How do patients choose their Orthodontist

Choosing an orthodontist carries great responsibility, as it has a very clear effect on a person’s aesthetics and health. The majority of orthodontic patients are children, leaving the responsibility on parents to choose the right caregiver and treatment type. This task is taken very seriously, and followed by weeks of research.

In this article, we have gathered the considerations that help parents and patients in general make up the final decision – who to choose as their Orthodontist.

Thinking

 

Awareness and knowledge – of the treatment’s importance, orthodontist’s existence

Acknowledgement of orthodontists and their expertise is a vital first step. A patient must distinguish between a dentist’s role and an orthodontist’s role, while choosing whom to approach for treatment.

Awareness can be achieved through schools and teachers, family physicians, governmental programs and the media.

Need and Treatment Motivation

Today, aesthetics is very important. Our role models showcase perfect smiles in the media and we want our kids and ourselves to have that too. In addition, there is also the element of healthcare when it comes to orthodontics (sleep disorders, painful teeth misalignment).

The patient’s need has to be there, either from the healthcare or aesthetics sides, in order to turn to a specialist. If the problem isn’t troubling enough, the condition may be left untreated.

Credibility, References and Trust – of the Practice and Orthodontist

Education is part of the credibility Orthodontists have. Patients normally check their physician’s education, and certification, while also want to ensure they are a Board Certified. This demonstrates a higher commitment and dedication, given the standards requirements.

References (recommendations by experienced friends) are also an important element patients look for. Word-of-mouth, recommendation, testimonials all act as great reference for a patient. 

Technologically Equipped Clinic

People expect to receive leading treatment and to also fully understand it. The technology is available through improved software, larger screens, full images, laser innovations, advanced treatment materials, online Cephalometric analysis…etc. Orthodontists willing to ensure their clinic is staffed with leading technology and able to showcase it, are more likely to gain the customer.

Personal Connection

Trusting the doctor from an education perspective isn’t enough – if the personal connection isn’t there. Each patient looks for an assuring and easy-going caregiver, who is willing to listen to their questions, concerns and fears. Many doctors today may be very well educated, with lots of experience, but are less attentive to the emotional side of the treatment.  In situations as such, the patient will prefer to seek a different doctor, especially if there is a larger choice available nearby.

Affordable Costs & Payments

Affordable treatment prices are an important part of the patient’s decision making process, however it’s normally mentioned after overcoming the barriers mentioned earlier. It’s vital for the patient to first check their treatment type, and only then find out if they can afford it, considering various payment/finance options.

Many practices provide different payment terms, specifically since the actual orthodontic care is normally spread out through several months or even years.

Availability and Location

A treatment plan may be laid out over months and years, which is why patients tend to also choose their orthodontist according to the practice’s location and ease of travel.  Ensuring they can make the appointments, without loosing too much work or school days, due to traffic or parking issues is  important.

Recommendation

Every Orthodontist can play a major role in every single part of the listed items. Awareness creation, motivation, market education

  • Marketing plan – Maintain an online and social marketing plan, as that’s where most Patients start their research nowadays! Be sure to be listed on local/online directories, community organizations, healthcare programs.
  • Keep up to date – with new technologies, innovations, and treatment types. This will ensure your market competitiveness positioning.
  • Have your references, case studies, education easy to find. These can be publicized on the web, social media channels, and reviews by local/national magazines.
  • Make sure you choose a friendly staff with a welcoming and warm attitude.
  • Give back to the community – It’s always great to provide some pro-bono help. The community appreciates it, and increases your clinic’s credibility
  • Be ready for lots of questions, even if they sound repetitious or obvious.
  • Position your clinic in a good location, with good access to public transportation and parking.

References:

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/osu1330704747/inline

http://storkorthodontics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Top-10-Report-Stork-v7.pdf

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Orthodontics – 2015 Summary

2016 already started, holding promises for another year of growth in the fields of dentistry and orthodontics. But it’s always important to look back to get an overview of trends and changes in the business, and conclude insights that may help us down the road.

 

AVERAGE NUMBER OF WORKING HOURS

According to a survey conducted in the USA on 2015, Orthodontists spend a weekly average of 30-40 hours  with patients This does not include time spent on practice management, staff recruitment and training, marketing and general business management, which most of it can outsourced.

THE NUMBER OF ORTHODONTISTS WORLDWIDE

The demand for orthodontics in the USA is comparatively higher than the rest of the world.
According to the WFO (World Federation of Orthodontists), in 2015 the number of orthodontist in USA is over 9,000. The European countries have additional 10,000 orthodontists (500 in Belgium, 350 in Czech, 200 in Denmark, 150 in Finland, 2500 in France, 3000 in Germany, 450 in Greece, 150 in Ireland, 1300 in Italy, 250 in Norway, 1100 in Poland, 300 in Sweden, 300 in Netherlands, and 1,200 in the UK). Due to lack of oral health awareness, lack of literacy, poor economic condition the demand for orthodontics in Asia is significantly lower compared to the rest of the world. Market research shows that only 1,500 orthodontists are working around Asia, leading to a low ratio to the large Asian population.

Total_Dents

POTENTIAL MARKET

History demonstrates that during the past couple of decades it was normally children and teenagers were the main target patients of orthodontics. But now in 2015, this situation has changed for adult population – significantly more are concerned with correcting or improving the position of their teeth and correcting any malocclusion.

Recent study shows that over 1 million North Americans are taking orthodontics treatment by wearing braces in present days. 

FUTURE PROSPECTS

The way forward for orthodontics is challenging yet promising bright. Challenges are primarily characterized with barriers for new entry, lack of awareness to new techniques and high cost of advanced treatments. For emerging markets, mainly around Asia, increasing demand for orthodontics is held back by less professional, with many of registered ones actually working in governmental hospitals.

Nevertheless, the bright future of Orthodontics is driven by new era of dental science, mainly clear aligners, rising dental aesthetic standards, rapid GDP growth in Asian markets and new technologies enabling less manpower for running Orthodontic practice, such as cloud services.Despite of greater competition, higher patient expectations, and increased legislative involvements, 5 years from now expect to see an increased usage trend of digital orthodontics including Laser technology, x-rays, White light, 3D printing, Intraoral Scanners, and Digital Photography which is expected to have the market size around $3.6 billion in the global dental market

USA-Asia

Are you ready to attain excellence to brace yourselves for 2016?

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