into a leading and primo profession each day."
University of Iowa
"Throughout my training at the UI College of Dentistry, my faculty have emphasized the significance of providing individualized, quality care by redefining the meaning of comprehensive treatment in comparison to the cookie-cutter approach used in previous generations. Student clinicians are now learning the impact of systemic conditions on oral health and incorporating social factors (i.e., SES, race, lifestyle) into treatment plans to achieve better patient outcomes and satisfaction. I'm excited that the future of dentistry is demanding more specialized care for our patients and is moving in the direction to produce clinically and culturally competent providers."
"We can all agree the dental profession is moving faster than ever before. The marriage of technology with dentistry has allowed for certain procedures to become part of the day-to-day of the general practitioner. Procedures such as implant placement, clear aligners, even Botox and fillers, are becoming part of the regular menu of many dental offices. As I enter this amazing profession, what excites me the most is the incredible expansion in the scope of the General Dentist and the possibilities that lie within the new boundaries."
University of North Carolina
"I'm elated at the prospect of my upcoming graduation. Looking ahead, I'm excited that computer-assisted design and manufacture (CADCAM), including 3D printing, are now integrated into dentistry and revolutionizing the profession. Dentures, orthodontic models, surgical guides, aligners and much more can be generated faster and more precisely, resulting in more efficient digital lab option. With time, it will likely become a low-cost option for patients. Teledentistry is gaining popularity consequent to COVID and I am most ecstatic. More people, especially vulnerable children in underserved areas, now have better access to care and cheaper preventive practices. The potential is exceedingly promising."
"If 20 years ago someone said you could go to the dentist completely edentulous, and in the same day leave with 8 implants and new teeth, would you have believed them? With advances in the latest research and newest technologies, same-day dentistry is the future of the profession. Thanks to CAD/CAM, CBCT, 3D printing, and more, dentists can now provide highly efficient, highly esthetic same-day treatment options to their patients not previously possible. I am committed to my learning of these technologies and incorporating them into my practice of dentistry as I begin my career as a same-day dentist."
West Virginia University
"I find it remarkable that discoveries in 3D printing technology and biocompatible materials allow dentists to tailor treatment to our patient's unique needs. This allows dentists to provide quality care and innovations in the field contribute to that moment that every dentist waits for—when the patient smiles! That is what excites me most about dentistry—being in a position to positively impact a patient's self-esteem. Additionally, I am proud to be part of a profession that works in conjunction with other healthcare fields to better a community."
"Despite the impact that the global pandemic has had on the field of dentistry, I find myself—now more than ever—enthusiastic about the future of the dental profession. I am most excited about the recent strides in innovation. Through advances in telecommunication technology and digital diagnostic imaging services, teledentistry is revolutionizing patient care. Virtual dental health clinics allow dentists to provide remote diagnosis and triaging, and patients benefit from reduced fees and wait times. Its application can also benefit those who live in dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) and reduce disparities in access to care."
University of Alabama at Birmingham
"Dentistry has made some amazing technical advancements in recent years, and I am most excited to have the ability to see these technologies enter the clinic for the benefit of patients. As these advances become increasingly accessible, I have no doubt they will become the standard of care and help us treat patients better and more efficiently. I am so glad to have trained in an environment that supports future innovation and plan to be an early adopter of what I believe is a bright future."
A.T. Still University
"There is so much that excites me about the dental profession! It is really an honor for me to be graduating into a collaborative, ever-evolving field. Yes, digital dentistry, teledentistry, better treatment, streamlined protocols and improved materials, all certainly stir a sense of joy. However, in this next stage I am most looking forward to an even more simple opportunity. I look forward to being a resource for the fearful and underserved. To help members of my community by compassionately answering questions and concerns, screening for risks associated with overall systemic health, reducing pain and infection, and brightening a smile."
