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Sometimes, you see them coming. Sometimes you don’t notice until they have you surrounded.
Dental practices in the United States are facing a “perfect storm.” That’s a strong statement, but there’s strong proof to back it up. And if your practice isn’t prepared, everything you’ve worked so hard to build may be destroyed.
The forces driving this dental apocalypse have been building for some time. It’s only recently has a pattern become clear: those forces are converging and will combine into an unstoppable economic wave.
Corporate dentistry is the first of those forces. The various corporate chains – not only national ones like Aspen Dental, but also regional chains such as Midwest Dental – are steadily opening new practices. And corporate dentistry hits most private practices where they market by competing for price-drive and insurance-driven patients.
The corporate chains have massive marketing budgets. They can also realize economies of scale that will allow them to undercut private dental practices on price.
If you compete head-to-head with the corporate chains, you’ll lose.
New dental school graduates are the second force that threatens the future of your practice. A number of new dental schools have opened in the last few years and more are planned. Those dental schools turned out about 6,000 new dentists in 2016, and the numbers will increase in years to come.
Dental school tuition has soared, leaving new graduates saddled with an average of $260 thousand in educational debt. Many new graduates are opting to go straight to work for the corporate chains to pay off that debt quickly. Once they’re comfortable with their financial situation, most of those dentists will open their own practices.
In the meantime, other new graduates will go to work for corporate dentistry, fueling its continued expansion. There’s a twofold threat: more corporate offices and more private dental practices.
Declining insurance reimbursements are a sad fact of life for dentists today. Less reimbursement per procedure means that patients must shoulder more of the financial burden. That leads many patients to defer dental care, while others search for the lowest-price provider: corporate dentistry. Either option is money out of your pocket.
Economic uncertainty is the final force that threatens your practice. Memories of the Great Recession of 2009 are still very clear, and many economists are predicting another recession in the next few years. If you follow the stock markets, you’ve already noticed a “head and shoulders” correction in the Dow Industrials. When people aren’t confident in the future, they defer expenditures for vehicles, appliances, vacations… and health care.
These four forces – what I’ve dubbed the Four Horsemen of Dentistry – are already besieging your practice. By every indication, things will only get worse.
That’s why I’ve written a new book entitled, “The Four Horsemen of Dentistry: Survival Strategies for the Private Dental Practice Under Siege.” It provides an in-depth analysis of the dangers threatening your practice. More importantly, it provides you with strategies to not only survive the coming dental apocalypse but to thrive under adverse conditions.
Order your copy today by going to www.practiceundersiege.com.
You must prepare for what’s coming, or you run the risk of your practice failing.