Millennials in Dentistry: What to Expect in the Coming Years

Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 12:30PM

Imagine Paul Revere shouting, “The Millennials are coming!” That’s what some dentists are saying as they try to prepare for the changes these young dentists are coming with. These digital natives are looking for the best of the best in technology and the way to run a business. They communicate differently and they also book keep differently. These millennial dentists have different needs, expectations and working styles in comparison to the dentists from generations past. These young professionals will account for three-quarters of the workforce in the next ten years. This is huge, and will definitely change just about every aspect of what it means to work in dentistry. This mix of generations can result in chaos, disruption, and sometimes even anger. In order to bridge this gap between generations that are now working together, we need to understand who millennials are and what they expect and what they can bring to the industry.

These millennials work and live with technology all around them, from their coffee maker to their smart TVs, so you can expect a big change in technology within the dental industry if you haven’t seen it already happening. The dental millennials have finished dental school with the latest technology and they recognize that these technologies will lead to the best practices in dentistry. If they don’t have lasers or intraoral cameras, or computer software that they can pull up on multiple computers or their iPads, they’ll say they are unable to deliver the best dental care. They dream about an office where online scheduling is the norm, sending texts for appointment confirmations, and having educational materials for their patients on iPads that are available in the operatory.

Millennials value input from everyone involved in projects and businesses and work very well in teams. These young dentists were raised on team sports and group activities, and value teamwork, loyalty, and commitment. They want diversity, collaboration, and most importantly, feedback. Millennials work well with others and crave feedback on how they are doing, this is something that is very important in the dental industry. They take feedback and make changes to the way they are doing things. If someone suggests a change in their practice, they will take the idea in and find a way to implement it into their business to receive the praise they are looking for. These millennials are willing to rise to the challenge in teaching others the language of technology and what they can bring to the table for their mentors and colleagues.

So what’s this mean for your business? You’ve been at this thing for a while and you know your way around the chair and sometimes even the numbers side of dentistry, but when you’re looking to retire or expand your business to add a new associate, you’re going to be confronted with these millennials. Let’s say you’re looking to retire: you’ve created this amazing business and you’ve always had Jenny, your cousin’s wife, doing your book keeping through QuickBooks. When these millennials get into the business, they’re not looking for an office that is not up-to-date with technology and still has all of these papers that they need to figure out; they want a technologically advanced business.

RealTime CPAs has the ability to get your business ready for these millennials. With experience specifically in dentistry related accounting, RealTime can help you expand your office, convert to the latest technology, and make your business more appealing to these millennial dentists who are looking to buy when you retire.

For more information on millennials, we suggest checking out this Goldman Sachs infographic. It gives an in-depth look at how the Millennial generation works, spends their free time and money, as well as what is important to them. While there is no way to hide from these millennials, learning about how this new generation acts and what they find important can help your dental office succeed in the future. 

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