A skilled clinician, scientific thinker, great communicator, educator and businessperson – these are just some of the roles the modern dental practitioner will have to take on if they want to be ready for the future. Research and development will continue to push back boundaries; who knows what materials, technology and technique we will be using in 20 years’ time?
If we look at how far we have come, we can see how patients are driving the industry forward. Switched on, savvy and often short on time, they expect high standards, great results, efficiency and excellent customer service. Now and in the future, quality treatment won’t be enough to guarantee loyalty. The pressure is on to find even more ways to reduce chair-time without compromising on results. Dental professionals should be encouraged to diversify and add to their skills set and give added value at every check-up.
You can be the best dentist, hygienist, therapist or nurse by using the most ground breaking materials and equipment, but this will come to nothing without a steady flow of people. The most exciting part of the future is the empowerment of the patient, who sees the dental team as a partner in safeguarding their oral and all-round health. For example, teaching them how to perform a daily, professional-level clean should be standard at every appointment. The future is preventative, which is why the modern dentist has to integrate technique with a holistic approach, teaching their patients how good lifestyle choices are central to a sparkly smile and long, healthy life.