Like any health care field, dentistry is constantly evolving as new technology, research and events become available.
Staying on top of the latest news and trends is a must for any dental professional committed to career success, practice efficiency and patient satisfaction. Read on to see what the dental community has been buzzing about in October!
How oral health ties into overall well-being
Looking at a patient's oral health as both a marker and outcome of overall holistic well-being is a major key to providing better diagnosis and treatment. Patients with pre-existing conditions are frequently at greater risk for certain dental issues - on the other hand, people with dental issues may put themselves at greater risk of developing other conditions.
An example of this, according to a recent study published by the journal Hypertension and highlighted in an Economic Times article, is high blood pressure. The study showed that patients with periodontal disease were 20 percent less likely to reach healthy blood pressure ranges when taking prescription medication for hypertension. If you have a patient treating hypertension, it would serve both of you well to remind them that taking care of their oral health will benefit their treatment.
Patients with MS (multiple sclerosis) are similarly impacted by poor dental health. Multiple Sclerosis News Today highlighted a study that showed MS and periodontal disease have similar inflammatory origins, and urged dentists to be aware of this connection in order to offer more comprehensive dental treatment to patients with MS.
On another note, dental professionals should keep in mind that dental decay among young children is very common, and recent Australian studies are beginning to explore why that is.
According to an article by Medical Xpress, up to 14 percent of preschoolers may have “hypomineralised second primary molars,” causing underdeveloped enamel on second baby molars and making them weak and prone to damage.
Trending dental industry research
As dental techniques and overall technology continue to evolve, new research is constantly being churned out to help dentists better understand their patient base and how to best serve them.
A study from Phoenix-based firm Zion and Zion explored the use of voice-based web searches (e.g. Amazon’s Alexa) to look for healthcare providers. Though the study didn’t explore dentistry in particular, it found that 32 percent of people surveyed have used voice search to look for doctors or specialists.
Zion and Zion strongly encourages doctors to be aware of the growing impact of voice search, as it will continue to influence their practice and patient base as time goes on.
Insight and tips for a better dental practice
Building your strongest practice is about much more than top clinical skills and steady income - it’s also about understanding your patients’ satisfaction and what drives them to or away from your practice.
Dental professionals in the U.K. are seeing a surge in patients seeking treatment and advice for dental concerns from general physicians rather than an actual dentists. The reason? According to a Telegraph article, patients are “facing ‘growing barriers’ to accessing the appropriate dental care,” often due to the lack of dental appointment availability on top of treatment costs.
But when it comes to caring for the patient base that remains loyal to your practice, do you have systems and checks in place to measure your success as it relates to patient acceptance and satisfaction?
An article published by Dental Economics said that the number one statistic all dentists should be tracking in their practice is “treatment presentation conversion percentage” - in other words, how many patients are accepting and going through with presented treatment. This is a critical means by which dentists can measure not only case acceptance, but the efficacy of their current methods of case presentation.
Have you read any interesting dental news lately that we missed? Let us know in the comments.