"I am most excited about joining the profession with a foundational set of skills to bring precision dentistry into practice. Learning about advances in imaging and molecular diagnostics coupled with Columbia's intense focus on an inter-professional approach allows for a more precise evidence-based treatment plan. It is exciting to enter the profession at a time when we are learning how to use data and material science to provide tailored treatment to our patients. Data based precision dentistry often produces a better outcome at a faster pace and I am excited to incorporate it into my practice."
"As dental technologies evolve and advance, I am excited to see how treatment planning for both simple and complex cases becomes more seamless and allows for more interdisciplinary collaboration. This collaboration will lead to superior patient care and experience. I am excited that as technology advances, the need for a compassionate and clinically proficient provider to afford the treatment of the future will remain as important as it is today. I am thrilled to be part of this technological evolution in dental care at TCDM and look forward to applying it in residency and private practice."
UOP Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
"What most excites me about the future of the dental profession is that dentistry is entering a new era. The pandemic has disrupted the 'normal' way of life for the entire world. Although it has caused many losses, it also has many gains, and most importantly has made room for new thought processes, new methodologies, new innovations. The pandemic has forced reflection and reevaluation of what 'moving forward' will look like. I am hopeful this shift will favor a broader delivery of dental care to more people of all demographic backgrounds, and further advance the dental profession in caring for America's oral health."
University of Florida
"I am most excited about the technological advancements in the future of the dental profession. It seems every day there are new pieces of technology being released in the dental profession to increase efficiency but also to be used as a tool to better communicate with our patients and increase case acceptance. Whether it's printing prostheses, milling crowns, or scanning full arches, technology in dentistry seem to go hand in hand in today's world. I am excited to continue learning about how to greater integrate technology my everyday work life post-graduation."
University of Kentucky
"The future of dentistry is bright with the ever- progressing technology that continues to exceed patients' expectations especially in the areas of implantology, esthetic crowns, and orthodontics. However, for me, the future of the dental profession isn't exciting because of the technology or profitability. It is exciting because I can think of no better way to serve and love people in Christ than by helping them find the confidence to smile where before they felt shame. I am excited to be a part of a profession in which everyday I will have the opportunity to not only be a smile designer, a tooth saver, a pain manager, but I will also be given the chance to be a friend."
"The potential for expanded access to care and education. There are many underserved patients in areas with few dentists. Encouraging more dentists to serve in such locations would help improve oral health. Distributing accurate information at periodic checkups to our patients can help arrest and prevent dental issues such as caries and gingivitis. Prevention is essential in dentistry, and educating patients is our major responsibility. Combined with modern technologies such as telecommunication, scanning, and bioactive restorative materials, the possibility to preserve teeth through knowledge and education and restore decayed ones is limitless, with fewer boundaries."
"I am most excited to deliver compassionate, patient-centered care with the latest technologies in order to relieve pain and provide aesthetic results."
"What an exciting time we live in dentistry! We are blessed almost daily with new techniques and technology. These advancements are improving our patients' oral health and consequently their quality of life. As a brand-new dentist, I am excited about the new smart chromatic resin composite that recently came onto the market. It helps us simplify direct restorations. I am thrilled with the many choices of software available to deliver same-day crowns. How they aid in implant planning and make placement more predictable, efficient, and safe. It's truly incredible and we are lucky to be here and witness today. The future of our careers is wide open and there could not be a better time to be a part of this wonderful profession."
University of Michigan
"To join a field that adapts quickly and effectively to the changes in the world around it. From the past year, it has been encouraging to see the level of safety and care that dental providers hold themselves to for their patients. Dental providers continue to advance the field through work in research, technology, and clinical care, while relying on the foundational roots of the profession. The field is diverse, allowing each provider to find their passion. It is an honor to be a part of this work and join this field."
