The Covid pandemic was a tremendous “seismic shock” to virtually every country on Earth. Everything was disrupted: business, supply lines, transportation, medical care, assemblies… the list goes on.
Dentists were particularly hard-hit by the initial impact; in the vast majority of states, access to care was severely restricted, often to emergency care only. Incomes plummeted and even vanished. A fair number of practices closed or sold.
And now, just as things are clearly heading toward the pre-shock normal, we’re looking at an “aftershock” for dental practices.
The Trend Line Is Downward
SmartBox has access to a vast amount of data from dental practices. When you have that kind of information, it’s fairly easy to detect trends and forecast the near- to mid-term future.
Over the past few months, calls from qualified new patients (new patient opportunities, or NPOs) are declining 15 to 20% week over week. And the forecast is for that trend to continue and even to steepen.
This is aggregate data, so it’s impossible to say whether any individual dental practice will be as strongly affected.
What is clear, though, is that the causes of this decline are the same everywhere: 1) too much “extra” money – stimulus checks and enhanced benefits – with not enough “usual” places to spend it; 2) there’s no more “extra” money coming and people have many other options to spend money; and 3) any pent-up demand for treatment from the pandemic is exhausted.
What does this mean for your practice? Nothing good. In short, your “supply” of higher-value cases has been exhausted. In essence, you’ve been borrowing from yourself. With patient numbers dropping and not enough higher-value cases to offset what you’re not getting, the future’s not looking good.
Will your practice survive?
It can! SmartBox CEO and founder Colin Receveur for the solutions to “bulletproof” your practice against the “Aftershock.”
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.