The State of the Dental Industry: 3 Key Trends You Need to Know

The dental industry is evolving, which is reflected in several key trends that every dental professional needs to know about.

Here’s a closer look at three trends that are reshaping the dental industry:

Dental students expect to use the best technologies at all times.

Technology remains paramount at dental practices of all sizes. And going forward, deploying state-of-the-art dental tools might help dental practices attract recent college graduates.

Josh Killian, Vice President of Marketing, Technology and Equipment at dental supply company Patterson Dental, tells Dentistry IQ that he believes today’s dental students have become accustomed to using top-of-the-line technologies to perform a variety of dental procedures.

As such, dental practices that implement best-in-class technologies may gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.

“The dental student graduating today has dramatically different views of and expectations about technology than the dental student of 10, 20 or 30 years ago. This new perspective will surely have an impact on procedures and technology adoption in the practice,” Killian says.

Dental patients expect more from the in-office experience.

Long gone are the days of books, magazines and other reading materials at dental offices.

Instead, patients anticipate an interactive experience any time they visit the dentist.

“The patient and provider of today and tomorrow place more value on the in-office experience than they have in the past because the patient is more educated than ever before,” Killian notes.

To ensure patients receive consistent support, dentists may try to find educated, experienced dental assistants who boast the skills and know-how to support patients’ requests day after day.

Dental assistant salaries may continue to rise.

Dental assistants wear many hats on a day-to-day basis. In fact, these professionals frequently assist dentists during in-depth dental treatments, offer oral care tips to patients and perform numerous organizational tasks as well.

In the future, many dental assistants could be rewarded for their everyday efforts, as the average salaries of dental assistants nationwide look likely to rise.

U.S. News and World Report notes the pay scale for dental assistants is approaching $49,540 annually. Meanwhile, the average salary for dental assistants was $36,260 in 2014, and the median pay at this time was $35,390. This data indicates many dental assistants are being paid above-average salaries, a trend that could continue as dental practices across the country search for ways to attract and retain highly trained dental assistants. Lastly, dental assistants have options to move up within their career due to the various courses that they can take. These courses give them more duties, which often translates to higher pay. For example, a dental assistant with expanded function can make as much as $60,000!

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