The world of dentistry is constantly evolving, and keeping up with the latest trends is essential to the success of dental practices.
Looking ahead, there are many innovations in development that will impact dental technology, patient experience, and practice management, and that will shape the future of dentistry.
From artificial intelligence to virtual consultations, numerous innovations will increasingly help dental practices stay ahead of the curve.
In this article, we will explore some of the key trends and predictions for the future of dental practice and explore the topic of designing facilities that are increasingly integrated into the daily routine to improve patient care and increase the efficiency of care delivery.
The adoption of technology is one of the key components in the evolution of dental practice.
It is transforming the dental practice, making processes more efficient, and improving the quality of patient care.
Some technologies are becoming increasingly important, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and 3D printing.
Artificial intelligence, for example, can be used to improve diagnosis and patient care, helping dentists identify dental problems more accurately and quickly.
It is not hard to imagine that apps will become increasingly effective at reading and interpreting images sent by patients and guiding them through the process of collecting the necessary images and data. This will be done both to provide the first useful answers to minor problems and to better and faster distribute requests within the practice organization.
In even more futuristic scenarios, sensors will be placed in the oral cavity to monitor its health through the evaluation of specific biomarkers. All this with a view to prevention, which, as we shall see, is one of the trends that will shape the dental practice of the future.
With or without artificial intelligence, tele-dentistry has been around for a while: dentists have long used technology to communicate with patients and diagnose and prescribe treatments remotely, in all cases where an in-person visit is not essential.
This trend gained momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic, but is set to continue, and can also help those who have difficulty traveling or live in remote areas.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, can be used to create 3D dental models and help patients better understand their situation and available treatment options.
It can also be used to provide dentists and operators with more effective and rewarding break times, e.g. through devices that can realistically reproduce relaxing scenarios to help them unwind, preventing the risk of burnout.
Finally, 3D printing is revolutionizing the production of dentures and other dental devices: according to research from Markets & Markets, the market has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 20.2 percent in recent years and is expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future. In fact, 3D printing makes it possible to produce customized dentures quickly and efficiently, reducing production times.
The patient experience has become increasingly important in dental practices, with a focus on creating a welcoming and comfortable environment.
In addition, technology can be used to enhance the patient experience. For example, patients can use apps and other digital tools directly from their smartphones to book appointments, view their medical records, and communicate with the practice staff more efficiently.
There are also tools and resources to help patients manage stress and anxiety related to dental care, suchas the use of music, as discussed in a previous article.
As mentioned earlier, the well-being of dentists and dental staff will also continue to grow in importance: ergonomic equipment and furniture and the use of new technologies will contribute to shape practices that are increasingly focused on wellbeing and mindfulness, but also to the musculoskeletal health of dentists and dental staff in a profession that, without the right equipment and strategies, risks compromising it.
Well-being and comfort can also be pursued through practices designed with the aim of maximizing natural light, the introduction of environmentally friendly plants and materials into consulting rooms, or even the choice of colors specifically designed to create the most relaxing and welcoming environment possible.
Sustainability is another important trend gaining ground in dental practices. The focus on ecology is becoming increasingly important, with a growing emphasis on reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices. Several things can be done to increase the inherent sustainability of the practice, such as using environmentally friendly materials, reducing waste, and adopting more efficient energy management practices. In addition, sustainability can be promoted to patients by providing information on ecological products and encouraging environmentally friendly behavior.
So what will the dental practice of the future look like? First of all, following a trend established over the past decades, the focus will shift more and more toward prevention. This goal can be pursued more effectively thanks to the new possibilities offered by technology. For example, in addition to the intraoral sensors discussed previously, smart toothbrushes with built-in cameras that can monitor patients’ health may become more common. A greater emphasis on prevention would also improve the well-being and efficiency of dentists and practitioners: it would ultimately contribute to a less stressful working environment, as there would be less focus on emergency interventions or the treatment of already manifested problems. Another trend confirmed by all the studies is the growth of cosmetic dentistry.
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, this field is expected to grow at a rate of more than 7% over the next few years, starting with the most popular treatments today: teeth whitening and veneers.
These changes will encourage the creation of multi-specialty practices and chains with multiple locations and more complex corporate forms, i.e. organizations that are sufficiently specialized and structured to meet the changing needs of the market.
It will also become strategic to invest in the implementation of efficient and modern organizational models: the study of lean business and the improvement of workflows within practices and surgeries will become crucial factors and will have to be supported by equipment and furniture that can promote their success.
In conclusion, keeping up with the times in dental practice design is more important than ever; it is a rapidly evolving field with many new trends and technologies shaping the future of dentistry. Keeping abreast of the latest trends and adopting innovative solutions to improve patient care, increase efficiency, and encourage the development of quality services in a rapidly changing environment is very important. This includes the careful selection of equipment and furniture, especially chairs and stools, which are at the heart of the practice’s daily activities. The focus on high-quality products, the result of continuous investment in research and development, backed up by a consolidated tradition of Made in Italy craftsmanship, can be a decisive factor for any practice that does not want to be overwhelmed by change, but rather to seize and dominate it in order to grow and offer its patients adequate and up-to-date services.