A Unit of Praxis360.
Dentistry is a field which has always adapted to the changing trends of any era. By the year 2020, Indian dentistry will see a lot more trends that will revolutionize dentistry in India. Some of these trends are capable of transforming the dental field from what we see it as today. Like any other change, there will be resistance, disbelief and confusion before these changes are embraced. But with time, we have seen the changes become the norm.
The trends listed below are some of the recent paradigm shifts in the field of dentistry.
E-commerce websites for dental supplies:
There are many dental ecommerce sites that have sprung recently. Though these e-commerce websites have been around for a while, not many dentists were using it to its full potential due to reasons like inefficiency and lack of trust. However, this has changed over the last few years. Dentists are now opting for online dental stores because of the numerous advantages it offers. For instance, e-commerce sites can help a dentist to get any material with ease, and at a lesser price than the local vendors. Since the expense on supplies plays a crucial role in the economy of a dental clinic, if dentists are able to reduce the cost, it can have visible improvement on the margins. Secondly, since all the products are available under a single roof, dentists can also save a lot of time and energy in finding the perfect supply they are looking for. Thirdly, return/replacement of a product through a dental e-commerce website is far more simpler than a physical store. Lastly, ease of procurement can also effectively reduce the dead stock in the clinics reducing their capital expenses.
Dental insurance will probably be one of the biggest game changers in Indian dentistry. Government of India’s initiatives like Ayushman Bharat that covers dental insurance is a good step towards formalizing dental insurance. In many developed countries, dental insurance has made dentistry more accessible to patients and more rewarding for dentists in terms of revenues. No wonder, dentistry is considered as one of the most lucrative professions in these regions. Dental insurance in India is still at a very nascent stage where there are very few insurance products which cover OPD dental treatments. With cut throat competition among insurance companies we are slowly observing several major insurance companies releasing products which cover dental treatments. Lastly, introducing dental insurance not only motivates patient to adopt a preventive attitude towards dental care but it also instils a positive attitude towards their oral health
The power of branding is often understated. The branding of dental clinics in India is localized to individual practice branding and restricted to regional localities. With the rise of Corporate Dental Chains, it is natural to expect co-branded clinics similar to OYO hotels where the independent dental practitioners can gain benefit from a larger brand. A co-branded clinic can improve patient footfall, reduce operational costs (Economies of Scale), improve standardization of practices, improve oral hygiene awareness, among many other benefits of branding and scale. In a co-branded dentistry model, dentists can own their dental practice yet receive administrative infrastructure and support with all the non-clinical aspects of practice by the franchisor. It enables dentists to focus on their clinical practice saving their valuable time.
3D Printing and 3D scan:
Dental businesses are progressing, and new technologies such as 3D printers and 3D scanners dedicated to dental work have been developed. This is quite important since it is observed that the quality of the crowns has dramatic improvement compared to the conventional method of taking impression through impression materials. The speed of delivery of crowns and prosthesis has greatly improved as dentists can now deliver crowns in a couple of hours compared to conventional methods which take atleast a couple of days. The oral scanning and chairside CAD and milling have enabled dentists to complete root canal treatment and crowns in a single dental visit. Though this requires a considerable amount of capital investment from the dentist, more and more dentists are investing in technologies which delight their patients.
Clear aligners, also known as clear-aligner treatment, are orthodontic devices that are transparent, plastic form of dental braces used to adjust teeth. This has been a major breakthrough in Orthodontic treatments. The patients get to wear removable invisible aligners which serves a similar function of conventional metallic braces. The aligners have similar clinical efficiency but are definitely more convenient, flexible and aesthetically pleasing for the patient.
There is no better platform for doctors to share their work than social media. Young doctors have the zeal to share everything on platforms like facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and twitter. Sharing the success of their work can be educational for some, motivational for the patients and direct promotion for the doctor. Social media has huge potential and dentists all over India are embracing it smartly.
Over the next few years, there will be more game changing trends that will find their way into dentistry. The competitive landscape, access to advances in dental education, awareness about technological changes have made dentists more receptive to embracing these changes and we are surely in for some exciting times in India.