How consumer-driven dentistry is creating new opportunities

April 3, 2017
Dr. Marc Cooper

Dr. Cooper's professional career includes private periodontist, academician, researcher, teacher, practice management consultant, corporate consultant, trainer, seminar director, board director, author, entrepreneur and inventor.Dr. Cooper has studied with masters in many disciplines, participated in formal business educational programs, and worked as an independent contractor with top-flight consulting companies. In 2011, Dr. Cooper was selected as a coach for the prestigious TED Fellows Program.The Mastery Company has been in existence since 1984. Dr. Cooper's client experience in dentistry includes solo private practice, small partnered practices, managed group practices and retail corporate enterprises. Dr. Cooper has worked with numbers of health care entities such as insurance companies, clearing houses, bio-technical companies and disease management companies, as well as the senior executives and boards of large hospitals and hospital systems and a number of their related physician groups. In addition, Dr. Cooper has worked with Silicon Valley start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He has worked with dental clients in the U.S., U.K. Canada, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Israel.Dr. Cooper is author of eight successful books; Mastering the Business of Practice, Partnerships in Dental Practice, Running on Empty, SOURCE, Valuocity, Valuocity II, Valuocity III, and The Elder. His electronic newsletter reaches thousands of subscribers in 31 countries. Dr. Cooper also co-developed a suite of online dental practice management assessment tools.Dr. Cooper can be contacted

The power is beginning to shift from the dentist to the patient.

Putting power in the hands of the consumer is occurring in every industry. This trend is now manifesting itself in dentistry in many ways. It is also generating new opportunities for entrepreneurs as demonstrated by the video below.

By putting the power in the consumers’ hands, channeling the consumers’ intention and standing for the consumers’ outcomes, the power is shifting from the provider (dentist) to the consumer (patient).

How will organized dentistry react to this shift in power? What impact will it have on dental practices small and large? How will insurance companies react to a consumer-driven dentistry? 

More from the author: Will this insurance move put an end to solo practices?

Just like Uber impacted transportation or Amazon disrupted retail shopping, how will preventive-centric dentistry- patients being able to self-assess their dental condition-affect the dental practice? There are companies positioning themselves to disintermediate the dominant power brokers, dentists and insurance companies and champion patients, which will directly and powerfully impact the future of dentistry.

As I have said repeatedly over the last few years, dentistry is no longer undergoing evolutionary change, which is simply an extension of the past. Evolutionary change is gradual and incremental and embellishes what already is. The system stays basically the same (i.e. a rotary phone evolving into a push button phone).

Dentistry is undergoing revolutionary change-change that is rapid, occurring all at once and fundamentally altering the very nature of the system. Consumer-driven dentistry will cause a revolutionary change in dentistry.