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Same-Day Dentistry: The Rising Value of Convenience for Patient Retention

Discover how digital dentistry and same-day procedures are transforming the dental industry.

August 11, 2023
Behtash Moojedi image
Behtash Moojedi
The Rising Value of Convenience for Patient Retention

We live in a time of unprecedented convenience and speed. Every industry, even those grounded in tradition, like healthcare, is feeling the pulse of this quickened pace. Dentistry is no exception. Traditionally, dental care has required multiple visits spanning weeks, or even months, especially for complex procedures. This process was time-consuming and often disrupted patients' daily lives.

Today’s patients expect something different. They’re busier, better informed and they want their dental care to be just as streamlined and efficient as the rest of their lives. They're not interested in taking multiple days off work for a series of dental appointments or waiting weeks for a dental restoration. They want quick, convenient appointments, fast turnarounds, and above all, quality results. This evolution in patient expectations has given rise to an increasingly popular trend — same-day dentistry.

However, it's important to acknowledge that while convenience and speed are shifting the needs of today's patients, single-visit dentistry remains the exception rather than the norm. The concept of same-day dentistry is still relatively young, and patient awareness of its existence is often low. This presents a unique opportunity for dentists who are willing to take the leap and embrace digital transformation in their practices.

Adopting this technology gives dentists a competitive edge over other practices, position themselves as leaders in the field, and achieve long-term sustainability. By embracing these changes, dentists can attract new patients, retain existing ones, and significantly enhance the overall patient experience.

The rapid advances in dental technology, notably digital dentistry with its groundbreaking innovations such as CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) technology, digital imaging, and 3D printing, are fundamental enablers of this transition. In this blog post, we'll explore how digital dentistry is transforming dental care, how it enables same-day dentistry, and how this convenience can significantly impact patient retention.

The Rising Demand for Convenience and the Traditional Dental Practice

The demand for convenience in healthcare isn't merely anecdotal. Recent studies and surveys consistently point toward a strong correlation between the level of convenience provided and patient satisfaction and retention. A 2022 report from Accenture highlighted that 88% of younger patients are more likely to choose a healthcare provider based on convenience factors, such as customer service, digital or mobile solutions, and quick service.

A patient checking his teeth on a mirror with dental staff

By adopting advanced technologies and offering same-day dentistry, dentists can not only meet the evolving needs of their patients but also increase awareness and educate their patient base about the benefits of single-visit dental care.

In the realm of dentistry, this trend is particularly prominent. According to a survey conducted by Futuredontics, 30% of respondents said that convenience factors are the top reason they selected their dentist, ranking only second to insurance acceptance. This shows that patients are actively looking for dental practices that offer flexible hours, quick turnaround times, and convenient appointment scheduling. However, it's important to recognize that many dental visits are not pre-planned but rather a response to unplanned dental needs. In these cases, there is a premium placed on same-day dentistry, where patients can have the reassurance of immediate service delivery even in unforeseen circumstances. By offering same-day dentistry and ensuring that patients are aware of this availability, dental practices can proactively meet the needs of patients in urgent situations, further enhancing the value of convenience.

However, traditional dental practices may find it challenging to meet this rising demand for convenience. The conventional model of dental care typically involves several stages, including consultation, diagnosis, treatment planning, procedure, and follow-up. Each stage usually requires a separate appointment, meaning a patient could be visiting the dentist multiple times over several weeks or even months for a single treatment.

Consider, for instance, a routine procedure like a dental crown placement. Traditionally, this would involve an initial visit for examination and impression-taking, followed by a waiting period while the crown is made in a lab, and finally another visit for the placement. This long-drawn process, coupled with potential scheduling difficulties, can cause inconvenience for the patient, creating a potential barrier to patient satisfaction and retention.

A dentist showing a patient her teeth on a computer

The ability to deliver a crown in a single appointment comes with a premium that most patients are willing to pay the price for.

Such a multi-visit model not only stretches out the duration of treatment but also places added stress on patients. They may need to take time off work, arrange for child or elder care, or juggle other commitments to accommodate multiple appointments. This inconvenience can be particularly challenging for individuals with busy schedules, leading them to either delay necessary dental care or look for more convenient alternatives.

