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How to Be a More Socially Responsible Dental Office

Posted July 8, 2019

Adrian Johansen

The dental industry continues to be one of the most popular areas of healthcare when it comes to job growth. According to the United States Department of Labor, between 2016-2026, job growth for the dental industry is expected to jump by 19%— much faster than the national average. 

Dental jobs are booming because the industry itself is seeing a rise in patients and different options for care. Thanks to advancements in technology and an aging population, more people are seeking out dental care than ever before. 

Not only do dental offices have to accommodate a growing number of patients, but they have to remain competitive. Patients are going to be drawn to dental offices that offer more than just standard cleanings, tooth extractions, and fillings. Because there are so many dental offices in the United States, it’s important to appeal not only to what your patients are looking for but how you can truly make a mark in your community and beyond. Being more socially responsible is a great place to start. 

Social responsibility can be used as a marketing tool for companies since many people see it as a positive draw. While you can use it to market your practice, it’s also important to make it a part of your office’s culture. In doing so, you can better promote your business, do your part to reduce your business’ carbon footprint, take better care of your employees, and educate your community on the importance of oral care.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

People are paying close attention to eco-friendly businesses and industries. In fact, it’s become so important to our current culture, that more people are actually willing to spend more money on businesses that do their part to help the environment. It’s no different in dentistry. Showing your community that you care about the planet can make a big difference when it comes to attracting new patients. Plus, you’ll feel great about implementing changes for the good of the earth!

The best part? You don’t have to do a huge overhaul of your practice in order to “go green.” 

One of the easiest ways to make an impactful change is to become a paperless practice. The cost is lower, and it’s more efficient and secure. Keeping your patient records stored electronically is a great way to stop wasting thousands of sheets of paper every year. 

You can also make a commitment to lower the amount of waste in your practice. Think about how much plastic your office goes through each day. Now, think about that waste in the span of a year. There are many ways to be more sustainable, including: 

  • Implementing a recycling program in your office.
  • Using sustainable building materials.
  • Getting rid of aerosol products.
  • Upgrading your equipment.
  • Using less water.

You can make “going green” fun for everyone in your office by setting up different challenges or goals to meet. At the end of the year, calculate how much waste you’ve been able to avoid, and how much money you’ve saved in the process. Giving out those numbers will help to motivate your staff to stay on board with eco-friendly dentistry. 

Promoting Oral Health Education

Another way to be a more socially responsible dental practice is to actually get out into your community. Even though more people are going to dentists than ever, only 15% of Americans believe they have excellent oral health. Many times, that’s because they lack the education they need. 

It’s especially vital to teach children the importance of taking care of their teeth. You can create a special program within your office designed to help kids understand the importance of brushing, flossing, and proper oral hygiene between dental visits. 

You can also take part in community events. Set up a booth at a local community fair and hand out informational pamphlets. It’s not just a marketing technique — it’s a way to get people thinking and talking about their oral health. It’s an especially effective way to teach children about the importance of oral health and keeping their teeth clean between visits. 

As a dentist, you likely got into the industry to help people with their teeth. One of the best ways to stay on that mission is to get out into your community and invite people to receive the oral care they need. 

Putting Staff Satisfaction First

Let’s face it — your office would be nothing without the hard work, experience, and dedication of your staff. Are you giving them the recognition they deserve? Are you giving them the salaries they deserve?

Part of being a socially responsible office means being socially responsible with your team, too. Even as you look to hire new people, you want to be able to promote a company culture that is inclusive, equal, ethical, and responsible. With your current employees, it’s important to know that they need from you in order to be successful, so your practice can continue to shine. 

Everyone’s focus should be on patient care, whether you have a corporate office or small dental boutique. When your entire staff is on the same page and they are happy, that focus becomes easier for everyone.

The average dental hygienist makes $70,000 a year. Are you paying your hygienists a fair wage? Do you offer insurance benefits? Are you taking care of their family, too? Remember, it’s not just patients who have options to choose from when going to the dentist — it’s hygienists, assistants, and even front desk staff, too. By being conscious of what your employees really need and the benefits they really want, you’ll be doing your part to foster a positive culture within the dental industry. 

Being a more socially responsible dental office is within your reach right now. By implementing just a few changes in your practice, you can start to create a better environment within your office, and that will quickly start to spread into your community and beyond. 

DentalPost is the dental industry’s premier and largest online and mobile job board.
We connect and educate more than 850,000 job seekers in the U.S. and Canada to build better places to work through teams that excel.

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