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Embracing Change and Innovation in Dentistry: A Conversation with Melissa Turner

By Planet DDS
March 21, 2024

Known for her deep involvement in dental brand strategy and her role as a dental hygienist, Melissa Turner’s insights into the evolving landscape of dentistry are both enlightening and inspiring.

During her engaging conversation on The Dental Economist Show, Turner began by addressing a common mindset within the dental profession: the belief that certain technological advancements and consumer behaviors do not apply to dentistry. She argues that this perception is a significant barrier to growth, emphasizing that the industry is as susceptible to change as any other. From cloud-based software to artificial intelligence, Turner encourages dental professionals to adopt new technologies to enhance efficiency and patient care.

The Evolution of Patient Expectations

A shift in patient expectations is reshaping the dental industry. Today’s patients, influenced by experiences in other sectors, seek convenience and consistency. Turner observes that modern consumers prefer dental services that mirror the familiarity and reliability of brands like Starbucks. This evolution demands a departure from traditional practice-centric models towards more patient-focused approaches.

Virtual Care: The Frontier of Dental Innovation

Turner passionately advocates for the integration of virtual care in dental practices. She highlights its versatility, from reactivating inactive patients to providing accessible care for the elderly. Virtual appointments, she suggests, could revolutionize how dental services are delivered, making them more convenient and less intimidating for patients.

The Denobi Awards: Celebrating Unsung Heroes

One of Turner’s significant contributions to the dental community is the Denobi Awards. Founded to honor individuals who have made impactful but often unrecognized contributions to dentistry, the awards challenge the traditional criteria for recognition in the field. Turner’s initiative reflects her commitment to fostering a more inclusive and appreciative dental community.

Inclusivity and Brand Strategy

At the heart of Turner’s endeavors is a profound commitment to inclusivity and strategic branding. From advocating for underrepresented groups in dentistry to emphasizing the importance of brand strategy for dental practices, Turner’s work is a testament to her belief in the power of visibility and recognition. She challenges dental professionals to consider how they present themselves, both in-person and online, to align with the evolving expectations of their patients and the broader community.

Looking Ahead with Optimism

As Turner looks towards the future, she expresses excitement about the growing emphasis on branding within the dental industry. She sees potential for practices to differentiate themselves and attract patients by articulating their unique identities and values. Turner’s optimism for the future of dentistry is grounded in a vision where innovation, inclusivity, and strategic branding converge to create a more dynamic and patient-centered industry.

Melissa Turner’s insights offer a compelling narrative of change and innovation in dentistry. Her call to action for dental professionals to embrace new technologies, reconsider patient expectations, and refine their brand strategies is a roadmap for navigating the complexities of the modern dental landscape. As the industry continues to evolve, Turner’s voice remains a beacon of progress, urging the dental community to adapt, innovate, and thrive.