Dental Tribune America

Millennials’ expectations regarding dental care are changing

July 07, 2017

RADNOR, Pa., USA: New research carried out by an American insurance company has looked at consumers’ evolving dental needs and how they differ by generation. The first findings of the multiple-part study reveal dental habits and preferences, highlighting opportunities for dental offices and providing guidance for employers to better meet employees’ expectations regarding dental insurance.

Through surveying 1,000 adults aged 18 and older across the U.S., researchers from the Lincoln Financial Group found that criteria for choosing and staying with a dentist go beyond the basics. While the quality of care, office environment and being in-network for insurance are all crucial, other factors are also important, particularly among millennials. Of the last, 40 percent in the study cited the dentist’s website as “very important,” compared with just 14 percent of baby boomers. Furthermore, the millennials included expected to be able to schedule or change appointments on the website and would “absolutely” find value in a mobile app from their dentist.

Nearly 40 percent of all consumers surveyed wanted a dental office that took immediate appointments, and about a third looked for a practice that offered either weekend hours or extended hours on weeknights. The figures for these were even higher for millennials, at 46 and 44 percent, respectively.

Lastly, 96 percent of those surveyed said they would find it helpful if their dental office provided guidance on or helped them better understand their dental insurance plan. In fact, 62 percent said they would find this support “very” valuable.

“Consumer expectations are rapidly changing across most industries, and dental care is no exception,” said Christopher Stevens from the Lincoln Financial Group. “Understanding what all generations value in the market is important; however, it’s even more critical to understand younger generations since these consumers will help shape the future of dental care. Dental offices have an opportunity to make simple enhancements to their practices that can help attract and retain patients and meet these evolving needs.”

The first part of the study, titled 2017 Dental Research Series: Part 1—Consumer Insights, was published online on June 27.

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