Charles Edison

"Economics, politics, and personalities are often inseparable." - Charles Edison

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Effects of Recession on Dentistry

Aspiring to be a dentist, it is important for me to be aware of the effects that our economy has had on the dental industry. The recent recession our country is going through has made a pretty big impact on many dental clinics. Due to these economic changes the business of dentistry has slowed down quite a bit. As our economy slowed down dentists were pushed into running business more professionally. Those dentists who have changed their practices to manage business efficiently have flourished with the economic changes. Others have let the negative effects of recession take a toll on their business. Because fewer new patients are available to the dentists and their current patients leaving the dentists are losing business. Practices losing patients however, are losing them because they are inaccessible to many people. Dentistry can only prolong if the clinics use better marketing strategies to attract new patients and persuade old patients to return. In addition to the lack of patients, many patients are also rejecting treatments, therefore, dentists are losing profit from the few patients they do have. Thus, dentists are losing revenue and are unable to purchase better equipment. People on the other hand always want to improve their smiles. If dentists could convince their patients to accept more treatments they could easily increase their production rates. Unfortunately, dentistry is also declining in production due to the lower reimbursement plans offered by insurance carriers. In order for a dentist to recover from this in our economy they would have to increase noninsurance costumers. Although marketing is necessary for dentists to continue their practices, internal marketing is the best solution. Many dentists are spending way too much of their profits on advertising which is actually damaging their business instead of helping it. Another effect of the recession in our country on dentists is the increasing amount of debt they hold after graduating dental school. This has led to a rising number of regional and national owned dental companies. In this situation more dentists are employees of a practice rather than owning their own. The benefits of company owned practices lie in their ability to be more flexible with their patients. They tend to accept all types of insurance and extend their hours of operation for the patients. This convenience has led to an increase in the number of patients that choose companies over private practices because they do not have to give up as much of their valuable time and money. Private practices will have to offer the best level of customer service in order to compete with these dental companies. The loss in numbers of patients for dentists has occurred primarily because during this time of recession people do not have the extra money saved for a trip to the dentist. In order for dentists to keep their businesses running they have to offer flexible financial plans for their patients. With this loss of profit many dentists will retire much later in life creating other issues within our nation.

1 comment:

Smith said...

I found it interesting that company owned practices are thriving but private practices are declining. Your observation about a decrease in insurance benefits as the economy declines is excellent. The more people unemployed the more with subpar benefits. I have heard that because of health care reform dental school applications are starting heavily out number medical school applications.