According to an article on [removed][/removed], the ADA is relying on the help of its members to develop the ADA Dental Market Index (DMI), the first index of this nature in dentistry. "This is an important and innovative project for the ADA," said ADA Executive Director James B. Bramson. "Our goal is to provide quick and easy-to-understand information about the state of the dental economy to our members so they can manage their own practices better."

The DMI will present a quick, general appraisal of the dental market’s economic status. It will be developed quarterly and published in the ADA News.

"Using this index, our members can quickly put their fingers on the pulse of the dental marketplace and compare the status of their practices with that of the average practice," says Albert H. Guay, DDS, the ADA’s chief policy advisor and the architect of the DMI.

Because there’s a lag time between other economic indicators and what happens in the dental profession, Guay says eventually the DMI will be used to identify factors in the general economy not directly involved with dentistry that may foretell the dental market’s behavior. The DMI will assist the ADA in policy determinations and individual dentists in their practice-management decisions.

The DMI will be calculated using recent historical sales, dental claims, and survey data. It will include four primary dental indicators:

    • patient billings;
    • laboratory services;
    • insurance billings; and
    • purchases of dental supplies.

The ADA is partnering with Henry Schein to identify practitioners willing to contribute quarterly data to the ADA for the DMI project.

Timothy Sullivan, president of Sullivan-Schein Dental, said, "There is relatively little information available to dentists or dental policy-makers about the status of the dental market. The information will be of great value to individual dentists as an aid in operating a successful business. Because it’s an ongoing project it will provide a basis for comparison and change over time."

Dentists who agree to participate in the survey can be assured that their individual information will be held strictly confidential and will be used by the ADA only in aggregate without identifying individual dentists. To thank members for their participation in this study, the ADA will provide all dentists who participate a report ranking their data on a percentile basis against national and regional averages.

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