An “insider’s view” is supposed to be valuable. However, “you can’t read the label from inside the jar,” as the wise saying goes.
The pandemic has placed us all in the jar, so to speak. We yearn for perspective, but we don’t know what we don’t know. Through it all, we have marvelously adapted. There are countless new protocols in dental offices, and patients have, for the most part, admirably adjusted.
The Covid crisis is the most significant disruption to daily life and security since World War II. The very act of coping causes us stress. One day, we will look back and gain perspective on how our world of certainty was thrown off its axis but still managed to right itself. For now, we soldier on.
For years we tried to educate those patients who had only sporadic contact with the dental profession. We wanted to bring them in, show them all that modern dentistry has to offer, and turn them into high dental IQ patients who take responsibility for their oral health and consequently also garner general health benefits.
It turns out that there was a larger cohort, those loyal patients of record who would not be denied dental care. They could not wait for offices to re-open; schedules filled quickly as patients rushed back to dental offices.
As dental practices work through the backlog of pent-up demand, the time is now to plan for the future. The post-pandemic dental practice needs to rebrand itself. Patients now have a better understanding of dentistry as an overall healthcare service. Practices need to build on that understanding and redouble marketing and education efforts.
The future of dentistry is bright, but it will not write itself. It’s time to think about emerging from the jar, surveying the landscape, and planning for success throughout the rest of this year and into the next.