Every year comes with predictions… and 2020 was no exception. But what was predicted as the year began would turn out not to be very consistent with our current realities.
Surely some dental trends in the COVID-19 era of dentistry borrow from some of the predicted categories. Although the applications might still be useful, some are paused for a season (or for an unforeseeable amount of time).
However, what has shifted are the numbers relative to each organization’s affiliation growth and the new DSOs added to the mix.
Key trends we WERE counting on in 2020 (and still are to some degree)
Again, these trends have some staying power, for the most part. But even so, COVID-19 has shifted how we use them (more on that in a moment).
We covered these earlier in 2020 in a January post. For a full list and related trends description check out the content here.
Here’s a selected recap:
Cloud-based practice management software
The evolution continues as it creates more flexible work-life balance for your team, with better security, and capabilities for scalable growth for private practices and DSOs.
Chatbots enable you to have virtual conversations with your patients around their common questions. Their inquiries receive automated answers to questions about your products and services.
The profitable ability to navigate insurance reimbursement challenges will weather most storms. Helping your patients without insurance reduce their out-of-pocket care costs benefits them…and you.
Kleer provides a cloud-based platform that “empowers dental practices to offer simple, affordable and personalized care directly to patients—with no insurance middleman in the way.” 
Real-time, remote access to patients seemed like a good idea months ago. But now the pandemic has shifted this into a best-practice solution for contactless appointments and improved patient efficiencies.
One example is Mouthwatch. Their platform allows you to connect with your patients virtually with a robust teledentistry solution, TeleDent.
Certain dental trends that will survive the pandemic and improve how you do dentistry
It might sound redundant to say…but the “new normal” has become the frequent use of the phrase – “this is the new normal.”
Whatever “normal” emerges there are solid dental trends that will have staying power now…and in the months to come.
Infection control protocols will help assure that your patients and staff are protected
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has been and will continue to be a dental industry priority standard. Now more than ever it’s essential to remind your patients that THEIR protection starts with YOUR commitment to protection.
- Confirm that your PPE meets (and in some cases exceeds) OSHA regulations and CDC guidelines. Purchase and use quality products that will equip you to safely provide dentistry in this pandemic era. Adapt accordingly.
- Communicate as often as necessary what you and your team are doing to protect patient health. Much of dentistry’s “new normal” is providing assurance when it’s feels as though it’s in short supply.
Contactless patient solutions will keep dentistry accessible
The pandemic has forced you to think-outside-the-box relative to patient contact. No doubt, dentistry is hands-on but that doesn’t mean that points of contact are always physical.
You have options.
- Increase convenience by going digital. Obtain patient data through electronic rather than paper means. And eliminate in-office wait time by providing secure digital forms prior to their appointment.
- Expand your reception area to the “curb.” Virtual waiting room technology allows your patients to check-in and communicate via text or email prior to entering your facility at the precise time of their appointment.
- Offer online appointment scheduling. This helps minimize the number of patients in your practice at one time. And your front-office workflow efficiency can increase.
- Provide secure, online patient access for financial transactions. Utilize a patient portal that allows them to view their account balance and submit payments securely.
Technology and software solutions will drive practice management and patient engagement.
- Manage your practice workflows with cloud-based practice management software. Experience secure anytime-anywhere, remote access to your patient information.
- Consult with your patients using teledentistry. Cloud-based technology enhances your ability to provide initial diagnostic appointments. Patients will value the convenience and contactless option prior to a potential next-step, in-office treatment.
From contactless options to cloud-based solutions Planet DDS is a leading technology provider among emerging and sustained dental trends for 2020 and beyond.
Planet DDS’s Denticon is the proven cloud-based Dental Practice Management Software in today’s market among solo private practices, private group practices, and top DSOs.
Denticon’s suite of contactless dental technology solutions includes the above mentioned Online Appointment Booking, Online Patient Registration, Curbside Check-In, and the Patient Portal.
Contact us for more information about how Denticon can streamline your workflow systems and operational tasks that can help you stay productively on trend in the COVID-19 era of dentistry and beyond.