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For a dentist, finding a way to increase demand for your services can be tough. Marketing yourself in such a way as to stand out from the rest of pack can be difficult and cause your revenues to flatline.
In a recent article for Dental Economics, Ray Padilla, DDS, a faculty member at the UCLA school of dentistry suggests offering a specialty service for which competition would be minimal. Padilla believes that lack of services in the area of sports dentistry makes it a prime opportunity for dentists to fill a void in the market.
Sports dentistry primarily deals with the treatment and prevention of sports related dental injuries including avulsed, fractured or luxated teeth (maxillary incisors, in particular), along with injuries to soft tissue. The treatment of those and other injuries is paired with prevention services, significantly the creation of custom mouthguards that meet the regulations of the sport in question.
Participation in sports, Padilla argues, is a mainstay of all health professions that require specialty services. Dentistry is no different. On the professional level this is well acknowledged, with most pro teams employing a dentist. On the high school, collegiate, and semi-pro levels this is usually not the case. As a result many localities do not have anyone in the area that specializes in this area of dental care.
In the fabrication of custom mouthguards, a dentist can market his or herself as a sports dentistry specialist. Padilla says that a dentist creating only 50 mouthguards per year can save up to $4,500 in laboratory fees by purchasing the proper in-house equipment. The creation of other guards, such as night guards, increase those savings. These economic benefits along with the increase invisibility amongst a new demographic of patients makes it possible to greatly increase revenue for your practice.
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