Over the course of the past few years, the dental industry has evolved in a drastic manner as a direct result of the development of a wide assortment of technologies and a more creative approach to servicing patients. Naturally, a lot of the newly-emerging trends that will abound in 2022 are a direct result of the turbulence that occurred as a result of the development and devastation of COVID-19 throughout 2020 and beyond. If you have a dental practice, it will do you well to know the up-and-coming trends that are likely to occur in 2022 and beyond. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Staffing Complications
One of the main trends that are likely to occur throughout 2022 is staffing complications. From the original suspension associated with non-emergency dental-based care to stricter infection control practices to newly-emerging variants of the virus, it is likely that we will see issues with keeping the required number of staff in clinics. There will continue to be a disparity between the number of staff required for the volume of care throughout the year.
Positions that are most likely needing to be filled throughout the year will be dental hygienists, dental assistants, and administrative support staff.
If you have a practice, it is critical to ensure that you have these professionals at your disposal or you may experience issues throughout the year.
2. Convenience Will Be in Demand
2022 will be a year where patients will demand convenience. In today’s world, patients have the capability of exploring numerous options when it comes to dental and healthcare. To be attractive, practices will need to place convenience at the forefront of the patient experience.
This means integrating online portals where appointments may be made, paperwork be may filled out at the leisure of the patients, and questions may be submitted.
You should consider expanding past the traditional office hours so that patients have a higher level of flexibility of when they receive case.
Additional services should be added to your practice so that you may take care of all of the needs of your patients.
Finally, it should be easy for patients to pay for their services. In addition to offering various types of payment methods, you should consider integrating online payments and even mobile apps for payments for the services received at your practice.
3. Voice Search Optimization
In the year of 2020, more than half of all online searches conducted were voice searches. Based on numerous studies, over 70% of all internet users prefer to use a voice search than any other type of search. Additionally, nearly all consumers have access to a smartphone or a smart speaker that utilizes voice searches.
This is a trend that is sure to continue through 2022 and beyond. You should make sure that the website that you have in place for your dental practice is voice-search ready. Focus on the following:
- Using language that sounds natural
- Assume that most of the searches or queries that are conducted will be presented in the form of a question
- Utilize combinations of keyword and questions
- When answering questions throughout the website of your practice, ensure that the answers are clear and concise
- Create your website for the user, not the bots of the search engines that internet users utilize
When it comes to any type of healthcare – even dentistry – personalization is the key to success in all marketing endeavors. Your practice should strive to interact with your patients in a way that feels personal and has a human element to it.
It could be something as simple as using the first name of the patient in emails, utilizing adaptive content options on your website, targeting patients based on information pulled from their past visits with you, or even creating a group on a social media platform – such as Facebook – that tailors content based on the preferences of patients.
The goal is to ensure that patients feel as if you connect to them and understand their unique needs.
One of the biggest trends that emerged and was highly successful throughout 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic was telehealth. This form of technology has allowed practitioners to connect to patients when it was potentially dangerous to see a dentist in person. While there are limits when it comes to teledentistry, there are also many creative strategies for utilizing this form of technology in your practice.
You may offer consultations, advice on self-care, information on oral health, and even make a determination as to whether or not the patient requires an in-person visit.
As time progresses, there are sure to be numerous strategies for incorporating telehealth in the dental industry. By getting on board now, you are sure to experience a massive amount of success in the future.
6. Online Maintenance and Repair Services
Many dental practices have started turning to online maintenance and repair services. Examples include those where dental handpieces may be sent to a company using free shipping directly from the practice.
These services are ideal because it limits the number of individuals that come inside of the practice and makes for a safer environment – overall.
One such service is offered here at Hughes Dental. You simply ship your handpieces free for evaluation. Then, we determine what repairs or maintenance has to be performed, do it, and mail the handpieces back. This is the way to go – especially for very busy practices.
Contact Us Today
If you are in need of dental handpiece repair and/or maintenance, we here at Hughes Dental are waiting to assist you. Simply print out the free shipping label directly from our website and mail in your dental instruments directly from your office. Our team of professionals will then analyze your equipment and perform the steps that are required to ensure that they are running optimally. If you would like more information or have an interest in the services that we offer, you may contact us directly by calling: 1-800-773-0800