In Featured Perspectives Ariana Portalatin 
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7 dentists share their outlook on the industry

While the dental industry is experiencing an uptick in patients wanting cosmetic and implant work and new technology is changing how those procedures are done, some dental practices are concerned about increasing DSO presence and insurance reimbursements.

Here, seven dentists provide their outlook on the dental industry:

Stephanie Aldrich, DDS: I think we're in the golden age of dentistry right now. We've got a huge aging baby-boom population that have spare income to maintain and improve their oral health with more expensive treatment, including implants, crowns and bridges. The digital footprint is growing, with technology allowing us to diagnose and treat our patients better with a better workflow. Being in my mid-40s, I'm in the prime of my earning career and I look forward to seeing where technology and the dental industry as a whole goes.

One area of concern I have is with dental insurance [companies] who are negatively impacting most dentists with ridiculous low reimbursements and low maximum benefits. At some point, that will shift too as people will negate paying for insurance services that neglect to actually pay for any service.

Aditya Singh, DDS: [I would describe the industry as] fragmented because there is no accepted and implementable standard for diagnosing and treating the most basic dental procedure; because non-dentists can own dental practices and have no interest in the profession in contrast to the business and the profit motive; because as professionals, dentists tend to view other dentists as competition more often than colleagues, again giving priority to the profit motive over the profession. I do not want to paint a negative picture, as there is always opportunity present.

Carol Aiken, DDS: [I would describe the industry as] corporate because costs are going up and reimbursements are coming down and the smaller practices cannot be viable.

Charles Anonye, DDS: I am worried that the days of the independent private ownership of a dental practice are numbered due to the massive growth of corporate and DSO practices.

Daniel Poticny, DDS: COVID and its associated effects have given people pause and time to reframe their thoughts on what optimal health involves. Because of this, patients will be less likely to avoid dental care and more likely to accept and actively pursue treatment: cosmetic and functional.

Peter Brusco, DMD: [The industry is] innovative. The digital streaming of procedures and advances in implant dentistry is changing dental health forever.

Kerry Bloom, DDS: Dental practices are exploding! Every patient is back and bringing their friends. We are especially busy with emergencies. They all know how safe dental offices have always been and could not wait to get back for care. Unfortunately, many patients stayed away too long and their problems have increased. Patients are now battling cracked teeth and gingivitis they never had in prior years.

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