Posted by Amy Carbone on Aug 1, 2022 9:00:00 AM
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive shift in nearly every industry, but particularly for dentists and other medical professionals. Now, many people are wondering how these shifts may have affected dentistry permanently.
Below, we’ll discuss three kinds of changes you can expect to see in the dental industry.
Trends in the Dental Industry
Global Newswire reported that the “United States Dental Market is expected to be $30.59 Billion by 2027 … growing at a CAGR of 10.13% during 2020-2027.” However, this growth isn’t just happening within the United States. The global compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected to be 6.4% between 2021 to 2028.
This expansion presents a huge opportunity for new dentists to join the field, practices to grow, and more.
This growth rate also reinforces the importance of strategic and intentional financial management and effective insurance coverage for dentists to protect their current assets and those they will acquire throughout their careers. As the industry and thereby individual practices expand, there will likely be more at stake to lose if not properly covered.
Shifts in the Workforce
Much like other industries, shifts in the workforce are expected in the coming years for dentistry.
A 2020 study showed that roughly 37% of dentists are 55 and older, with another 21% falling between the ages of 45 and 54. While dentists typically retire later in life than other professions, averaging 68.2 years old according to a 2020 report by the ADA, this aging trend is sure to have lasting effects on the industry. It’s expected that the average age of retirement will continue to increase overall.
Another shift is that more women are entering the dentistry industry. Female dentists are expected to make up 49.4% of the U.S. dental workforce by 2040, which would be an increase of nearly 15% from 2020.
A third shift in the dental workforce is that more people are joining the dental industry. Despite a significant portion of the workforce retiring in the next 10 to 15 years, there is still an expected growth from 60.1 dentists per 100,000 individuals in 2020 to 67.0 per 100,000 individuals by 2040. While the rapid market growth allows for more dentists to enter the workforce, it may translate to steeper competition for existing practices and affect practices in urban areas.
One of the most prominent technological enhancements to stem from recent years has been teledentistry. This technology has allowed dentists to grow their patient lists, network with other practices, and have more efficient in-person appointments. While we’ve already seen the impact of teledentistry on the industry, there are other technological improvements that are expected as well. These include:
- Augmented and virtual reality. These advancements will benefit dentistry in a number of ways, including data analysis, treatment plans, education, and more.
- Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR). The advancements made around this genome editing process have the potential to “[provide] sequence-specific protection against foreign genetic materials in archaea and bacteria,” as one study found.
- 3D printing. This technology has the potential to decrease the cost and time involved in creating dental prostheses, such as crowns, dentures, and more.
- Smart technology. There are a number of ways dental practices can use smart technology, including by using smart scheduling tools to create a more streamlined appointment scheduling process and by recommending smart toothbrushes to patients to promote effective oral hygiene.
- Intra-oral cameras. These cameras provide the ability for dental professionals to look inside patients’ mouths without being physically as close to them. This can help protect patients and staff from COVID-19 and other illnesses.
How to Prepare for the Future of Dentistry
While the future of dentistry is exciting, it’s crucial to be prepared for the growth ahead. In order to do so, it’s vital for you to forecast how industry changes will affect your individual scenario and create a plan for financial management and insurance coverage that fits your needs today, with the ability to scale for tomorrow.
Contact us for more information on how working with an advisor can help you prepare for the future of the dental industry.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel, an EPIC Company, offers dental and medical professionals a comprehensive suite of financial products and services ranging from business and personal insurance to wealth management. We are proud to assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement. Our experienced teams deliver custom-tailored advice through an active local presence, while our strong national network ensures that clients experience the same high level of service throughout the country.