4 in 10 Millennials Want WHO as a Dentist?

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Colin Receveur here, coming to you for another special edition of the Patient Attraction podcast. I just ran across some pretty incredible statistics from the ADA Health Policy Institute, the American Dental Association. I’m wanting to share them with you. As we work, a lot of our dentists that are SmartBox dentists, they are older generations. They’re the guys that are already established in their practices, they’re 10, 15 years from retirement, or maybe even five years from retirement. We tend to work with the older demographic of dentist. A lot of them lately, especially the ones that are 15 years away from retirement, as well as a lot of the younger dentists that I talk to, they’re very concerned about the future of the profession.

You’ve got corporate dentistry coming in, you’ve got your Aspens and ClearChoices and Mortenson Dentals coming in, and of course they have the economies of scale. You guys have all heard me talk about this before. They’ve got powers of scale, they’ve got immense resources to market, to push the practices, they’ve got the systems figured out. They’ve got everything figured out because they’ve done this 500 times, each of them. In some cases they have thousands of practices under their umbrella. A lot of younger kids of the Millennial age group, of the 18- to 40-year-olds, have a much different view of dentistry than their parents or you may have growing up as a child.

Where you look at corporate dentistry and see the evil corporate dentistry that’s come into your town, that’s taken your patients, a lot of the younger generation sees that as a convenience, because it’s right where they’re going. It’s on their way, they can get in and out quickly, and some of them are not looking for a relationship. I want to talk very briefly about how many of those type of people there actually are. I think it’s going to really surprise you.

I actually printed off a copy of the graph from the ADA Health Policy Institute, because I didn’t think that if I just started talking about it that anybody would actually believe me. I printed off this graph here. This is really interesting, because it shows exactly what percentage of these 18- to 35-year-olds are interested.

Eleven percent … so they surveyed Millennial adults, age 18 to 35, and nearly 4 in 10 were somewhat or very interested in obtaining services from corporate dentists. 27% were somewhat interested. Eleven percent were very interested. 61% were not interested. 61% still understand the value of having a dentist that knows and cares, and you like. The rest of them, a very large percentage, what is that? Eleven plus 27, almost 40% of your Millennial generation has a preference for corporate dentistry. That’s really just surprising, given that the generational differences are so, difference in preferences from your Millennials to your Gen-Yers and Gen-Xers. I think that just shows you the direction that dentistry is going. People are going for convenience.

My buddies Mike Abernathy and Max Gotcher, down at Summit Practice Solutions, they talk about this all the time. For your big general practices you’ve got to have convenience. You got to have convenient hours, you got to have convenient location, and I think this statistic speaks directly to that. If you’re in an elective fee-for-service big case dentist, this stat probably doesn’t affect you very much. If you’re a general practitioner and you’re in the insurance wheel, you’re running that wheel, you have to be convenient. You can’t be a general dentist in 2016 and not have convenient hours, convenient locations, convenient everything. If you don’t, if general practice is your focus, and you’re not competing with the conveniences that these large chains, that these Mortensons and the Aspens and the ClearChoices offer, you’re simply going to lose out. Your practice is going to dwindle and die.

The times have changed for those practitioners that want to have that model. It’s a very good model. I know guys that are doing five and ten million dollars a year with that model. Nothing wrong with that model, but you have to make sure that you evolve to what the consumer, your patient’s expectations are. That’s all for today.

Keep moving forward.