Texas A&M University
"Dental school orientation, Day 1: I looked around the room in awe of the number of women and range of cultures and ethnicities. I thought 'this is the future of dentistry.' The continued growth of diversity in dentistry is exciting. Diversity in dentistry doesn't just mean providing underserved individuals a dentist who looks or speaks like them. Patients need providers who are culturally competent and inclusive. A socioeconomically and culturally diverse student body and opportunities to learn dentistry in underserved communities positively impact the entire class. Diversity in dentistry prepares more dentists, backgrounds aside, to diminish barriers to quality care. That's exciting!"
"There are many valuable changes we implemented during and in preparation for the pandemic, and here are those we'll continue. We will still keep the lab coats, medical grade air purifiers, face shields for most procedures (aerosols), hygiene appointments won't all go back to 1 hour (some will still be 1.5), pre-mouth rinses for some patients, KN95 masks for some procedures, and appropriate level for all others. Most important, keeping our patients and team safe and informed."
Vice President of Clinical Affairs DentaQuest Care Group
"We will continue to use our patient screening processes for all patients and visitors as part of our overall efforts to minimize potential for community spread of COVID. Enhanced use of respiratory protection PPE will also continue. We will look to set aside some of our current limitations on use of certain dental equipment such as cavitrons and air/water syringes."
"As a progressive practice, dedicated to the health and well being of our staff and patients, we will maintain all of the new protocols we have in place. Some may be modified, but I never see us letting off the gas or taking a step backward. We have learned so much over the past year and we are continuing to uncover more data through incredible scientific discoveries. We will look to companies like Henry Schein to improve access to products and materials that make it easier for us to maintain this new standard of safety."
Prosthodontist, CEJ Dentistry
"While the pandemic certainly upset the dental profession like nothing before, it did give us all the opportunity to implement new precautions and examine the efficiency of various workflows. Although I've used digital technologies for most of my procedures, I'll continue to implement technology whenever and wherever possible—minimizing analog information to dental laboratories and throughout our office. In addition to maintaining the infection control protocols, the implementation of these procedures/processes has provided a more efficient and effective patient and team flow and a more personalized experience for everyone in our office."
Periodontist, Rocky Mount Periodontics & Implant Center
"The pandemic has led to many changes in our dental practice. Fortunately, many of the implemented changes have been for the better and I do foresee these changes as being permanent. Aside from the updated requirements regarding PPE from the CDC guidelines, we have implemented two big changes. We added high quality air purifiers in each room of our dental practice as this has provided more peace of mind for our patients and staff. Secondly, we transitioned into a completely paperless practice by incorporating new dental software with our practice management system. This has also allowed for our patients and team to feel safer as it minimizes common touch surfaces (pen, clipboard, etc.). As safety is of utmost importance, I am very glad that our dental practice has been able to adapt during these unprecedented and trying times."
Private Practice, Provo Utah, Co-founder and COO of DevDent, CEO, Sleep Utah
"As soon as COVID forced us to close our doors, we implemented telemedicine. We started doing all of our new patient consults as well as our follow up visits virtually. We chose to do real time video and audio visits, as it provided us with the best personal connection. Patients and providers both really enjoyed the ease of this process. We have continued to offer this as an option, and about 40% of our new patients and 90% of our follow ups, choose telemedicine over in person visits. This has not only reduced the barrier facing some patients surrounding COVID, but also barriers like time away from family or work and wanting to have their spouse present. We find patients are actually more engaged and case acceptance has not been negatively affected. Since we are set up to bill medical insurance, we are still being compensated for this time as well. So it's a win-win."
"At ATSU Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, we will continue to utilize our HEPA/PCO air filters, rubber dam when possible, and HVE for all aerosol-generating procedures. As far as PPE, we will continue to use N95s mask for AGPs, as well as head coverings and face shields. We have gone to scrubs for all clinical faculty (previously students, residents, and staff were in scrubs). In reading the literature and listening to experts, it is likely this will not be the last epidemic/pandemic situation we face in the future, so it's best to continue to be vigilant in our infection control."
