As one measure of how far the dental industry has come in the last year, consider this.
“By the week of March 23, 2020, about 76% of dentists had closed their offices to all but emergency patients, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute.”
That’s from a March 8th ADA News article titled, “One year of COVID-19 response” that contains not only a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., but also the ADA’s responses and interventions during the past year.
Not Exactly A Victory Lap
Credit where credit is due; if you read the article, it’s clear that the ADA’s advocacy and guidance efforts made a substantial difference to practicing dentists whether members of not. It’s also fair to say that the organization can take some credit for this fact:
“To date, according to HPI, 99% of U.S. dental practices are back open with patient volumes reaching about 80% of pre-pandemic levels on average.”
Not only that, but dental practices are now viewed as essential and as one of the safest healthcare venues. They’ve also been authorized to administer vaccines in at least 26 states, a number which is almost certain to grow.
So, something good has come out of that disastrous last year. The question is, what do you, as the practice owner, do now?
Time To Kick It Up A Notch Or Three?
Absolutely no one should be surprised if dentists are just happy to be open and making money again. It’s equivalent to surviving a famine; the rains have finally come, the crops are growing, and people have enough to eat for the first time in a long time.
Not too many of those people are going to think, “We need to plant more fields now to prepare for the next famine!”
But “famines” come in all shapes and sizes. It wasn’t that long ago that the U.S. economy cratered during the Great Recession, and it was a long, hard road back. With regard to COVID, the variants that are emerging could certainly trigger another wave, according to the experts – particularly as some states have begun to lift mask mandates – so that’s something to factor into your planning as well.
And, there are growing concerns about inflation which could tighten the lending market considerably.
If you’re in a position to be forward-thinking about your practice’s future, consider this: at a time when dental practices were averaging just 8 percent of normal revenue, SmartBox dentists, on average, never dropped below 35percent.
That’s not a victory lap for SmartBox. It is a suggestion that we can help make your practice more resilient in the face of the coming unknowns.
SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.