The dental industry is transforming rapidly. Once upon a time, the average dentist in Australia was male, middle-aged and married to his dental assistant or practice manager.
As a duo, they would grow the practice, until retirement and then sell to their associate dentist, who typically had joined straight after university - and had been mentored by the dentist himself.
Nowadays a new generation of dentists is seeing an increase in women and a greater reliance on technology.
The ability to run a business is becoming more pivotal to the success of a dental practice.
Patients are making steeper demands and Dr. Google means they are better researched than ever before - and the expectations they have are even higher.
The first digital impression scanners were introduced in the 1980s, and whether it's true or not, there have been anecdotal articles to suggest that more women are drawn to dentistry because of the technology.
Regardless of the reason it definitely appears to be one that is welcome by patients and many health search engines display whether the practitioner is male or female to give patients a transparent choice.
We do know that along with many other industries the gender balance is swinging toward women.
In fact, today more than 50% of the Australian dental industry are women.
Today a patient will actively type the words 'iTero dentist' or 'CEREC dentist' into Google and search for a dentist who is using the technology they want. They may not know the technical difference between iterations of technology, but they know they want to avoid messy impressions.
Web search trends show us that patients are more informed and well researched than ever before.
They want to be able to choose their technology, compare prices, compare dentist's reputations and they value their own time - so they want to be able to book online and conveniently access their chosen location based on hours, parking and public transport.
Dentists have always wanted happy patients because happy patients return. But, times are not as simple as they used to be and expectations are higher.
If you are considering changing roles, and you want a growing patient base to be part of your move, here are some points you should consider:
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Whether you’re looking for work or already a busy dentist, volunteer dental work can be a positive thing to do. It needn’t be a big commitment, but giving some time to help others can help with networking, adding to your resume and giving you personal satisfaction.