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We’re here to help you navigate your challenges

April 17, 2023
Dr. Pam believes the profession can overcome the current challenges and flourish. Technology and workplace culture are great places to start.

Many dental practices feel the effects of The Great Resignation. Many of us are searching far and wide for great candidates to complete our dental teams. In many cases, practice owners settle for mediocre candidates just to get help to care for patients.

This supply and demand situation has led to significant wage increases for dental team members; wages have increased to retain great team members and wage demands are significant for new candidates. This, along with inflation, increased costs for supplies and services, and diminishing reimbursements from third party payers, have put a significant financial stress on practices. This ultimately places pressure on practice owners, but these challenges have and will continue to lead to opportunities. 

More thoughts from Dr. Pam

A hopeful look at the new year
AI in dentistry is here to stay. Are you ready for it?

I applaud the dental industry as numerous innovations have been introduced to ease our challenges. Technological advancements create efficiencies that alleviate the responsibilities of office administrators, including remote workers, remote payment options, and the use of AI/machine learning to simplify or accomplish administrative tasks.

In addition, technology has streamlined clinical protocols, such as diagnostics and case planning, improving efficacy of treatment discussions with patients, and digitizing restorative and surgical procedures. Moreover, technology has encouraged clinical profitability; a great example is how teledentistry allows us to reserve our chairs for clinical dentistry. Improvements in workplace culture engage team members and have proven to be beneficial in attracting new team members. 

Fortunately, dental practices can overcome our many challenges and flourish, despite the current circumstances. For many dentists, profitability is critical to maintain the value of their practices and ultimately their attractiveness for prospective buyers. 

This month, Dental Economics focuses on creating a productive dental team, despite an inadequate amount of available team members. Dr. Roger Levin shares Levin Group’s annual practice survey, and it’s always interesting to see if what you’re experiencing is consistent with other's experiences. Chat GPT has been the talk of the town; Dr. Scott Froum enlightens us about its use in dentistry. Kristine Berry continues to unpack and provide suggestions for finding talented people to join your dental team. 

I hope this issue provides encouragement and optimism for you to successfully navigate today’s practice challenges.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the April 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

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