The Future of Dentistry

Nobel Biocare Esthetic Group

by Jutta Roberts, Esthetic Group Manager, Nobel Biocare, & Maria Palm, Communication & Project Manager, Nobel Biocare

There is a shift occurring in the dental industry. Each year, the percentage of female dentists and dental students increases significantly. This leads to strategic questions asked among ourselves and our dental company competitors: What impact will this trend have on the future practice of dentistry? While this question is deliberated, it is clear that a field dominated by women and the next generation of dental professionals will be very different than today's status quo. 

Here is a look at the ever growing percentage of female dentists in a few highlighted countries:

Country % of female dentists % of female dentist students
Denmark 58 76
Sweden 52 63
Norway 47 75
Finland 69 68
Europe 49 63
USA 29 48

Figures for the European countries taken from EU Manual of Dental Practice 2015 Edition 5.1

In 1978, 15.9% of first-year dental students in the USA were women, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute, unpublished 2014 findings from the Survey of Dental Practice. In 2014, first year dental female students in the USA has grown to 47.7%. We are privy to this change in the industry and it is a significant feature within our own Dental Platform strategy and innovations. Our Dental 2020 vision to become the premiere dental company in the world encompasses the change in esthetic within the industry.

Creation of the Nobel Biocare Esthetic Group

11 years ago this trend was recognized quite intuitively by our own Nobel Biocare associate and Esthetic Group Manager, Jutta Roberts. She noticed that many of her female dentists and dental technicians customers were lacking professional networks yet desired a specific forum that offered professional and personal development as well as adapted education programs. Jutta took note of this untapped opportunity. She teamed up with Maria Palm, Communication & Project Manager, and created the Nobel Biocare Esthetic Group; a networking group with professional education programs designed to increase the dental and professional competency of female dentists and create ambassadors for Nobel Biocare.

Group Details and Dynamics

The Esthetic Group focuses on education to increase knowledge, clinical skills, and treatment offerings for patients; directly aligned with Nobel Biocare's company mission: help more customers treat more patients better. Members receive access to Nobel Biocare specialists, speakers, and courses, as well as tailored educational programs. They learn how to be better speakers and leaders within the industry, as well as clinicians, specialists, and premiere dentists. The group is organized by region, meeting regularly in smaller local groups (no more than 20 members per local group) to promote an intimate, engaging environment, led by a Mentor. 

In this environment, the women are provided the tools and resources to develop and grow into even better, more confident professionals. Anna Olsson, member since 2006, began placing implants thanks to trainings within the Esthetic Group. The group model provides a clear look into our customer's needs and allows for better innovation and sales success. The network is going on its 11th year and has expanded to 10 different groups within the Nordic region and in 2016 expanded into the European region by starting Esthetic Group in the Netherlands. The New Generation Esthetic Group bringing recent female dental school graduates into the networking community. 

"With the New Generation Esthetic group, we support the young generation and help them get a great start to their careers," said Jutta Roberts. "We support their professional and personal development by offering start up training programs as well as the opportunity to discuss their daily work and challenges with the other members of the Esthetic Group."

What's Next?

Jutta and Maria continue improve and develop the group model, taking note of key experiences and learnings to adapt to the group's needs.  The next opportunity lies in expansion of the group model to other regions, countries, and Dental Platform OpCos.  There is exciting work ahead and a great partnership across OpCos to anticipate.