How to Keep Your Private Practice Ahead in a Changing Orthodontic Landscape

You operate a private orthodontic practice and want to achieve great success in the coming future. You may be an established practice with decades of experience under your belt or a specialist with an up-and-coming practice who’s ready to dominate the market. With clear goals in mind, there’s one element to master on your path to success: the evolving healthcare landscape.

The market as you know it has changed drastically. Tactics that have brought previous years of success may no longer have any footing in this quickly evolving landscape. It takes consistent monitoring of these trends to stay on top of them, and knowing is only half the battle.

Before you strategize your plan for success, you have to start at step one:

Forget what you know about the orthodontic market. 

To avoid becoming stagnant in your market and take strides toward your business goals, you need to take major market trends into consideration. They will continue to change over time, and understanding how to leverage your private practice over competitors now will benefit you in the long run. 

Major Market Trends You Need Know

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to successful marketing. To achieve success, you must understand market trends and pivot your strategy to maintain balance and propel your practice forward in a constantly evolving market. 

Here are three major trends in the orthodontic market you need to know about: 

#1. DSO Growth Is Accelerating 

Dental Service Organizations, or DSOs, have rapidly gained traction over the last few years. These corporate dental companies have a huge marketing budget and offer providers a steady flow of patients, plus the chance to climb the ladder faster. To a lot of dentists, it’s an opportunity to care for patients and practice without having to worry about marketing, expansion, accounting, or hiring.

You can probably name a few corporate dental entities off the top of your head, but you’d be surprised to find out how many practices, even in your area, are owned and operated by “invisible” DSOs you may have never heard of. Invisible DSOs acquire independently run practices while allowing the practice to retain their brand and doctor management. Not much may change on the surface, but on the back end, one of your referring offices down the street may suddenly stop referring patients because an invisible DSO has started pulling the strings, sending patients to other specialists within their organization. 

DSOs also have huge marketing budgets, which makes it hard for private practices to keep up with online and in-person advertising, media coverage, and reaching audiences. These capabilities are appealing to dentists and orthodontists who want to focus on their patients and let someone else oversee the marketing and management side of things. However, they can threaten the flow of patients, referrals, and success of private practices. 

#2. Clear Aligner Companies Want Your Patients

Along with more orthodontic practices partnering with DSOs, corporate aligner companies are popping up, both of which are competing for your patients. Clear aligner companies such as byte®, SmileDirectClub™, ALIGNERCO, Candid, and others have popularized the do-it-yourself way of smile correction. Seemingly more affordable and convenient, patients are opting for clear aligners from larger corporations hoping to get a good deal on a great smile. These mail-order treatments omit a crucial part of the orthodontic experience—personalized care from an orthodontic specialist. 

The concept of achieving a straighter smile without having to set foot into a dentist’s office can be appealing to those who want to streamline the process and cut down on costs. However in many cases, the results are less than ideal without a professional’s oversight, and patients have nowhere to go for help. Yet, these DIY aligner treatments continue to gain popularity and target audiences nationwide, threatening the flow of patients in your area.

#3. Referrals Are Changing

For a number of reasons, whether to expand their area of focus or gain revenue, more dentists are providing orthodontic services like clear aligners, retainers, and mouth guards. This means fewer patients show up in your office through a referral. Many dentists leaving school are quick to join a DSO to begin practicing without the additional stress of establishing and paying for a brand new practice. Fewer dentists running their own private practice means less referrals are entering the market for orthodontists.

A growing presence of online dental communities has also led to a decline in referrals. More dentists feel inclined to offer orthodontic services themselves because more patients will share their stories and treatment journey online, generating online buzz about their practice. To keep up, orthodontists are having to network via social media and master online engagement to stay relevant. This can be challenging to professionals who care for patients and manage their practice, leaving little time and resources to also handle marketing and PR. 

Stand Out to Stay Ahead of the Competition

The good news is that you don’t need a ton of money and or a massive marketing budget to stay ahead. Although these larger aligner companies and orthodontists working with DSOs can disrupt your patient flow, your practice can still thrive when you offer something they don’t: predictable outcomes, outstanding patient experiences, and one-of-a-kind designer braces. 

With a unique product, you separate yourself from the competition and make your services more appealing to patients and referrals. WildSmiles Braces gives you the necessary edge to attract more patient starts, generate more referrals, and increase profits. These designer brackets are one-of-a-kind and produce the same great results as traditional braces, giving you an edge over your competitors while revolutionizing the braces experience. 

The landscape of orthodontics will continue to change as DSOs develop and corporate entities introduce new trends to the market. Your private practice can dominate your market by offering patients a unique braces experience in addition to a superior standard of care. Bringing WildSmiles into your practice is a proven way to increase profits and drive new patients. Great for kids and adults, these designer brackets bring personality and fun into orthodontics, which generates a system of success that patients and referrals are excited to be a part of. 

Get the WildSmiles Advantage
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WildSmiles has revolutionized the braces experience for patients and providers. There are over 25 bracket shapes for kids and adults to mix and match, giving them power to personalize their braces while achieving the same great results as traditional brackets. By bringing WildSmiles into your practice, you stand out above your competition, drive more starts, and increase profit.

WildSmiles Braces are the only designer braces that promote better oral hygiene by featuring a larger pad. Any plaque will accumulate on the pad instead of the tooth's surface, resulting in better oral hygiene and no decalcification. Our brackets are made in the USA and work with all treatment modalities, prescriptions, and slot sizes. Start creating incredible braces experiences and grow your practice with WildSmiles.

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