Reflect, Learn, Move On


  Posted by: Dental Design      13th November 2020

There will be few people around the globe that are not sorry to see the back of 2020. It has been a turbulent 12 months to say the least, with individuals, families, teams and businesses all feeling the strain in some way. However, it has not all been bad. Even in the face of adversity, we have seen exceptional acts of kindness and amazing achievements from some. As such, there is much we can learn from the events of this year to help us come back stronger for 2021. It’s about reflecting on our experiences, taking action where we can and moving on.

A spotlight on the positives

There are always positives to take away from a situation, no matter how bad it seems at the time. If you take a look back at your experience of the pandemic as a whole, what could you pick out?

For us, the way that the dental profession pulled together to support each other, the wider healthcare sector and local communities was truly inspirational. Even when dental practices were closed, the clinical team were still reaching out to patients to offer advice or reassurance. Many individuals were redeployed within other areas of the NHS to support frontline services and help ensure that people requiring medical attention had access to it.

There can also be little argument that awareness about health and wellbeing is now much greater among the general population than it was at the start of the year – another positive outcome. Messages of personal hygiene and health maintenance have been shared far and wide, helping people to better look after themselves and those closest to them. Whether that involves washing hands more regularly, identifying early signs of an illness or taking up daily exercise, many people have adopted healthier habits in their daily lives.

Lessons learnt in dentistry

So, what positives could we take away specifically within the dental industry? Other than being incredibly proud of our colleagues for all that they did throughout lockdown, we have also found news ways of working. Though forced upon the profession, digital communication and remote software have the potential to truly revolutionise how dentistry is delivered going forward.

For example, the benefits of remote treatment assessment and monitoring are only just being fully realised. Not only does this technology provide a lifeline to protect practices against a lockdown in the future, but it also affords time- and cost-saving advantages to both practitioner and patient. If you’re not already utilising it, this might be a lucrative area to consider for your business.

This new remote communication, combined with increased health awareness, has given way to another positive for dental teams to enjoy right now – enhanced patient engagement. More people are thinking about their health and wellbeing than ever before, with many having had plenty of time in lockdown to analyse their appearance either as a result of boredom or the frequent use of video calls. This increased interest could be hugely beneficial to practices looking to recover from months of financial disruption. It also means that patients will likely be more receptive to oral health advice and recommendations, enabling the dental team to help them achieve enhanced dental health.

In terms of other lessons learnt, many principals have adjusted their business plans in order to better prepare for any future lockdown situations. The sudden closure of dental practices this year highlighted the importance of reserves in the bank account and a contingency plan for everything from patient communication to staff responsibilities. It is crucial that practices have the necessary protocols in place to protect team members and encourage business stability should the worst happen again. 

Moving on

Having reflected on the past several months, identified lessons learnt and implemented changes to protect patients, staff and businesses, the next step is to move on and look forward. By focusing on the opportunities afforded by new technologies and services now adopted, practices can refine their workflows and maximise on the potential advantages.

If you’re looking for new ideas, innovative materials or sophisticated equipment that will help take your business forward, don’t miss the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2021. There will be an extensive trade show with an array of dental manufacturers, suppliers and service providers on hand to provide all the information, advice and support you could need. This will be complemented by two days of first-class education, with lectures dedicated to each member of the team to ensure relevant and captivating content for every individual in attendance.

However you and your business faired in 2020, the time has come to reflect, learn from your experience and move forward. By sticking together and concentrating on what we can control, we can help create a more secure dental profession for all.


The next British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show will be held on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd May 2021, Birmingham NEC, co-located with DTS.

For more information, visit, call 020 7348 5270 or email

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