Canadian dentists set record highs in use of social media and practice computerization

July 5, 2016

Canadian dentists continue to increase their use of social media to promote their dental practices, according to results from the DIAC (Dental Industry Association of Canada) Twentieth Annual Future of Dentistry Survey.

Canadian dentists continue to increase their use of social media to promote their dental practices, according to results from the DIAC (Dental Industry Association of Canada) Twentieth Annual Future of Dentistry Survey.

Over 50 percent of respondents now actively employ social media as a promotional tool, an all-time high and progressively trending upward from 33 percent in 2015, 25 percent in 2014 and 13 percent in 2012 when the question was first asked. This year’s large jump in utilization has moved the social media option from last place to number three on the list of preferred promotional options, after the traditional “Asking for referrals” and “Promotion of new technologies,” which continue to be the most popular tools. Community service (36 percent), e-newsletters/newsletters/direct mail (35 percent) and traditional media advertising (33 percent) were the least popular current tools in 2016.

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There is also a large percentage of respondents (35 percent) were either planning to use (16 percent) or considering using social networking (19 percent) in the future. While only about a third of respondents are currently utilizing community service, 45 percent are either planning (16 percent) or considering (29 percent) its use in the future. Dentists also expect more widespread use of e-newsletters/newsletters/direct mail with another 41 percent either planning (15 percent) or considering (26 percent) their use.

This movement to online promotion mirrors where dental patients are telling practitioners they are getting information on dental treatment options. According to the survey, Internet achieved an all- time high rating and was ranked as the top patient source for the first time. This was followed by the more traditional sources of Family members/friends/etc. and Dentist/dental team presentations.

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Computerization is also impacting on practice operations

Computerization in the dental operatory continues to trend upward to another record high of 87 percent (up significantly from 73 percent last year and 52 percent in 2010) of dentist respondents having terminals in their operatories, while two thirds (66 percent) overall have an internet/email connection on those terminals continuing the steady increase from 54 percent last year and 49 percent in 2013. For the first time, all respondents had an internet/email connection in the office in some way, with 92 percent having a connection at the front desk and 82 percent with a connection in the private office. This movement to internet utilization was confirmed by the 2016 result that well over three quarters of respondents (84 percent, an all-time high) have used the internet for dental purchases (up from average of 52 percent over past five years and the initial eight percent in 2000).

Over 200 practicing Canadian dentists responded to this year’s survey with a good proportional distribution across all regions of the country. Based on this response rate, overall 2016 survey results have an accuracy of +/- 6.8 percent 19 times out of 20.

 

Source: Twentieth Annual Future of Dentistry Survey
Dental Industry Association of Canada / Eric P. Jones & Associates Inc.