5 Dental Trend Predictions for 2021

In a recent article for DrBicuspid.com, Professional Transition Strategies Founder and President Kyle Francis dusted off his crystal ball to offer the best-educated guesses about what the year ahead will hold. While 2020 was anything but a typical year, he says “there are plenty of reasons for optimism in the dental sector.” Here are five reasons he thinks this turbulent year still holds a light at the end of the tunnel.

Teledentistry and AI

While teledentistry filled in the proverbial gaps when COVID-19 forced dental practices to shut their doors, it is not a long-term solution sustainable for this highly specialized and tactile field. It is not feasible to expect dentists to gauge the depths of caries with an iPad right now, but artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to change the industry significantly. Companies are using algorithms to help dentists interpret X-rays more effectively, and dental tech companies are pioneering 3D-printed implants to replicate teeth.


If anything, the strength of dental service organizations (DSOs) was only solidified in 2020 since independent practices have treaded water navigating the storm of business ownership during a pandemic. Analysts on staff to help dentists make data-driven decisions, bulk purchasing power to secure personal protective equipment (PPE), and human resources professionals to handle staffing issues have all become attractive solutions available through DSOs.

Capital gains tax

Massive government spending programs during the pandemic will come at a cost, even after helping to keep the economy afloat. A capital gains tax is most likely the solution, which may drive dentists to seek an affiliation or exit sooner than later. Financial advisers are advising dentists to hang up their proverbial hats in anticipation of an increase in capital gains tax.

Essential workers status

“This year proved that dentistry is, in fact, an essential service,” Francis said. “Delayed preventive care led to restorative care. Delayed restorative care led to endodontic care. Delayed endodontic care led to replacement procedures.” However, while it’s gratifying to recognize that dental services are vital to overall patient health and well-being, essential medical services are subject to health care reforms.

Commercial real estate

The value of commercial real estate is likely to drop in 2021 with partially or fully remote workforces. Since dentists can’t do house calls or work remotely due to diagnostic equipment, leasing professional office space is a necessity, which gives dental practices the upper hand when it comes to renegotiating a lease, rental rates or other concessions.

What’s next?

Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to help determine the fate of your dental practice in years to come.