Future Tech General Management

Dental Tipping Points

JackAbramsAnother interesting analysis from Jack Abrams:

Trending towards or already Tipped:


  • PPO saturation (dominant form of insurance and patient dental benefit)
  • Digital Impressioning
  • Cad/Cam – Computer Aided Design (scanning and design)/ Computer Aided Manufacturing (milling)
  • The movement towards Total Health (emphasis on preventive dentistry)
  • Same Day Dentistry (do the procedures on the day they are diagnosed)
  • Growth of small groups. They already represents 20% of the dental landscape
  • Management enterprise software programs that deliver key performance/production indicators and categorical dashboards which provide businesses the data they need to manage and execute pro-actively
  • Implants are being treatment planned in lieu of dentures but the denture business is still robust because of the Boomers and cost
  • Multi-specialty services under one roof
  • Laser dentistry (hard and soft tissue lasers) is omnipresent
  • Patient communication software (e-mail/text/constant contact) – to appoint/confirm and reactivate patients is the preferred communication today
  • Social media cannot be ignored – Your online reputation is your reputation!
  • Web based training (on demand) is the preferred method for obtaining clinical and practice management continuing education credit
  • Virtual office services and process outsourcing is gaining traction for dentists looking to expand their administration/management capabilities while reducing or controlling human capital costs
  • Electronic ordering is the norm and preferred method for ordering dental supplies and consumables today. Companies like Schein reward this behavior with a loyalty program
  • Going chartless (paper-less) is on the “to do” list for thousands of dental offices
  • Movement towards 3D imaging is accelerating at a rate no one expected because of the digital workplace revolution
  • Dental management programs like the Dental Business Institute are providing the tools dentist need to run a small business or group practice.

The idea of a “Tipping Point” was made famous by Malcolm Gladwell. It is that point where a trend suddenly takes off and becomes main stream in a very short time. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Jack sees a larger cross section of the profession than I do. The dentists and teams I interact with are usually self-selected for an interest in technology. Never the less I am often surprised by their resistance to and adoption of new technology. For example Jack lists Digital impressions, CAD-CAM and same day treatment (which are in many ways the same thing) as at or near a tipping point. I hope he is right but in my experience these changes drag out much longer than we expect.

On the other hand, as I said, Jack sees things I do not and his list is worth contemplating as you plan your future practice.

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