FAGD, Dentistry of Mendham, P.A.
"Since reopening our practice last June during the pandemic, we instituted a host of enhanced protocols to respond to the reality of the situation. We were fortunate to have a positive reaction from our patients and we were able to begin working again. We ramped up operations slowly and carefully. As we pass the one year mark of beginning the pandemic, we learned that certain pandemic protocols are here to stay long term. Our PPE, cleaning and sterilization protocols, as well as our virtual waiting room have proved to be successful and prudent. Keeping the reception room empty allows for better privacy with financial discussions at the front desk. Scheduling the next appointment from the clinical rooms not only prevents miscommunications and crowding at the front desk, it encourages the patient to reappoint while still in the office and maintain continuity with their provider. If desired, an appointment card is sent to a label printer at the reception desk and the administrative team can focus solely on managing the patient's account and financial obligations."
Chief of Dental MedicineGrady Health System
"As Chief of Dental Medicine for the Grady Health System, I instituted transmission-based precautions including fit tested N95s, disposable gowns, face shields that allowed for practitioners to safely wear loops and a great deal of new technology to provide The Safest Dental Visit for team and patients alike. We purchased extraoral suction devices for every operatory, mobile hydrogen peroxide units to address air and surface purification and for the larger spaces air filtration and UV/PCO systems. We changed the number and position of the chairs in the waiting room and instituted screening via teledentistry and onsite screenings. We are now participating in vaccinating our patients. All of which we intend to continue."
DMD, Aadland Dental
"Dentistry provides many different avenues that women tend to gravitate towards. It is artistic, nurturing, methodical and there is an array of flexibility within our profession. We can choose what our focus is, whether it is surgical, cosmetic, orthodontic, pediatric, etc., or we can truly take care of the families in our communities with general dentistry. I love the diversity that dentistry has to offer and the ability to shift my personal focuses throughout my career so far. As more women enter dentistry there will be a paradigm shift in the industry and I can't wait for the day when people look forward to going to the dentist because of it."
CDA, Academy of Chairside Assisting
"One of the biggest implications of the continuing gender shift is the ergonomic challenges women encounter with current dental equipment and materials. Now more than ever it is important for manufacturers to recognize this market shift and the morphological differences between men and women in regards to hand sizes, grip strength, etc. when developing equipment and extruding products like impression material, composites and cement as well as gloves and gowns. Consideration of lighter, more comfortable grips, and ease of passing from one team member to another. Minimizing health strain will allow us all to stay in our chosen careers longer and in better health."
DDS, 28 to Brush Dental Studio
"It gives me great pleasure to be a proud African-American dentist treating all demographics throughout Chicagoland and a team consisting of all women. With the evolution of more women serving in the dental realm, it will require our industry to be intentional about serving the needs for women. This starts with simply seeing people that look like us in key leadership positions—faculty at dental schools, executive roles among dental organizations, and even senior roles at companies which supplies products & services to our industry. It is my hope this shift will encourage more little girls to pursue dentistry!"
DDS, NY State Dental Association Board of Trustee
"In every professional capacity of dentistry, there are women. Women who are researchers, educators, clinicians, all of whom act as mentors for the next generation. From this demographic shift, this field will see greater access in the deliverance of oral health to wider and more diverse communities."
DMD, MPH, MMSc, Director of Pre-Doctoral Education, Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine
"As a woman, I am proud to be a dental educator and I am even more grateful for the women who paved the way for me. As women contribute even more to the dental team, we will advocate for and continue to see increased equity and empowerment. Diversifying the oral health workforce is essential for improving access to health care. We can empower younger generations by having more women of color in dentistry as role models who will pave the way for the next generation of women. Finally, it is critical that we work to ensure that we have more women and men of color as part of the dental team so communities will be more equitably served."
