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Financial Trends in Dentistry

January 10, 2014 - 3:15pm

As suspected, the US economy continues to effect the micro economy of the profession of dentistry.  Trends that we have been observing since prior to the official start of the recession continue to concern us and effect the bottom line of practices.  We do continue to see an uptick in usage of dental services by our older populations and those under 20 years of age.  Most of those kids are under some type of government financed care (Medicaid, etc.).  Practices need to look at these two population cohorts in an effort to see how they would contribute to the overall success of the practice and the busyness challenge.  Adaption, under these challenging times of change, is essential to your long term success.  We will continue to monitor these financial trends.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
 Charles Darwin

Terry Dickinson, D.D.S.
Executive Director, VDA

U.S. National Dental Spending Remains Flat Through 2012
‘The ADA's Health Policy Resources Center (HPRC) has analyzed new data that was released on Monday from CMS on national health spending through 2012. Total national dental care expenditure reached $111 billion in 2012, roughly the same as the previous year when adjusted for inflation. Taking into account both inflation and population growth, there was no change in national dental expenditure from 2011 to 2012, continuing a trend that began in 2008.
The analysis provides convincing evidence that dental spending has not rebounded since the end of the Great Recession and a further indication that the dental economy is likely entering a 'new normal' — something identified in the ADA's recent environmental scan, A Profession in Transition. Analyzing separate data on patient spending, HPRC researchers found that there were also no significant changes in inflation-adjusted per-patient dental expenditure from 2010 to 2011, continuing the flat trajectory that began in 2009. The elderly (65 years and up) continue to have the highest level of per-patient dental expenditures.’