The Impact of Millennials on the Future of Dentistry

As you know, the playing field in dentistry is always changing. More recently, though, we have a new group of millennials that are entering the dental field, which is creating a lot of changes. Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000, standing at 96 million people–the largest population in U.S. history. Then we have Baby Boomers at 77 million and Generation Xers at 61 million. What sets them apart is that Millennials demand instant access, efficiency and superior customer service.

Millennials have entered the dental world disappointed in how things were run and the technology available. To them, the dental system is outdated, inefficient and ill-equipped to handle their needs and their patients.

An Upgrade in Technology

Because millennials are so used to being able to quickly order products and services from their smartphone or tablet with next-day delivery, they want their patients to have the same. And this isn’t a bad thing at all. Waiting days to see the dentist with only a small set of office hours in an area riddled with dental practices, millennials are drawn to Internet searches.

No one wants to wait weeks to see a dentist. In this instant gratification generation, millennials want an appointment and they want it now. With the need for easy access to dentists, it is time for you to take advantage of the technology in front of you.

The Future of Dentistry

Millennials are leading the way for the future design of dental practices and the ways we reach our patients. There is a demand to meet the needs of a sophisticated group that wants instant gratification and easy access to the care and information they need. We need to cater to their needs of convenience and preventive health.

Where do millennials turn to for help? Google. Where do they shop for products delivered next day? Amazon. They want the information they are looking for and they want it now. This is why we need to continue to pave a path toward improved technology and advancements so we can keep up with their constant demand.

So what should we do? Keep providing the tools necessary for our patients. Take advantage of marketing, websites and even apps to help maintain instant access to your dental practice.

Teaching Dental Sleep Medicine in Dental School at West Virginia University

Previously we have discussed the need to incorporate dental sleep medicine courses into the curriculum at dental schools. While this continues to be an area that we need to focus on, I have some exciting news to share with you all. To my knowledge, the first school where the dean is proactive in incorporating dental sleep medicine (DSM) education is West Virginia University School of Dentistry.

Beginning in the first year of dental school, Dean Borgia of West Virginia University ensures students can start receiving classes in DSM. And, to help keep students informed, I have joined forces to provide courses on DSM and other areas. Teaching

My Time Teaching at WVU

Topics are covered at West Virginia University as they cover sections in Basic Science. When students complete head and neck anatomy, I came in to visit and teach about Airway Anatomy as it relates to sleep apnea. Understanding the airway and how it can affect a patient’s sleeping patterns due to sleep apnea, and other sleep disordered breathing conditions, is vital in maintaining your patients’ health and improving service offerings.

Next, when students’ classes covered respiration in physiology, I came in again to discuss sleep physiology. There are two types of sleep, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). By understanding these types of sleep, and their role in sleep apnea, as well as other areas, students can continue to learn the importance of DSM and caring for their patients.

This occurs each time students reach a place in their learning where dental sleep medicine come into the picture. By providing these added courses, we can pave the way for our students to begin their dental careers with more knowledge than ever before. And, while they will still need to complete more education each year to remain up-to-date, the dean, a few of my colleagues  and myself are able to get them prepared for the future.

Providing advanced classes in dental sleep medicine at our Universities should be a requirement for all dental schools. I am glad West Virginia University’s School of Dentistry Dean has taken that next step in providing classes at each phase of learning. To learn more about my upcoming lectures, and where I might be next, please visit my Upcoming Lectures page.

Join Dr. Patel and Nierman Practice Management in Las Vegas

Ready to complete more continuing education courses? Come and join us November 11-12th in Las Vegas for the Dental Sleep, TMJ, and Craniofacial Pain Symposium! In this symposium, we bring together the brightest minds in sleep and pain related specialties. Why? To bring their knowledge into education so that everyone can understand the roles different specialties play in not only sleep apnea, but TMD and Craniofacial Pain–even Tourette’s treatment. We join forces with experienced sleep and TMD dentists to gain the skills you need to build strong referral relationships in addition to growing your practice.

What We Will Learn

I know Las Vegas is a place to go for fun and warmth, but you will also be getting some of the best education possible. After each session, feel free to have your fun, but make sure you’re paying attention to this symposium–it’ll go a long way for your dental practice. This symposium is geared towards dental practices that are currently involved in sleep apnea treatment, or TMJ and craniofacial pain treatment, and are interested in growing their specialties. By working closely with the medical community, you can accomplish this and we can help.

The sessions will also include a detailed cross-coding breakout for more in-depth information on how to maximize your patient’s medical benefits for sleep apnea, TMD, implants/oral surgery, and other procedures. You should attend this sleep, TMD and Craniofacial Pain symposium to:

  • Increase your knowledge in sleep medicine, TMD and Pain.
  • Build strong referral relationships.
  • Bill medical insurance and increase case acceptance.

For more information you can visit my Lectures page or Nierman Practice Management. We look forward to seeing you all in Las Vegas November 11-12th for continuing education!

Shadowing for Firsthand Experience in the Office

When you’re learning something new, what is the best way to take in all that new information? By experiencing it firsthand! To help you and your team members gain a better understanding of providing dental sleep medicine and/or craniofacial pain services in your office, I encourage you to take advantage of my Shadowing services. Whether it is for one, two or three days, this “Over-the-Shoulder” seminar helps to provide your team with the opportunity to experience these services in person.

Shadowing Seminars

Firsthand experience is the best experience possible. Choose from 1-3 days for our “Over-the-Shoulder” seminar to learn more about how I run a successful dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain/TMD practice. The availability of a credentialed mentor can help propel you and your dental team to the next level in expanding your practice’s services.

Through Shadowing we will discuss how to overcome specific roadblocks you might be facing or could potentially face in the long run. After all, I have been there before! The pieces will come together at a much faster rate than trying to do it all on your own. You will learn the Blueprints of a Successful Sleep Medicine/Pain Practice firsthand because the most successful individuals had to start somewhere.

Just as many people will complete internships before moving on to their careers, we understand that dental practices need to gain experience through the guidance of a successful Dental Sleep Medicine and Pain Management Practice.

To learn more about Shadowing, please contact my office and I would be more than happy to walk you through the process.