DDS, Private Practice, Vice President, New York County Dental Society
"There are so many accomplished women dentist leaders in the field who can work together to help future generations of dentists excel. Supporting each other will help us provide the best possible outcomes for our patients. Our seasoned dentists can share their experiences about overcoming microaggressions and work/life balance with the newer dentists. The newer dentists can help keep the seasoned dentists current with new technology and other developments. Our next step is to work together so that the decision makers in dentistry are more representative of our profession."
BSDH, MA, EDS, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry
"As the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity, I have witnessed the number of enrolled women in dental schools increase significantly over the last many years. The implications are numerous for female enrolled students to prepare for their dental careers. These demographic shifts provide the opportunities to increase dental school exposure to career options, resources, mentors, team building and collaboration, support groups, well-being sessions, and financial/debt management sessions, which ultimately assist female students' transitions to the world of professional dentistry. Dentistry must continue to address and provide similar resources and supports to help the transition of women from dental school to either continued education, academic appointments or private practice opportunities."
DDS, Private Practice and Academy of General Dentistry Spokesperson
"As a third-generation female dentist in my family, it absolutely thrills me that the conversation on how women impact dentistry is no longer 'they might be taking the place of a man.' Instead, it focuses on what positive differences we have, how we encourage and mentor young doctors and how we influence progress. We have more women leaders than ever, and I truly feel it is finally balancing out. Women approach things differently. Diverse ideas mean we all grow, collectively. I love and appreciate being part of the dialogue for helping shape the future of our amazing profession."
DMD, MSD, FICD, North Texas Endodontic Associates
"The current trend of the increase of women represented in the fields of dentistry is such a great encouragement and positive reflection within our profession. It is also a natural response to the ongoing and increasing demands for efficiency in dental care for the medically complex patients in the hospital and in the communities we live in. It has been a great opportunity to encourage women to explore, develop their potential, and discover their unique contributions to the field of dentistry. Furthermore, dental care is constantly evolving into a highly systematic profession with advanced technology and innovative tools. I personally believe women play a role in leadership and will continue to be a tremendous force to participate in scientific research, education, mentorship, and in preparing future innovators in dentistry."
DDS, MSD, Prosthodontist. Founder, Digital Dentistry Education
"It is impossible to imagine the future of our profession not being impacted by technology and innovation; it makes us more efficient and predictable. Instead of thinking about a specific technology or device; I believe workflows are the most powerful thing about digital dentistry. The integration of data acquisition devices (ie, scanners), computer-aided designs (CAD), and computer manufacturing (3D printing and milling) provide an unfair advantage to all clinicians and dental technicians that are using them. We are living in unprecedented times and the adoption of technology helps not only clinicians but patients."
Founder & President, American Association of Dental Office Management
"The game changer at AADOM was implementing project management software (PMS). AADOM is a relatively small team and we work from different states. A PMS allows for a team member to build a project within our system, assign tasks, and acknowledge dependencies. There is cloud storage where we can upload documents relative to each project and share privately. A built-in calendar function emails us every day showing what is due: on time, coming due or late. I really do not like seeing the RED 'late' notice. It prompts me to get into the PMS and complete the task on hand. A solid project management system has led to better collaboration, organization, and efficiency within AADOM."
DDS, FICOI, Millennium Smiles
"The combination of technology that I could not imagine practicing dentistry without, is my amazing Same Day Milling Machine, my entire pack of TMJD diagnostic testing devices, CBCT machine as well as my several resourceful lasers equipment. We have created such comprehensive, time-conserving and efficient process with all these advanced technologies. Our digital impression systems have paved a way for a more pleasing VIP dental experience for all our patients and has allowed many patients to overcome their dental phobia."
