Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Many aspects of our health were affected as a consequence of the pandemic. Lockdowns forced specialists in the industry to adjust rapidly to stay afloat and provide patients with medical services, and this includes the dental sector. Despite the COVID-related stalls and complications, the global dental services market is forecast to grow to $435 billion this year, boasting a compound annual growth rate of 19%. The growth is in part due to restrictions being lifted and dental facilities operating at greater capacities once more. It has also led to several advancements and trends that have pushed the industry forward. Here are four dental trends to expect as 2021 comes to a close:
1. 3D printing will continue to grow
The rise of 3D printing gave way to many advancements in the dental field, particularly for the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of implants. In fact, the 3D printing market is expected to reach $12 billion in 2021 with more room to grow in the coming years. As these technologies become more mainstream, more dental practices will have access to better dental materials at a lower cost. It provides a simple addition to the workflow of dental clinics, improving the precision and efficiency in both academic dentistry and private practices. Acquiring the seservices can be as easy as enlisting a third party to fulfill specific printing tasks. You can even find more and more dental clinics handling their own 3Dprinting requirements in-house. This means that you will likely have access to more affordable and higher-quality dental products and services as the year comes to a close.
2. Dental practices will continue to consolidate
Solo dental practices are declining, with finances being the main driver for the move. Whether it's a temporary arrangement during the pandemic or a permanent decision, many dentists are considering affiliating with dental service organizations or merging their practices. Such moves require the expertise of professionals who are well-equipped with skills in management and administration in medical settings. This has led to a demand for medical professionals with health administration qualifications in order to ensure that dental offices operate successfully as businesses, whether on their own or when merging. This includes ensuring dental healthcare facilities’ policies, operations, and overall management are done properly. This also entails guaranteeing the dental practices adhere to laws for medical professionals. While you may still go to one clinic for your dental needs, it may not be a surprise to find a joint dental facility in the near future.
Teledentistry has also increased due to the pandemic. Dentists are utilizing technology to provide access to patients who were unable to consult with them in person. There have been some remarkable experiences provided by teledentistry professionals, which we specialize in here at The TeleDentists. For instance, it is now possible to treat patients with pain and get them on the right medications and treatment necessary. Of course, policies set by the ADA are closely followed to ensure the highest quality level of care and protection to patients. Dental practices use teledentistry for professional consultations, self-care advice, check-ups and follow-ups, and other services to new and existing patients. After the pandemic, this will still likely be the case along with a hybrid setup at dental clinics.
4. Artificial intelligence
AI is expected to rise in the dental field as it has in just about every other sector during the pandemic. This can be as simple as chatbots that interact with patients’ frequently asked questions or book appointments based on the dentist’s schedule. AI can also help dentists diagnose and predict diseases through pattern recognition and data analysis. This technology is mostly used today to recommend dental care services to patients based on their records. Soon, AI in dentistry will grow to increase efficiency in dental practices and provide better experiences for patients, whether remote or on-site.