Using Technology Disruption in Dentistry to Build Your Practice
Change is fickle. Sometimes it calls into question a certain procedure. Sometimes it can challenge the process of running an entire office. Regardless, it can be overwhelmingly positive when approached correctly. How you decide which new product is prioritized, or which shift in process to move forward with, can feel like an overwhelming risk assessment. Knowing the right moment to adopt new technology and understanding the role that technology plays in your clinic, is how you can use innovation to grow your dental business.
Let’s cover how technology changes already help, what these changes can look like for a business, and how to keep an eye out for opportunities in the future.
Taking the Paper Out of Paperwork
We spent a lot of time writing things down on paper before computers became as ubiquitous as they have. With the paper format, we had a system that worked easily and felt easy, even when an error required whiteout or a new sheet to correct. What wasn’t easy was finding something misplaced or lost. As more and more of our records and bills digitize, software that focuses on your workflow as you move between sensitive oral care and insurance provider billing continues to speed up.
Practice management software, and specifically digital records, have taken much of the stress out of record-keeping, largely speeding up the busy work of dental practices everywhere. By creating a reliable digital system that saves on investment and even square footage costs, but is focused on ease of use, you can grow your productivity while costs continue to decrease.
Technology as a Service
The classic approach in business is to appraise market demand for a product, and then make a call on whether that business can profit over a period of time. Services can be different. They often require additional training or specialty staff.While not especially new, take sedation dentistry as an example: simple training, yes,but to offer a full range of services that meet the many demands of those suffering for deep anxiety, you need IVs, access to general anesthesia, and even another medical degree. While that investment in a specific niche can pay off, full sedation is unlikely to work for a dental office without an oral surgeon.
When you see an opportunity to provide additional services, the cost to the bottom line can be complex depending on how you intend to offer those services. Judging whether or not a new technology is the right fit requires looking at the influences and conditions that could impact success outside of your office.
Chase Solutions, Not Products
People are more passionate about the brands they choose than ever. When the ones that innovate in a particular field get the word out, they can better create a passionate following. When patients inquire about invisible braces, are they asking about getting a beautiful smile without ugly braces, or about Invisalign? The invention of invisible braces cracked the market wide open for self-conscious adults actively chasing the opportunity to straighten their teeth.
In an age where product marketing can achieve cult status, you don’t want to end up simply buying into the most viral video. If your patients are routinely mentioning a product or service, dig deeper to find the reason that stands out for so many, and then find a way to tackle the issue they present. Even if many companies will narrow your choices by way of patentor expensive training, knowing that you’re paying for a solution your patients will love, and not the marketing that sold them is what makes a difference to your bottom line.