Economics is about making decisions on how to use limited resources. Economics affect a dentist’s decisions about staffing, equipment, materials, working hours, and more. Patients also make economic decisions about dentistry: if or when to see a dentist, whether to accept a recommended treatment plan, and fundamentally, how much of their limited money they choose to spend on dental care versus groceries, rent or going to a movie.
Dentists work in isolated environments, with little opportunity to know how things work in other dental practices. Economic decisions are often dependent upon limited information. The information required to make decisions on everything from how many hours they work, to staff compensation, to what they charge for a two-surface composite restoration, is normally unavailable.
FILLING THE INFORMATION GAP FOR OUR DENTISTS
Many of the Dental Associations/Colleges/Societies across Canada are working for dentists to fill this information gap. As a member service, the NSDA, BCDA, DAPEI, CDSS and NBDS contract with Impact Economic Consultants (Impact) to support members in their economic decision-making. Impact is a trusted source of information on staff wages, suggested fees for procedures, and many other features of the economic side of dentistry.
What’s unique about Impact’s information is that it’s collected from dentists in each of the provinces. This is a good thing, because the economics of dentistry varies greatly between provinces. It’s also challenging – it means Impact is dependent upon dentists to participate in surveys so province specific information can be produced.