For dental practices, this shift in patient expectations is a wake-up call. The way dentistry has been traditionally practiced may no longer suffice in the face of changing patient needs and desires. Embracing innovation and adapting to offer a higher level of convenience could be the key to attracting and retaining patients in today's competitive healthcare landscape.

The Solution: Embracing Digital Dentistry and Same-Day Procedures

The demands of modern patients for speed and convenience might seem overwhelming, but they also offer an exciting opportunity for those willing to innovate. Enter digital dentistry, a rapidly growing field that leverages technology to streamline dental procedures and offer same-day treatments.

Digital dentistry has been a game-changer for the dental industry. In fact, according to a report by Market Research Future, the global digital dentistry market is expected to reach $5.2 billion by 2026, demonstrating the significant investment dental practices worldwide are making in digital technologies. This shift is not driven solely by the promise of increased profits, but also by the understanding that these technologies offer a route to enhanced patient satisfaction and retention.

Among the many innovations brought by digital dentistry, CAD/CAM technology has had a considerable impact. Using CAD/CAM technology, dentists can design and manufacture dental restorations such as crowns, veneers, and bridges in-office, all within a single appointment. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that CAD/CAM restorations not only reduce chair time but also have a 10-year survival rate of 96.5% for monolithic and two-layer disilicate ceramics comparable to traditionally fabricated restorations. That number increases to a 100% survival rate for BruxZir® Zirconia.

Another critical development in the field of digital dentistry is the integration of digital imaging and intraoral scanners. These advancements have revolutionized the way dentists diagnose and plan treatments, providing a more efficient and patient-friendly experience.

Digital imaging, including digital x-rays and intraoral scanners, has transformed the diagnostic process in dentistry. Digital X-rays provide immediate, high-resolution images that improve the accuracy of diagnoses while minimizing patient exposure to radiation. Additionally, intraoral scanners such as the fastscan.io™ Scanning Solution capture detailed 3D digital impressions of the patient's teeth and oral structures, eliminating the need for messy traditional impressions. This not only enhances the precision of treatment planning but also allows patients to better understand their dental issues.

Furthermore, 3D printing has made significant advancements in the dental field, particularly in orthodontics and implantology. The ability to 3D print dental models, surgical guides, and even aligners in-office has revolutionized treatment timelines and outcomes. By leveraging 3D printing technology, dental practices can accelerate the production of custom dental appliances, improve the fit and functionality of restorations, and streamline the overall treatment process. This not only saves valuable time but also enhances the precision and quality of the final results.

The integration of digital imaging and 3D printing into dental practices further contributes to the convenience and efficiency of same-day dentistry. By utilizing these technologies, dentists can quickly capture accurate digital impressions, design restorations digitally, and fabricate them in-office using 3D printers. This eliminates the need for multiple appointments and external dental labs, allowing for faster turnaround times and enhanced patient satisfaction.

Incorporating digital imaging and 3D printing technologies into your practice not only improves the accuracy and efficiency of treatments but also enhances patient education and satisfaction. The combination of digital imaging, intraoral scanners, and 3D printing empowers dentists to deliver exceptional same-day dentistry experiences while providing patients with a deeper understanding of their dental health and treatment options.

Digital dentistry's promise extends beyond technology for its own sake — it's about how these technologies can make dental procedures quicker, more precise, and ultimately, more convenient for patients. By reducing the need for multiple visits, providing immediate results, and enhancing treatment outcomes, digital dentistry addresses the rising demand for convenience. It allows dentists to meet and exceed their patients' expectations, resulting in greater patient satisfaction and retention.

Embracing these innovations is not a matter of jumping on a trend, but rather an investment in the future of your practice. By adopting digital dentistry, you’re setting up your practice to meet the demands of modern patients, positioning yourself ahead of the curve in a highly competitive industry.

How Same-Day Dentistry Aids Patient Retention

When we talk about patient retention in the context of a dental practice, we're discussing the ability to keep a patient coming back to your practice for their dental needs. It's not just about satisfying a patient once, but creating an ongoing relationship that keeps them returning for future treatments and procedures. So, how does same-day dentistry fit into this picture?

Same-day dentistry, enabled by digital dentistry technologies, is a powerful tool for improving patient retention. The reason for this is quite straightforward: convenience drives satisfaction, and satisfaction drives loyalty. By offering same-day procedures, you're providing a service that respects your patients' time and busy schedules. You're showing them that you understand their needs and are willing to adapt your practice to meet them. This can significantly enhance their overall experience, leading to higher satisfaction levels.

