Enhanced dental coverage, comprehensive treatment plans, and innovative digital marketing channels. These are just some of the recent dental industry trends that have and will continue to shape the oral healthcare space in 2022 and beyond. Oral care experts need to take these trends into consideration and implement adjustments that help them retain existing patients and attract new prospects looking for long-term dental solutions.
Identifying the biggest tendencies can help you make the right changes and provide the best dental treatments to your patients. But, there are many trends in the dental field that have the potential to reshape the entire industry. Identifying the biggest shifts will allow you to improve the experience you deliver to new and existing patients alike.
At Membersy, we work closely with hundreds of dentists and oral hygiene experts, so we’re well aware of the elements impacting dental service organizations. In this article, we’ll cover the 10 biggest dental industry trends for 2022 and explain how these will affect oral healthcare professionals.
What Are the Trends In Patient Experience For 2022?
The patient experience has become a major focus point for dentists and other oral care experts. After all, patients are in full control of which dental services to hire and what private practices to work with. Therefore, ensuring that patient reviews mention this fact should be one of your priorities as this will help other dental patients find your services.
There are many patient experience trends in dentistry, but the most revealing statistic actually comes from the number of dentists who are implementing this concept. A whopping 52% of decision-makers within dental offices are making patient engagement a focus point during 2022. This makes a lot of sense, especially considering the fact that 4 out of 5 patients value online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Top 10 Dental Industry Trends In 2022?
From dental technology to the rise of group dentistry practices, the oral care industry is set to undergo a few major changes in 2022. Besides increased demand, dentists also have to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dentistry and adjust by taking additional steps, like focusing more on self-care advice.
Now, it’s important to understand that the oral care space moves at a fast pace. Experts are constantly finding new alternatives for gum disease and innovative ways to calm patient nerves effectively during treatment.
Here are 10 trends in the dental industry that will shape the industry’s landscape in 2022.
1. Patients Will Trust Thought Leaders More Than Ever Before
Modern patients are more aware and interested in the solutions offered by most dental practices. But, with so many dental practices out there, choosing the best one isn’t always easy.
Recent statistics suggest that 7 out of 10 patients read online reviews before choosing a new medical provider and dentists are no different. Therefore, dental practices need to leverage digital content and become thought leaders in order to attract more patients looking to improve their oral health.
2. Online Reviews Will Have a Bigger Impact
Online content isn’t the only thing that dental professionals need to focus on in 2022.
Most dental practices appear on Google, Yelp, and similar directories. Patients use these platforms to find new healthcare providers, so having a positive rating on each directory will only help bolster your reputation.
Remember, online reviews are outside of your direct control. The key here is to provide a great patient experience, plus focusing on niches like emotional dentistry can also help you garner more reviews in a short amount of time.
3. Convenience in Dentistry Takes Center Stage
For decades, the dentistry industry revolved heavily around treatments and patient care. While both of these are still essential, dental care patients are now looking for convenient oral health services that cater to their collective lifestyle. In other words, they want to focus on convenience.
Some of the easy ways to adjust your dental practice and improve convenience are to offer an online portal or app as well as to offer expanded office hours. You should also allow patients to pay online and, if you have the resources, set up a chat line via Telegram or a similar platform so that patients can contact you quickly.
4. The Arrival of 3D Printing
No list of dental trends is complete without 3D printing.
From the materials to the actual uses that these devices have, 3D printing has gone a long way in the field of oral health. Today, 3D printers can be used to develop models, create implants with biocompatible materials, and even create guides that help during dental procedures.
The best thing about 3D printing is that the technology is becoming more accessible in terms of both price and usability. 3D printing devices are more affordable than ever before, so it’s now relatively common for individuals as well as dental group practices to feature one of these machines.
5. Social Will Become a Necessity
Patients don’t only use directories, but also social media networks to help them find the best local dentists.
Dentists that have a strong presence on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are often regarded as legitimate and professional. Millennials and following generations see social networks as legitimate resources. So, you need to create a plan that makes your dental practice visible and easy to find on your patients’ favorite social channels.
6. The Growth of Personalized Content
Whether it’s sales emails or promotional text messages, we’ve all experienced personalized content. But, what many dentists fail to realize is that personalized content is almost as important as tailored patient care.
Personalizing your content will help improve the performance of your marketing efforts. But, if you don’t have enough information about your audience, it’ll be extremely difficult to figure out what elements they will be interested in.
So, you should think about new ways to collect information from your patients in order to create a more complete profile for each segment you want to target.
7. Introduction of More Oral Healthcare Options
In conventional dental practices, patients need to cover costs out of pocket or file a claim with their insurance. But, this model is becoming less effective every day as patients start seeking out better alternatives.
This is the reason why oral care programs have become extremely popular. Thanks to platforms like Membersy, dental practices can now create dental care programs that provide discounted services in exchange for a small monthly fee.
Dental care plans are beneficial for both dentists and patients. Dentists can create a consistent and predictable revenue machine while patients gain access to high-quality dental services at a fraction of the cost.
8. The Adoption of Telehealth in Dentistry
The global health crisis normalized telehealth consultations in other medical fields and although dentistry is among the last, it’s finally catching up to this trend.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Dental Association (ADA) has published guidelines on teledentistry and what types of services dentists should offer in these cases. Savvy dental practitioners should familiarize themselves and make sure that their practices clearly promote these additional services.
9. The Impact of Chatbots, Augmented Reality, and Non-Dentistry Tech
Chatbots, augmented reality, and other non-dentistry technologies are expected to have a major impact on the industry.
Experts and pundits believe that only 10% of dental care inquiries will be handled by a human by the end of this year while the other 90% are parsed by chatbots. Augmented reality, on the other hand, will have an impact that’s most felt in the patient experience department. When used in a dental practice, augmented reality can help soothe the patient and create a pleasant experience that doesn’t induce stress.
10. Group Practices Take Up a Bigger Part of the Market
After graduating from dental school, the average practitioner carries more than $300,000 in student debt. Opening a private practice in these instances can be challenging for obvious reasons. But, a large portion of freshly-graduated dentists are looking to partner and open up group practices more than ever before.
Besides splitting costs, this is also a great idea because it can help you offer a wider range of specialties and attract more patients than you would as an independent practitioner.
Dentists and other oral healthcare experts need to focus on patient education, emerging technologies, and all other relevant updates. We hope that our list of 10 trends of 2022 and beyond allows you to make the right adjustments and get the most from your efforts.
If you want to learn more about creating an in-house dental care program, contact Membersy and our team will be glad to help.