PLANTATION, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Americans want more from their dental care — from technological advances that make it easier to have a great smile, to realistic options for making dental care more affordable. As an advocate for affordable dental care, DentalPlans.com is helping consumers prepare for, and navigate, the changes we’ll see in 2019, as the dental industry starts to respond to consumer demand with virtual worlds, robo dentists and new dental plans — to name a few.
“Anything that makes quality dental care more accessible, and affordable, is a good thing,” says Bill Chase, senior vice president of marketing at DentalPlans.com. “And with new innovative treatments, virtual doctors and new ways to save on your dental care, 2019 will be a great year for consumers to take control of their oral and overall health, without breaking the bank.”
2019 Dental Trends:
The Rise of Robo Dentists: From 3D printed replacement jaws to China’s efforts to address the lack of dentists in the country by using robotic dentists that can perform sophisticated procedures, dental care will continue to lead the way in healthcare technology.
Creation of Virtual Worlds: Virtual reality will increasingly replace the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), thanks to its ability to reduce mild discomfort and anxiety simply by distracting patients. Gamers shouldn’t get too excited. People won’t, for safety reasons, be exploring 3D worlds and battling dental decay orcs while getting their teeth cleaned.
Innovative At-Home Products: From dentist-prescribed tooth whitening pens that can deliver a gleaming smile with a few swipes to smart toothbrushes that use artificial intelligence fed by data collected from accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers to let people know how effective their dental hygiene routine is — there’s no shortage of support for at-home self-care.
More Natural Products: Consumers want stronger, healthier, brighter smiles without a lot of artificial ingredients. Look for items such as charcoal toothpastes and mouthwashes on the shelves, dental care products that focus on restoring a healthy oral environment, and the return of toothpaste’s original format — tooth powder. Powders can contain clay and other substances that may help support a healthy smile, naturally. Over-scrubbing can create dental issues, though, so take it easy (especially if you have crowns or veneers, etc.) and consider checking with a hygienist or dentist before using abrasive products.
Telehealth Rising: There’s no doubt that telehealth is more convenient and reduces the cost of care. As acceptance grows on the consumer side, telehealth companies will need to compete to win customers. Better user interfaces will go a long way to driving growth and adoption, as will broader offerings that address medical conditions beyond colds and flu. As catastrophic (short-term) insurance plans with limited benefits are now compliant under the ACA, look for telehealth usage to grow, especially among self-employed, small businesses and retired baby boomers who want easier, more affordable access to medical care. DentalPlans.com is leading the way by offering telemedicine with select dental savings plans.
More Dentists Will Offer In-House Membership Plans: Patients pay their dentist a monthly or yearly membership fee in exchange for discounted dental care. Consumers should weigh the discounts against being able to use the plan only at a specific dentist’s office, as opposed to seeing any dentist or dental specialist that participates in a standard dental savings plan.
Consumers should also compare savings on dental procedures such as root canals, crowns, dentures, dental implants, bridges and other treatments. Many dentists’ in-house plans have a maximum discount of 20% on these treatments, while other dental savings plans can offer savings as high as 40% on these same procedures.
More Americans Will Supplement Insurance Coverage: People with high deductible healthcare plans — as well as people on basic Medicare, which doesn’t cover dental — will increasingly turn to healthcare discount programs to help lower the cost of health care.
Consumers are also increasingly discovering that dental savings plans typically include savings on vision and hearing care, chiropractic treatment, prescription medicines and other essential healthcare services and products — not just your dental needs.
DentalPlans.com, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings online marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. www.dentalplans.com.