Dentists who want to grow their businesses and increase the value of their practices are frustrated by a model that seems to be stacked against them. In fact, many dentists are struggling to make a profit because costs to operate a dental practice have increased while fees paid to dentists by insurance companies have decreased.
The American Dental Association revealed the results of this quite clearly when it reported that the average earnings for dentists in 2016 were at much the same levels as they were in 1997.1 Meanwhile, the overall dental market grew 70% from 1990 to 2015. It’s not going to get any better. As Morgan Stanley Research reported in their May 2018 report titled Trends + 5 key forces reshaping the US dental market, dental reimbursement rates across all dentistry were projected to decrease 3.3% in 2018. This is on top of a 2.9% decrease in 2017.
Many of today’s dentists feel under siege. Insurance companies, DSOs, and suppliers all chip away at the ever-shrinking profit margins of practices. Dentists are desperate and trying anything and everything to attract new patients. Many practices have implemented marketing programs in an effort to find new patients, but these efforts typically fail. When they do result in new patients, this usually comes at a steep cost.