MSDH, RDH, ICP, A Higher Learning, LLC
"Technological advancements have provided dentistry with the ability to practice with more precision, predictability, and most importantly, diagnose and treat disease conditions at microscopic levels while using minimally invasive techniques. Look at how 3D imaging and planning have revolutionized the dental implant workflow, allowing for more precision predictability. As a hygienist focused on implant care, 3D imaging has enhanced my role as a provider allowing me to be more detailed in collecting and analyzing patient data, especially when assessing for peri-implantitis. When we know more, we can do more for our patients. Today, I cannot imagine dentistry without being able to treat in 3D!"
CDT, In-House Technician, NYC Prosthodontics
"Working as a dental lab technician, I've seen many changes since beginning in the field 20 years ago. Working in an "in-house laboratory" setting, it has been amazing to see how the evolution from a fully analogue workflow to a fully digital workflow has slowly taken over. As we entered a new year, still in the midst of a devastating pandemic, I believe the digital workflow is now even more important than ever if laboratories want to provide quality clinical care for those we serve. With the efficiency of intraoral scanning on the clinical side, combined with a completely digital design and manufacturing process (milling and 3D printing) on the laboratory side, it is nearly impossible for me to see a future without a CAD/CAM workflow playing a major role."
DMD, MS, Ozark Prosthodontics
"As a practice committed to the fully digital workflow, there are many toys that we may say that we can't live without. In reality, however, the most critical part of the digital workflow is the data acquisition step using our intraoral scanners. This is because once clinical data enters the digital world as a digital file (compared to digitizing stone casts), it is much easier to stay in the digital world. Namely, using intraoral scanners to acquire patient data—from initial scans to final impressions—has been paramount in ensuring the streamlined workflow that we so desperately strive for."
DDS, Supremia Dentistry, Director of Core 3 at the Las Vegas Institute
"The amount of high tech equipment definitely helped me weather the storm of the pandemic as my patients had the perception that we were simply 'up to date.' For well over 10 years, the implementation of CAD/CAM and CBCT have been critical to my clinical success due the control and information now available at my fingertips. My Practice Management and Communication systems have been critical to be able to keep in touch with my patients effectively (especially during the pandemic). Technology doesn't produce a great practice, but without it, it definitely makes it more challenging on every level."
BDS, DDS, CAGS, Hudson Endodontics
"As a board certified endodontist who applies advanced technology and innovations in my practice; I could not practice without the combination of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) and the use of surgical microscopes. They both help me with to reach accurate diagnosis and understanding the complex anatomy of teeth which give me the ability to provide my patients with the best possible treatment options. Also, using these technologies help me communicate better with my referrals and educate my patients. In conclusion, combining both technologies provide me with proper treatment planning, more procedural efficacy and to achieve more desirable and predictable treatment outcomes."
DDS, Roshe Dental
"As an endodontist, I find the combination of 3D imaging (CBCT) and heat-treated nickel titanium files allow me to diagnose and identify those crazy curved canals and treat them more delicately and precisely."
DMD, Private Practice and President and Chief Executive Officer & Director of Education, The Pankey Insitute
"It is difficult to look out into 2021 and predict what changes I think will affect dentistry. The challenge is the immense changes we experienced in 2020, and the uncertainty that still envelopes us all. When I do think out to more certain times, I imagine that we will see the result of pent-up demand for education, technology, and innovation. I also believe that the development of a more whole systems health mindset and the integration of medicine and dentistry will accelerate over the next few years."
DDS, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Dental Advisor
"The pandemic forced us to take a hard look at the way we practice dentistry and the best way to mitigate potential cross-contamination and infection of our patients and teams. Until the vaccine is widely distributed and we see cases decline, operations will have to continue to be streamlined, using new and existing technology wherever possible to be as efficient as possible. And all that means we need to step-up proper evaluation of new products and techniques—warp speed is good, but warp speed with proper evaluation and research is what will move us ahead in 2021."
