Insights from the Dental Trade Alliance’s Mini-Dental School®

The Dental Trade Alliance sponsored a Mini-Dental School® for industry representatives on April 10-11, 2017, at the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine. Richmond Dental & Medical gained insights into current dentistry trends, and networked with 16 industry representatives from eight dental companies.

The university’s professors and practicing dentists provided an overview of dentistry, hygiene, and restorative care. We also heard from dental professionals from various specialties like pediatric, endodontic, and radiology.

The hands-on experience in the lab allowed us to drill/fill cavities, perform root canals, and do ultrasonic cleaning on synthetic teeth. The radiology equipment provided an opportunity to take and download images into the computer as dental offices do each year. With the advances in imaging, it was amazing to see how oral cancer can be detected on the films.

Here are some additional insights from the Mini-Dental School®:

  • We were exposed to the latest industry trends in how charts and film are going digital. In addition, the surge in implants and the science behind it was noteworthy.
  • A need still remains for dental professionals in rural areas. Many graduates finish school but want to be in suburban areas near large cities.
  • The dental school demographics are also changing. There are now more woman in dental school than men, and the learning styles of millennials (Generation Y) have moved to digital—specifically videos—from textbooks.
  • Debt out of school continues to increase for dentists; therefore, we see an increase in Group Practices. One out of four graduates now join a group practice after dental school. The trend with continuing education is moving online; however, many dentists still prefer to attend tradeshows and conferences.
  • Changes are ever-present with insurance options and coverage. GSA Contracts come into play where the dentist no longer gets to say how much a procedure can be reimbursed. Costs continue to increase, while margins become smaller. Efficiency is the key in running a smart practice.
  • The future in dentistry lies in early detection. We will see a move towards an integration of medical and dental.

Richmond Dental & Medical has been a long-term member of the DTA. For more information on the Dental Trade Alliance, please visit their website. To download Richmond Dental & Medical’s Product Catalog, just visit our Product Catalog Download page.