Beyond the immediate convenience factor, same-day dentistry can also foster a sense of trust and confidence in patients. When they can see the entire process unfold before their eyes, from the scanning and designing of the restoration to the milling and final placement, it can demystify the procedure and alleviate any associated anxieties. They can see firsthand the level of care and precision that goes into their treatment, reinforcing their trust in your expertise and care.

Also, let's not overlook the word-of-mouth effect. Patients who have a positive, convenient, and efficient experience at your practice are more likely to recommend your services to their friends and family. In this way, same-day dentistry not only helps retain existing patients but can also attract new ones.

The key takeaway here is that same-day dentistry is much more than a mere scheduling convenience. It's a powerful tool that can enhance the patient experience, foster trust, and ultimately, improve patient retention. By integrating same-day procedures into your practice, you're not only staying in step with the demands of modern patients but also actively investing in the long-term success of your practice.

Boosting Practice Profitability with the glidewell.io™ In-Office Solution

Implementing advanced technology like the glidewell.io™ In-Office Solution, a comprehensive digital dentistry platform, can have a significant impact on the profitability of your dental practice. By streamlining workflows, reducing overhead costs, and increasing patient throughput, glidewell.io offers a comprehensive solution that can lead to enhanced financial success. By leveraging glidewell.io, you can bring cutting-edge capabilities such as digital imaging, intraoral scanning, CAD/CAM technology, and 3D printing directly into your practice. This all-in-one solution empowers you to provide efficient, high-quality dental care while meeting the rising demand for convenience. But don't just take our word for it. Let's hear from a doctor who is experiencing the benefits firsthand.

Les Kurian, DDS from Lancaster, CA, shares his testimonial: "The glidewell.io In-Office Solution was one of the best purchases I've made during my 26 years of practicing! The system is truly incredible, and the training staff and sales representatives are awesome. It's made my job not only more fun, but rewarding as well."

A group of dental staff smiling while holding milling materials

Same-day dentistry with glidewell.io is an easy and predictable way for doctors boost their clinical success.

Dr. Kurian's testimonial highlights the transformative impact that glidewell.io can have on your practice. Not only does it provide cutting-edge technology and efficient workflows, but it also offers excellent support and training to ensure seamless integration into your practice.

Now, let's explore how glidewell.io can specifically boost the profitability of your dental practice:

  • Increased efficiency: With glidewell.io, you can significantly reduce the time required for dental procedures. Same-day dentistry eliminates the need for multiple appointments and lab work outsourcing, which translates into reduced overhead costs and improved operational efficiency. By optimizing your workflow, you can see more patients in a day and maximize your revenue potential.
  • Cost savings: By bringing lab work in-house, glidewell.io eliminates reliance on external dental labs, reducing associated costs and turnaround times. You can create high-quality restorations using CAD/CAM technology, digital imaging, and 3D printing, resulting in cost savings and faster treatments.
  • Enhanced patient experience: The convenience of same-day dentistry powered by the glidewell.io In-Office Solution not only improves patient satisfaction and retention, but also attracts new patients. Satisfied patients are more likely to refer others to your practice, boosting your patient base and revenue.
  • Competitive advantage: By investing in state-of-the-art technology like glidewell.io, you position your practice as forward-thinking and innovative. This sets you apart from competitors and allows you to attract patients who prioritize modern, efficient dental care.

To see how the glidewell.io In-Office Solution can impact your practice's profitability, we encourage you to use our online ROI calculator. This tool provides you with insights into the potential return on investment and financial benefits of implementing glidewell.io in your practice. Visit our website to access the ROI calculator and discover how this innovative solution can contribute to your clinical success.

Remember, this investment isn't just about acquiring cutting-edge technology; it's about making a strategic decision to boost the profitability, efficiency, and patient experience of your practice. Don't miss out on the opportunity to transform your dental practice and harness the benefits that glidewell.io can offer.

Take the first step toward a more profitable future by calculating your ROI with glidewell.io today.

Calculate your ROI with the glidewell.io In-Office Solution now!

CALCULATE YOUR ROI

Send blog-related questions and suggestions to hello@glidewell.com.

Digital Dentistry