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a blog by Chris Barrow

Why the mathematical “Rule of 72” is now important in implant dentistry

The news from Dentistry magazine and Persistence Market Research that the global dental implant market will grow by 9.7% per annum compound between 2014 and 2020 gives rise to consideration of the Rule of 72.

Which states that if you divide the number 72 by the growth rate…

72/9.7 = 7.4

Then you will have the number of years that it takes for a market to double in size.

So the headline may as well have read:

The Global Dental Implant market will double in size between 2014 and 2021!!

The article points to Asia Pacific for the fastest growth but identifies Europe as the largest single market (pause to consider what they mean by “Europe” given the “B” word).

This news will bring the dental implant market to the notice of diverse groups with individual agendas:

  1. Consumer groups who will smell the chance of headlines

  2. Regulators looking to justify their existence and costs (sorry – protect patients and maintain standards)

  3. Private Equity searching for fast ROI

  4. Healthcare groups who wish to hedge through diversification

  5. Manufacturers and suppliers of the expanding plethora of digital gizmos that support the sector

  6. Private educators who can sense a source of future business

In the words of Nobel laureate Herbert Simon, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”, so it will be interesting to see how all the SHOUTING that is likely to go on here at The Dentistry Show over the next 2 days will embrace this news.

In spite of all the noise, there are two groups whose attention will have to be earned by whispering:

  1. the dentists who will have to gain experience in this complex and potentially litigious market

  2. the patients who are becoming more educated and connected with every year that races by

I agree with the sage advice of Guy Hiscott, managing editor of Implant Dentistry Today, who comments:

It’s important for the dental profession to ensure that the pace of this growth is matched by a similar uptake in clinical education and patient understanding. Successful implant dentistry is built on knowledge, whether we’re talking about surgical training, understanding restorative procedures, or even simply a clear appreciation from patients on how to maintain their implants and restorations. By ensuring that all parties are properly educated about dental implants, we can ensure that many more patients go on to enjoy the benefits this fascinating treatment modality can bring – for many, many years to come.

It’s to be hoped that when “Big Business” marches into this market, salivating at the prospect of a Klondike effect, that they pay attention to Hiscott’s words and the advice of the leading clinicians in the field.

The Rule of 72 has arrived in implant dentistry.

It’s a good idea for all independent dental business owners to be cognisant of this and future-proof themselves accordingly.

Your business, marketing, technology and clinical recruitment plans for the next 5 years must be revised to take this into account.

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