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In preparation for the Chicago Dental Society’s 149th annual Midwinter Meeting, which will draw more than 30,000 dental professionals to Chicago Feb. 20-22, society members were asked about oral care tips, current trends and more. More than 250 of the society’s member dentists responded to the survey.
Here’s what the society found out:
Paying with dental insurance? What to think about when deciding. According to 60 percent of dentists surveyed, dental insurance is the primary form of payment in most dental offices. Only 28 percent of the dentists surveyed said their patients primarily pay with cash/credit card.
Not sure how, or if, changes to health insurance are affecting your dental care? Here are some tips straight from dentists to help you navigate the complexities and choose the best plan for you.
•Carefully review your options. Read policies to see what is covered in relation to your costs
•Make sure your insurance plan allows you to choose your own dental provider
•Consider whether paying out of pocket is a more cost-effective option for you
•Focus on prevention in order to lower the potential of expensive treatments later
More dentists are going digital. More dentists are building an online presence for their practices, thanks in part to social media. The use of Facebook among CDS member dentists shot up to 55 percent from 34 percent last year. Dental offices are also represented on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, FourSquare and Instagram.
Coincidentally, communicating with patients via text message has also become more common. Almost half (46.4 percent) of dentists surveyed said their office sends patients text messages, up from a third last year.
Energy drinks are just as bad as candy for your teeth. Energy drinks (30 percent of votes) nearly tied with sweets (33 percent of votes) this year in a recent survey that asked dentists which vice is worst for your teeth. Smoking (24 percent of votes) came in at a close third.
The older we get, the more we whiten– to a point. Of dentists surveyed, half said teeth whitening is most popular with adults ages 36 to 60. Young adults ages 20 to 35 came in second with 43 percent of the vote. Those ages 12 and under didn’t garner any votes, but 1 percent of dentists said seniors 61 years and up whiten the most.
The 5 most dangerous sports for your child’s mouth: According to a recent survey of dentists, most sport-related dental injuries in children occur when playing basketball. Hockey came in second, followed by baseball/softball, soccer and football.
The new patient challenge: Top of mind among dentists. When asked about their biggest business challenge, dentists pointed to getting new business through the door. Of those surveyed, 38 percent of dentists said attracting new patients was their number one business challenge. Other challenges included:
•Working with insurance companies: 20 percent
•Recruiting qualified staff: 12 percent
•Keeping up with technology: 11 percent
•Getting patients to schedule routine check-ups: 10 percent
Word of mouth was, for the second year in a row, the overwhelming favorite when it comes to how these dentists attract new clients, according to the CDS survey. Only 10 percent of dentists said they rely most on print or online advertising. Three percent said they rely on social media.
A winning smile: Which Illinois politician wears it best? Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, according to the society’s member dentists. The first female attorney general in Illinois got more than half the votes (53 percent) in a recent CDS survey.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White came in second with just over a quarter of the votes (26 percent). Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka tied with roughly 5 percent each. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn came in sixth with 3 percent of the votes.
About the Chicago Dental Society Organized in 1864, the Chicago Dental Society represents more than 4,000 dentists in the metropolitan Chicago area. Its mission is to represent the interests of dentists, promote the art and science of dentistry, and advocate for improving oral health for all. The society is the largest local affiliate of the Illinois State Dental Society and the American Dental Association and is celebrating its 150th year.
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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