In Pakistan, the dental treatments are falling in price when the basic overheads for running a dental clinic. Most dentists have a natural affinity for setting up clinics that are already overcrowded in urban areas and this is where the price war begins in the dentistry. ‘Treatment charges’ are perceived to be the key to resolving competition. Young dentists should understand that this is not the only component to trounce the competition, there are numerous other.
–By Salahuddin Zeb Khan
In Pakistan, the inflation rate is high & the price of basic amenities, i.e., ROTI, KAPDA & MAKAN, are growing with each passing year. Dentistry here isn’t an exception. Even the dental treatments are falling in price when the basic overheads for running a dental clinic such as dental equipment costs, materials, staff salaries, clinic rent, etc., are increasing.
What is price war trend’s root cause in dentistry?
Being fresh, most of the young practitioners have minimal commitments, and their only target is to develop their practice by beating the competitors. “Treatment charges” are perceived to be the key to resolving competition hence reducing their treatment charges to such a degree that there is barely any profitability.
In rural areas, dentists are actually required. But unfortunately there are only a handful of dentists ready to start up. Most dentists have a natural affinity for setting up clinics that are already overcrowded in urban areas. Thus, this is where the price war begins.
Initially, the existing dentists do not care about these “freshers,” but as the number of such young dentists rises, the seasoned practitioners have to struggle because of their pricing practices, and they often have to reduce their appointment charges in order to attract clientele.
As seasoned doctors begin to charge low, freshers don’t have the chance to increase their treatment fees &the overall pricing of dental treatment goes down.
Who actually pays?
The shrinking profit margins affect not only the dentists but also the dental lab technicians & patients. When patients are not paying you well, you don’t have a choice than to look for ways to reduce your expenses. Dentists have to start using sub-standard materials, equipment, dental labs, which impacts the quality of dental treatment.
How does ‘price tag’ affect you?
When you sell yourself cheap, you can’t invest in advanced technology and materials. You can’t invest in learning new things, which eventually makes skillset and knowledge obsolete and affects your future practice.
What should dentists need to understand?
Young dentists should understand that treatment charges are not the only component to trounce the competition; there are numerous other factors where they can focus on a like speciality, high-quality equipment, and materials, public relations, etc.
Seasoned practitioners should revise their charges every year and help dentistry to evolve. To progress and to keep up with inflation, one has to increase charges 10-15% each year.
Guest Author Bio: The writer is a third-year dental student in Peshawar. with interest in digital dentistry. He is currently doing an internship in digital dentistry at a private clinic for 9 months. He also has his own dental blog where he discusses different topics related to dentistry.