DDS, MSD, PhD, CEO Clinicians Report Foundation and Practical Clinical Courses
"COVID-19 is still very active in some parts of the USA. However, recovery is coming in the next several months! Most health practitioners will be vaccinated soon allowing a cautious return to more live interaction. Dentistry is already recovering from the pandemic very well, and dental professionals have not caused the anticipated transfer of COVID as some predicted. CE is returning to LIVE, but some virtual courses will continue to be provided post-COVID. The majority of patients continue to be pleased to return to their regular essential oral care practitioners. Manufacturers, distributors, and laboratories are back in business and getting closer to normal activity. The COVID disaster is showing signs of dying—BUT continue to use every known precaution!"
PhD, Director, TRAC Research
"2021 brings several important changes to dentistry. Attention to AIR PURIFICATION will continue to be an important change we will see, not only in dentistry, but in hospitals and assisted living centers, restaurants, bars, cruise ships, hotel rooms, theaters, school rooms, day care centers, etc. Also, I believe a significant change in 2021 will be the incorporation of ANTI-MICROBIAL RESIN-BASED COMPOSITES into a practices' armamentarium, providing a long-needed therapeutic esthetic restorative solution!"
DMD, Family Dentistry Group
"2021 is a great year to reorganize, reinvent, and grow in Dentistry. The 2020 Pandemic has moved and motivated our profession to recognize the opportunities to renew our commitment as essential medical community members to provide comprehensive oral health care by taking full advantage of innovative technology integration. Robust software platforms, digital flow in patient care including all tissue lasers, digital acquisition of data with IO scanners, sensors, extraoral imaging units, 3D printing and milling of restorative cases onsite to provide efficiency and quality must be in the standard of care in dentistry moving forward."
BMedSc, DDS, Dip. Pros. Prosthodontist
"The coming 12 months in dentistry will really see a major shift in the way clinicians address the changes the pandemic has caused as digital technology in digital impressions and digital design is allowing for greater leaps in what can be provided in a shorter amount of time. 3D printing has come to the forefront and is providing offices with greater control of various steps of patient care. We have already seen the introduction of digital technology in the years before, but this coming year will give us advances in efficiency and accuracy of the technologies that already exist, making patient care better."
DMD, BCE, FICD, Microsurgical Root Canal Specialist
"We are in an unprecedented time as dental clinicians. Yes, we are in a global pandemic and yes, we are challenged with diversity/inclusion issues in America. However, where there is challenge there is also the potential for change. This is where our true heart beats for unity and innovation. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to give vaccines as dentists to help combat flu and Covid-19 in the future. In addition, we can utilize technology to have a real 4D hands-on/online CE course to teach dentistry around the globe. Let's utilize research and technology to create a better society."
DDS, Tulsa, Oklahoma
"The last year has provided us and our patients with a lot of time for reflection and a hard reality check. I think that for many of us, the luxuries we realize we used to take for granted, things like being able to smile and shake a new patient's hand, a hug after helping a patient transform their oral health, meeting in person for education and socializing amongst peers, will highly motivate us to get back to doing those things as conditions allow. For some of us, the potential roles and advantages of technology, both as a means of communicating with patients and peers as well as a means of providing efficient, comprehensive care for patients, have become much more readily apparent thanks to the pandemic. I expect as we return to "normal" that many of these changes and insights will accelerate the adoption and use of these tools. Hopefully the challenges we've faced and the lessons we've learned will allow us to connect in a more meaningful way with each other and our patients, and translate into what matters most: better outcomes for our patients."
DDS, Periodontist, Private Practice, Tulsa, Oklahoma
"Looking out over the next 12 months, the biggest changes I see happening in the oral health profession is the continued focus on safety and technology. With COVID-19 still maintaining a presence, dentists like myself will continue to be challenged to provide a safe environment for our staff and patients. Technology is also quickly being adopted and utilized to provide maximum patient care. This can be seen in telecommunications, diagnostics/imaging, and of course, digital dentistry. Although negative in many ways, the pandemic has given many of us a common enemy to rally against, and we're feeling empathy and caring for one another despite the chaos around us."