More than half of Poles are treated at private dental offices

More than half of Poles are treated at private dental offices

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The Polish dental market, following the example of the European market, is in the process of consolidation. Small offices are increasingly joining large networks. This is taking place to meet the expectations of patients who value quality services, convenience, trust in doctors, and modern office equipment. In Poland, this market has been dominated by private entities that can afford expensive investments (as public spending on dentistry makes up only 2.5 percent of the entire National Health Fund budget). Over half of Polish patients are treated by private entities.

The dental market in Poland is dominated by private businesses. This is due to the gap actually left by the public sector where investments in dental services are very low. For this reason, the private dental sector has developed very well. It is at a completely different level than the public sector operating under the National Health Fund.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

Dentistry remains the only branch of medicine whose services are more often used by patients through a private sector (rather than public). A survey by the Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) shows that in 2016, dental services were used by 50 percent of Poles at least once, and the vast majority (69%) chose the services of a private dental clinic.

Technology is the key reason for this – it is increasingly present in dentistry, and dentistry is getting digitised. It is the private sector – not the public one – that is mainly responsible for these investments. Patients appreciate this because new technologies make the services and visits much more comfortable, safer and painless.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

Only one in three Poles uses the reimbursed dental services provided under the National Health Fund. It is largely due to a lack of financing – only 2.49 percent of the entire Fund’s budget is allocated to dentistry, which is about PLN 47 per a statistical Pole. This does not allow for any investments – and consequently, public entities lose to private ones.

For patients, availability and the manner in which they can make an appointment is also important. As they are busy, booking a dental appointment is one of the last things they think about. Making it easier for them, such as by posting the doctor’s schedule online so that a patient can book an appointment anywhere and anytime, is very important.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

In addition to service quality and equipment available at the offices, patients value trust and good communication with doctors. The Medicover Dentistry studies show that having chosen their dentist, as many as 34 percent of patients stay with the same practitioner throughout the treatment. Among patients whose treatment lasts longer and is more complicated, this percentage reaches 70.

Patients focus on whether a doctor communicates in an accessible and comprehensible manner. The first visit is very important as it is at that time that the doctor performs full computed tomography imaging diagnostics, thanks to which the patient can see the state of their teeth before treatment, what happens during the treatment, and what the teeth look like afterwards. After the first visit, the patient receives a full treatment plan in which it is clearly defined how long it will last, which procedures will be performed, and how much it will cost. A clear plan increases patient involvement and motivation to go through with the treatment.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

According to PMR data, in 2016 the dental market in Poland was worth approx. PLN 10 billion – a mere 3 percent of the European market estimated at EUR 79 billion (about PLN 336 billion). According to forecasts, by 2020 the domestic market will grow at a rate of 7% annually, reaching PLN 12.6 billion.

The dental market in Poland is consolidating. This is clear from the transactions made in the last few months. This makes other clinic owners interested in the process. The clinic owners themselves approach us and ask how they can work with us.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

The market consolidates due to the fact that opening a dental office a few years ago was easier and did not involve enormous costs – you did not need to invest in a website, marketing or a Facebook fanpage. Today, in order to maintain the level of services and clients, dental surgeries must invest. It is easier for them to do so under one strong brand.

When opening a dental office, you have to invest a lot of money. The price of dental CT equipment, which is considered standard, is over PLN 200,000. The prices of Intraoral scanners, which are increasingly entering the market, may be at least PLN 150,000. A dentist is not taught how to manage a facility –  but large networks know exactly how to do it. For this reason, we can see that dentists are interested in combining what the doctor does best, which is treating and caring for patients, with the so-called back office, i.e. marketing, investments, finances or purchasing.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

Consolidation is a European trend that is already visible in Spain and the United Kingdom, where 25 percent of the dental market is currently consolidated. In the last several months, Medicover Dentistry – one of the largest entities on the domestic market – has already taken over three large brands: Prestige Dent (a specialised implant prosthetic clinic), DentaCare (centres focussed on families and children, offering paedodontic services), and StomaDental (specialists in prosthetics).

It is a highly specialised dental facility dealing mainly with prosthetics and cooperating very closely with the prosthetic lab, which we also took over, and based on which we will build an ecosystem for the entire Medicover Dentistry.

Wioletta Januszczyk, Managing Director at Medicover (Dental & Vision Services)

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