How Today's Crumbling Economy Affects The Dental Industry
Article written by Otto Sabo, RDT, Owner, Second Nature Dental Innovations. Published in Spectrum Dialogue, The Voice of Techno-Clinical Dentistry Vol. 8 No. 4 - April 2009
The dawn of a new age is upon us. It is a time of change. As we are well aware, there have been events which have resulted in the complete demise of several major financial institutions. Negligent decisions and poor judgment by their executives have set off global market crashes compared only to the Great Depression. There are also so many more large corporations such as the big three car companies on life support and lining up for government assistance. We will not know for some time to come the full extent of all the collateral damage to the survival of many more corporations and employment. History has taught us, the resulting fallout from these events may be quite significant. As the unemployment rate rises, there is also a paralyzing effect on the economy which reaches far beyond to many more employed people due to the thought “Is my job safe?” or “Could I be next?”
Although the events and outlandish reasons for them are frustrating to say the least, we must not panic and make any rash or reflex reactions. We must take a deep breath of fresh air and focus on staying positive. We must set our mindset to these times as a challenge and new opportunities instead. The best way to do this is to become proactively involved in concentrating on solutions, and not dwelling on what has occurred. Just as President Barack Obama said “we must pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and begin rebuilding”. By being proactive, the course chosen will have a profound affect on our survival and future growth. In these economic times the laws of nature are coming in to play in which “only the STRONG survive and the WEAK do not.”
How do we position ourselves to ensure that we remain a part of the strong?
On March 12 of this year, TD Bank of Canada predicted we are falling into a deep recession which is due to last well into 2010. Consumer confidence is the lowest it has been in most of our lifetimes. Our customers have become hypersensitive for valuable return on moneys spent. Therefore, a valuable return should be our goal. We can put ourselves in the most favorable position by investing in High Quality Dentistry encompassing all areas including materials, techniques, technologies, specialists and laboratory. The forecast is for a slow recovery from the economic damages.
To fuel our financial recovery and ensure to be one of the “STRONG” we must provide the Highest Quality of products and most courteous of Services.
In the boom years many “Dental Marketing Consultants” were preaching cutting overhead as much as possible for an improved “bottom line”, resulting however, in compromised, or inferior clinical and technical results. Of course those techniques of instant financial gratification are now outdated, and will surely damage greatly the prospect of future sustenance and growth. It is now imperative that we strengthen our bond with our patients/clients. We need to rise to the challenges of patient/client care through the entire process in an organized and smooth way.
Restoratively the BEFORE and AFTER results of cases are the greatest promotional tools we have, not only from a cosmetic stand point but function as well. To generate the “WOW” affect is so important for it is all their friends and family who will see and hear about the entire experience. By taking the initiatives to continually improve is the proactive approach which will surely lead to significant growth.
All staff must be informed of these types of priorities and principles. Staff who is complacent and/or shows disinterest in the heightened goals should be replaced by harder working and more dedicated types. Some tough decisions may need to be executed, to allow a fair chance for your practice/lab to flourish. Most assured the dental practice will have to ensure utilization of only the finest specialists, including choice of Dental Lab to meet the upgraded standards needed to enable and facilitate the growth.
Build for the Future:
History has shown that education has a great impact on our professional lives in the way of achievements. Success in the dental industry is no different. Those who have taken advantage of studying with one of the “masters of occlusion” for upgrades in knowledge and techniques reinforce this reality. By better understanding and recognizing the many conditions which effect proper function will increase diagnosis. Let’s face it, without diagnosis there isn’t a case to work on. The patient goes on untreated. At times we have opportunities directly within our grasp but fail to capitalize. These are times in which we must decipher where to look. From time to time we go searching far and wide for complex solutions. We must ask ourselves: have we missed some very valuable resources within? Once we have a good diagnosis, the next critical stage is creating the blueprints for success- The “Master Plan” so to speak. That, usually entails an accurate 3D wax-up and design (not a mock-up), which must be repeated accurately to completion. Another key component is that an organized step by step, appointment by appointment game plan must be calculated. A good plan is the most important part of the process. After that we simply need implementation, sticking to the plan in as precisely as possible, since the next “most important” thing to a good plan is staying with the plan. Through positive thinking, proactive thinking, proactive initiatives and teaming up with the finest Dental Labs and Specialists, success is closer than one may think. It’s never too late to begin the process. Once you start, there’s no looking back...Let’s do it together…
For information about Second Nature Dental Innovations please visit our About page.