Nimisha Nariapara explains how to keep your practice progressing.
One of the best things about working in the dental industry is that you are never limited in what you could become. With so many different fields open to professionals, it’s easy to diversify your skills and offer new treatments in order to help your practice stand out from the rest.
However, offering a broad spectrum of treatments isn’t always as simple as it sounds, and there are many things you need to consider before moving forwards.
There will already be some treatments that you are interested in providing for your patients. However, are these the solutions that are likely to have the highest amount of patient demand? It’s all well and good undergoing training and learning a complex new skill, but if this isn’t going to be beneficial to both your patients and your practice, it’s probably better to take a different path, at least for the mean time.
Look at treatment trends for those you currently provide – are lots of people asking for a specific procedure? Do you treat a high number of patients in a certain age group who may be more interested in dentures or dental implants? By assessing the make-up of your current clientele, you can help ensure that if you do branch into a new area, you have a solid client base ready to benefit from these new skills.
Of course, offering new treatments can also bring in new patients, especially if they are procedures that are in high demand such as tooth whitening. In this case, you need to look at the patient demographic of your practice and see if these are likely to be tempting treatments for your catchment area. For example, if your practice is near lots of schools, it may be a good idea to look into providing fitted mouthguards. On the other hand, if your practice is in an area predominantly populated by people in their early 20s-30s, it would be an intelligent move to offer aesthetic procedures and tooth whitening as this is the main target age.
Training to hone your skills
It goes without saying that if you want to learn something new, you will need to find appropriate training. For some treatments this can be very straightforward. On the other hand, if you’re looking to branch out into more complex fields such as dental implantology or endodontics, you will need to explore the training options that are most convenient and beneficial for you.
There are tonnes of resources available for dentists looking for new skills. Be sure to choose training that is suitable for you both in terms of distance and length of training programme. You may be tempted to always go for the nearest course, but look at reviews and see how other people have learned the skills you want in the past – recommendations from your colleagues are definitely a trustworthy source.
What about your team learning new skills too? It’s always beneficial to keep your practice team motivated and looking forward to the next step of their careers. This could be an opportunity to speak to them, see what their hopes are and identify what training and events could help them progress towards this target – a team that continually expands skills together is likely to be a very strong one.
Choosing systems that help you provide new treatment
When it comes to dental equipment, the systems in your practice need to be versatile and suitable in a wide array of indications. For example, diagnostic imaging systems should be to be able to cope with and excel in all kinds of cases. This is especially true if you are now offering more complex treatments that will require in-depth diagnoses and more thorough planning. The CS 9600 CBCT system from Carestream Dental, for example, is a versatile imaging system fitted with 14 different fields of view, which easily supports all of your diagnostic needs.
Diversify your treatment portfolio, reap the rewards
Learning new skills is an exciting way to remain motivated at work and to take your practice to the next level. By evaluating which treatments you should be offering your patients, finding appropriate training for you and your team and investing in technology that helps you to integrate these new skills into your practice, you can very successfully broaden your tre