Dentists Make Changes for Recession Economy

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The recession economy is leading to changes for 3 of 4 dentistsIn 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"

Changing schedules

  • “Working more hours.” (California dentist)
  • “Working a shorter week with slightly longer days.” (Maryland dentist)
  • “Fewer chairside hours.” (California dentist)

Changing staff

  • “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.

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