Post comments about economic hanges in the dental practice to our blog.
In this survey, three of four dentists (74%) said they have made changes as a result of the slow economy.
Another 11% said they haven’t yet, but are considering it. Only 15% said no.
Here are some of the steps dentists are taking:
- Reducing office expenses: 48%
- Layoffs/Staff reduction: 30%
- Increasing dental marketing spending: 30%
- Reducing wages/salaries: 13%
- Using less expensive dental labs: 11%
- Cutting marketing spending: 9%
When we asked dentists if they had any more thoughts on how the economy is affecting dental practices, here’s what they had to say…
People’s spending habits
- “In rural areas, the downturn is not affecting us as much. We don't see the big ‘ups,’ but also don't see the big ‘downs.'” (General dentist)
- “People are reluctant to spend.” (New Jersey dentist)
Internet and dental websites
- “We are relying upon the internet for more of our new patients, especially Yelp.com."
- “Working more hours.” (California dentist)
- “Working a shorter week with slightly longer days.” (Maryland dentist)
- “Fewer chairside hours.” (California dentist)
- “We did not lay off team members, but we chose to work with a smaller team and did not replace some team when attrition occurred. Team has 6, including 1 dentist.” (Canada dentist)
- "We added staff.” (Georgia dentist)
- “We reduced certain employees’ hours.” (Ohio dentist)
- “We have not given raises that the staff has anticipated.” (Washington pediatric dentist)
Other changes dentists are making
- “We have added new procedures.” (Texas orthodontist)
- “We negotiated and joined a couple of dental insurance plans. We negotiated a very good fee schedule and are getting more new patients, too!” (Ohio prosthodontist)
- “We are reviewing and tightening up systems, as well as increasing customer service."
- “Changed marketing."
- “We’re targeting different procedures.” (Nevada dentist)
The problem with payors
- “Healthcare payors, with relentless persistence, are significantly gaining control over all aspects of dentistry, including the provider's perception of his professional responsibilities.” (General dentist)
Note: Survey sample included 48 respondents.