2000th UP (Part 3)
On Wednesday it was the 2000th Blog! So that makes this my 2002 blog post!
Today’s just a little reflection on how dentistry seems to have changed to me over the past 8 years in 2000 blogs.
So, what was it like in 2011? In the dim and distant past, back then when we were still in the land grab for the first wave of corporate dentistry.
IDH (my dentist) were still grabbing practices as quickly as possible and were in the process of changing hands in ownership to a large American investment bank. People were yet to come in to the dental market, and there was still significant opportunity for people to set up many “corporates” grabbing contracts where they could to build a portfolio of practices to sell to IDH or anyone else who came along with enough money.
Remember at this stage Bill Moyes also was not in the general dental council and the fear inspector in general dental care investigation, just didn’t really hang heavy over the heads of many people in the profession.
What a difference a few years makes, IDH was in significant difficulty with the model not providing the terms to the pension fund that it was supposed to do, the NHS money starting to dry up and the contracts not being produced. It seems like the IDH experiment into dental supply company territory has not worked very well either.
The general dental council in a few short years, ripped apart any morale that the profession had within it and pushed us way on to the back-foot of defence of dentistry, simultaneously terrifying everybody who works in dentistry and also damaging patients, risk free treatment planning and more time spent on case not writing them treatment.
Digital dentistry arrived, which had’nt been a thing before, there was no such thing as guided surgery in practice in 2011, there was just some people using CBCT machines and experiments in intra-oral scanning, which generally didn’t work very well. Look at what’s happened to us in that department.
It seems like most people in practice, now thing they will have to get on the intraoral scanning bandwagon or they won’t survive (not true) now every Tom, Dick and Harry has a CBCT, with the cost of these machines plummeting through the floor and the margins for the manufacturers are, all but disappearing.
Since 2011 we’ve doubled the amount of implant systems available and now worldwide, they are between 2500 and 3000 systems to choose from, nobody really knows the number available, and we continue to have significant issues in recruiting staff, because most dental practices simply don’t have the financial model available to pay staff increasing amounts, per say the revenue of the practice either static or decreasing.
I haven’t touched on facial aesthetics, practice-based orthodontics, including Invisalign and STO.
What’s next 8 Years from now? Aside from hair replacement, more advanced facial aesthetic and “genital augmentation” (yes that is happening in some practices) the future seems a little bit bleak for the middle of dentistry, their trying to straddle the NHS/independent funding sector, the people at the very low end are prepared to take the money and run, they’ll definitely still be money be had and for people at the high end (hopefully) will still be discerning individuals who are interested in their health and are prepared to pay for quality, I feel it’s unlikely to say that there will be significant amounts of money in NHS dentistry in the next 8 years, when you see what’s happened to it in the last 8 years, and the 8 years before that, it’s unlikely that any government coming in, is going to decide to increase NHS funding by 200%.
The wonderful thing is, that it is still a great place to be, a wonderful job to have and a privilege to look after people, we have significant and well cemented plans as to where we want to be.
A vision of what 8 years’ time might look like, and we all know that battle plan over stands contact with the enemy, there are opportunities that will spin off, should be enough to keep us going well in to the 2020’s.
Hopefully in another 6 years, I will be celebrating 4000 blogs, which will give me a little bit more to read when its time to hang up my gloves.
Blog Post Number - 2002