When it comes to trends in the dental care industry, there will be more changes going forward in the next 20 years than have occurred in the past 50 years, according to Dental Economics. A dentist will need to keep up with these evolving trends in order to maintain a sustainable, let alone thriving, dental practice. In addition, dental patients need to have a general knowledge of some of the more important trends to understand how their own needs will be met into the future.
The Economics of the North American Dental Care Industry
The combined dental service economy of both Canada and the United States generates over $130 billion annually. For the purposes of research on the subject, the grand total was calculated in U.S. dollars. 15 years ago, this dollar figure hovered in the $70 to $80 billion range.
The amount spent is sharply increasing as each decade passes. Part of this is due to more people accessing basic and cosmetic dental care in both Canada and the United States. However, it is also due to dental patients taking advantage of more high-tech and costly dentistry alternatives. This particularly is the case in the realm of cosmetic dentistry but also in regard to some more basic services provided by a typical dentist practicing in Canada.
The General Practitioner
The general dental practitioner, more commonly referred to as a family dentist, remains alive and well at this juncture in the 21st century. He or she continues to provide basic and essential services to people of all ages and from all walks of live.
There are more retail dental clinics operating in Canada and the United States than ever before. These tend to be corporate or franchise operations that provide many of the same types of services of a traditional family dental practice. They usually market themselves as providing these services at discounted prices. In response, many traditional family practices have stayed attune to this pricing issues and attempted to match discounting when possible.
Niche Dentist Practices
Of course, dental specialties have long existed in the industry. This includes such areas like cosmetic dentistry and orthodontia. However, in more recent years, even general dentistry has developed more unique market segments. For example, there are now dentists that focus their private practices specifically to providing services to children or geriatric patients. There is evidence to suggest that this type of niche delineation will continue into the future.
A final notable trend in the past two decades, also expected to carry forth into the future, is a wider use of dental insurance and similar types of plans by patients. A majority of these are private purchased by consumers and not employee benefits. You can find a lot of helpful online resources available at Trillium Dental.