Is small town America ready for digital dentistry? You betcha.
The results of the 2020 U.S. Census revealed that the nation’s urban and rural populations are shifting. Rural residents—defined as the number of people living outside a classified metropolitan area—have increased. This growth is the opposite of the urban development seen 10 years ago. It may seem like an odd fact for Dandy to share, but as populations relocate, the question needs to be asked: what happens to the health care providers, especially dental professionals, who live in small towns and rural areas across the country?
One answer is that innovation gets to the heartland quicker.
A rural dental professional we are proud to see thriving with digital dentistry is Verne Ticknor, D.D.S. Dr. Verne Ticknor’s home practice is in the western Michigan community of South Haven. Located on Lake Michigan, South Haven is known for its beautiful beaches and serene pastoral setting. It has a little over 4,000 inhabitants within the town limits. With the cities of St. Joseph over 30 miles to the south and Kalamazoo 40 miles to the east, only eight dentists serve the surrounding area. And one of those dental providers is Dr. Ticknor. As more people return to small towns, we must wonder if a rural dentist like Dr. Ticknor needs expanded amenities and dental technology to keep up with the demands of a growing population base.
What makes a rural dentist unique?
The challenges and benefits of suburban and rural dental practices largely depend on proficient dental professionals in their communities. Urban communities are more competitive with a reliance on public reviews and highly driven by insurance. However, in rural communities, operations expenditures align with a lower cost of living. Rural living is less stressful, with a similar income level to dentists in the city. What is required and appealing to any dentist, particularly in a rural community, is a broad set of services, including technology, tools, and software.
Dr. Ticknor has been a dental practitioner in South Haven for over 30 years. He attended the University of Michigan, receiving a B.S., and is a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry. His goal for the practice is to prioritize painless dental care utilizing the latest dental technology advances. It also became a necessity to evolve and enhance his practice. One of the quickest ways to grow is to expand the number of offerings. Dr. Ticknor has many affordable dental procedures—from general dentistry for adults and children to cosmetic procedures and orthodontics.
By incorporating a comprehensive book of services with a specialty focus on complex restorations, Dr. Ticknor makes it convenient for all patients to access the dental care he believes they deserve. With a broad scope of treatments, he found it necessary to incorporate an intraoral scanner and endeavor in more digital dentistry.
Integration of technology to broaden your practice’s offerings.
Dr. Ticknor and his team understood immediately the benefit of an intraoral scanner once he met with a Dandy representative. It is understandable the appeal of Dandy’s products and labs. Dandy was built to work seamlessly with any practice so dentists and technicians can enjoy all the benefits of digital dentistry.
With our best-in-class intraoral scanners, a high-powered laptop for seamless scanning, a rolling cart for the laptop and scanner, and a free scanner software subscription the value these produce are desired outcomes for any size dental practice. But it is especially beneficial for smaller offices that depend on cutting-edge technology to support the greater rural community.
We spent time with Dr. Ticknor’s dental technician, Marlana, and she gave us insight into how Dandy has changed their workflows and patient experience. First was the thorough training they found to be “clear and helpful.” And was anything left out for them to question their proficiency? “All areas were covered,” Marlana explained.
This response regarding our training is shared among all our dental partners. They find our intraoral scanning software technology fast, intuitive, and easy to use. There are also optional guided workflows for those new to digital. We don’t want anyone left behind in the adoption of our technology.
Then, there is the seamless online ordering that offers less stress for your work environment. We store the patient’s fit and aesthetic preferences to save time with every order. And with the Dandy Portal and Dandy Mobile App, dental professionals no matter how remote can manage and track lab work from anywhere. As for Marlana’s reaction to our response time to questions and other needs?
“I absolutely love that whenever I have a question, customer support is always available to chat. It has been so convenient that we donʼt have to wait for a response and get the answer or help right away!”
Next was the precision of our products. Dandy’s fully digital lab offers best-in-class quality and reliability across fixed and removable restorations and clear aligners. Additionally, 99% of orders ship on time. And how does Dr. Ticknor’s office staff feel about the consistency of Dandy products?
“I love how accurate the crowns and partials fit, Marlana said. “With the 3D scan, we are making little to NO adjustments!”Dr. Ticknor, Verne Ticknor, D.D.S
That is music to our ears.
The improved patient experience.
A patient experience can make your practice well-known in highly competitive dental territories. In the age of social media, good reviews can build out your business. But bad reviews can be equally impactful. Does it matter if the dental office is in a rural area? Not one bit. So, we asked Marlana about their patients’ responses to the new digital workflow additions. She stated that “It has changed our practice!”
“Patients are very pleased with not taking impressions and the little time they spend in the chair.”
We wanted to see what other patients have to say about Dr. Ticknor and his staff. What we learn about dental practitioners and their practice often comes from patient reviews. Dr. Ticknor’s patients reported overwhelmingly positive responses. PatientConnect365, published over 100 five-star reviews. One of our favorites stated:
“I’ve been a patient of Dr. Ticknor’s for over 30 years since I was very young. Now my wife and kids are patients as well. Doctor Ticknor keeps us in good dental health. When we’ve had a dental emergency in the past, the doc has been there for us. I like that he stays current with changes in dental technology. It seems like every year, he has something new for the office and his patients. He’s a caring guy and really knows his patients. His staff are friendly and care about the quality of the care they provide. I highly recommend Dr. Ticknor’s practice.”
That is a triumph for Dr. Ticknor! And his success is part of our success. There is also a sentiment around Dr. Ticknor’s office stating it has a “Friendly hometown atmosphere.” It is definitely true that he and his team “LOVE to make you smile!”
Whether you practice in a big city, a small town, or somewhere in between, the benefits of adding digital technology, such as a new intraoral scanner, are undeniable. It will increase efficiency in your workflows. Partnering with our lab, which has an incredible response time, will aid in creating a patient experience second to none. For those with small practices, especially in rural areas, you will find our offer of a 3Shape TRIOS intraoral scanner, a full operatory setup, and all the training you and your staff need to adopt digital dentistry fully to be an asset you can’t deny. Contact our team to get started today.