Practice 4.0 - Dental Theme World

In Conversation with Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc.

  • Introducing Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc.

  • The importance of marketing for dental practices

  • Dental Theme World 2022 and 2023

  • The inevitability of the four-day work week

  • A master of one is better than a jack of all trades

  • Going completely digital with practice 4.0

  • Improving efficiency with artificial intelligence

  • Predictions for the future of dentistry


Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc.

Owner of Zahnarztpraxis Daniel Petcu

Wilhelmstraße 3, 70825 Korntal-Münchingen, Germany


In Conversation with Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc.


The field of dentistry is constantly evolving, especially in the areas where the clinical aspects of dentistry are combined with the practicalities of running a business. As technologies advance and workplace culture and expectations evolve, dental practice owners must contend with the realities of automation, four-hour work weeks, and other seismic shifts in dentistry and the management of dental practices. Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc. hosts the Dental Theme World to engage with these changes and help dentists, dental nurses, patients, and dental practice owners connect.

Our team at Zircon Medical recently hosted Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc., the owner of Zahnarztpraxis Daniel Petcu in Korntal-Münchingen, on our podcast series to discuss the Dental Theme World, the future of automation, four-hour work weeks, and much more.

Introducing Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc., the owner of Zahnarztpraxis Daniel Petcu in Korntal-Münchingen

Dentist Daniel Petcu is the owner and leading dentist at Zahnarztpraxis Daniel Petcu, his private practice in Korntal-Münchingen, Germany. He is committed to facilitating honest, interactive, and fruitful communications between dentists, practice staff, and other representatives of the dental industry. To that end, he organized the Dental Theme World at Porsche Museum Stuttgart on the 6th and 7th of May, 2022.

Daniel says he knew he wanted to be a dentist at the end of his school career, especially since he helped out in the dental laboratory from time to time. He had the opportunity to observe dentists in larger practices in Stuttgart, which convinced him that this was the right field for him. He was employed as a dentist for twelve years, following which he was a partner in a dental practice, and then he finally set up his private practice.

The importance of marketing for dental practices

Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc. says the necessity of marketing depends on the dental practice’s location. If you’re in a village with one or two dentists, you may not have any trouble finding the right patients. But the issue is completely different in big cities. He says his dental practice does a lot of marketing on Google, social media, and other platforms. “When you reposition yourself in a new environment, you have to attract attention — you just don’t get that through word of mouth.”

Dental Theme World 2022 and 2023 

The Dental Theme World event tackled marketing as one of the primary subjects. “That was one of the big topics at our first event. How do you manage to build yourself up as a brand? How can you build your practice as a brand? That is exactly what I am pursuing.” Other topics discussed during the event included communication and the positioning of dental practices.

The first Dental Theme World event included one and a half days of keynote speeches, museum tours, and discussions on various topics. But the follow-up event in 2023 will also include workshops. Parallel to the individual keynotes, the event will also include 90 to 120-minute sessions on dental topics. The next session will explore marketing, communication, periodontology, implantology, and billing.

The inevitability of the four-day work week

Daniel says one of the subjects most prominently discussed during the Dental Theme World event was the four-day work week. “Many people don't necessarily want a huge salary, but they want more free time to do more with people outside,” Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc. said. “The trend towards a four-day week and a clear work-life balance has become increasingly clear. And I firmly believe that this is what we are more or less introducing.”

But to pave the way for the four-day work week, he says you have to bring the ladies and gentlemen working for you to the next level. They should all be better than they were a week before, which means further training becomes even more important. Daniel referred to a sanitary company that changed to a four-day week system and found that their productivity was even higher.

Even when the work hours were reduced from 40 to 35 hours, employees managed to get the same amount of work done. Some studies have also found that employees are 20% more productive and efficient over the year while working under a four-day work week. That increase in productivity can be attributed to them recovering properly over an extended weekend and being more motivated to work.

Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc.would like to transition that into dentistry, a process they’ve already started. “We started with 39 hours and are now at 37 1/2 hours, but you don’t notice that change in the turnover figures. They have risen steadily — so that is definitely a trend. The employees are more rested and fresher and are more willing to come to work the next day."

A master of one is better than a jack of all trades

The idea of a four-day work week might sound grand, but what does that mean for customers, clients, or patients? If you take two additional days off, won’t that lead to less turnover and fewer customers?

When asked to comment on that question, he reflected the opinion that a master of one is better than a jack of all trades. He says he has specialized in dentures and implantology and focuses entirely on those subjects. Instead of doing everything across the board, he specifically focuses on patients seeking dentures and implants. Since he has specialized in this field and has a lot more practice, he can place implants within 15 minutes without sacrificing the quality of the treatment. Specialization allows him to acquire more patients.

If someone says they can do everything, from orthodontics to implantology and pediatric dentistry, they may not specialize in any. Daniel believes the four-day work week should go hand-in-hand with greater specialization.

Going completely digital with practice 4.0

Practice 4.0 refers to a dental practice going completely digital, i.e., the final stage in digitalization. At this stage, the employees should be completely familiar with digital tools and should have no use for paper. Even in terms of health insurance, from the 1st of July, 2022, they have started using a mailbox that allows them to send encrypted communications to different health insurance companies and doctors.

In the past, dentists had to send the treatment and cost plans in paper form to the health insurance companies for approval, but the same can now be done via the KIM mailbox. Instead of receiving approval in three weeks, they now receive approvals within an hour or two. Thanks to these digital workflows, everything is faster, more fluid, and more efficient.

Improving efficiency with artificial intelligence

Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc. has also implemented an artificial intelligence tool for x-ray reporting, known as dentalxrai. This AI can visualize the patient, highlight the potential sources of inflammation, detect when root fillings are short, and make other essential assessments. Patients can now use the synMedico program to fill out the anamnesis digitally and send it to them, so they don’t have to spend 10 to 15 minutes in the waiting room. Everything can be prepared at home.

In addition to software and programs for x-rays and filling up forms, Daniel`soffice has also implemented tools to simplify the booking process. Patients can visit the website and book appointments via Jameda or DampSoft directly, which makes things significantly more efficient. Since you don’t need anyone to be on the phone to accept these appointments, the use of technology further paves the way for a four-day work week.

He says AI can save time for patients already on tight schedules. He has designed a workflow that automates most tasks, so patients have to spend minimal time in the office. They can get the dental work done and leave quickly.

Predictions for the future of dentistry

Daniel firmly believes that AI will take up more and more space over time. He also believes the issue of personnel will become more difficult, especially in terms of four-day weeks and shift models. He believes the issue of a four-day week will become a standard model in 2023 or 2024 at the latest and that all treatment units will be optimized such that the practitioner will work alone in the chair.

“In many countries, it is probably the case that you already treat alone at the chair. In the USA, in many practices, there is probably only one assistant who does the billing. And he and the practitioner work alone. I don't think that will become established, but it will change in this respect. These are the trends that will emerge in the future.”

Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc. also notes that fewer younger people are joining the field of dentistry, and he isn’t sure how that trend can be stopped. Over the years, it has become clear that fewer and fewer young people are joining dentistry. To adjust for that trend, dental practices will have to train 10 to 15% of their staff per year. The dental profession is also becoming more and more female, and women are more likely to take over practices after 35 — not immediately after residency.

As a result, Daniel believes the future will pave the way for a large number ofinvestor companies or medical care centers. As existing dentists try to exit the field at around 55, they will hand over the practice to investors instead of buyers. When combined with fewer young dentists and the propensity amongst female dentists to buy practices later in life, a large number of dental practices in the future will be run as a chain of investor-driven conglomerates.

Whatever the future of dentistry brings, Dentist Daniel Petcu M.Sc. M.Sc. believes dental professionals should remain informed and engage with the changes. You can find Daniel Petcu on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook, or listen to him on our Zircon Medical Podcast.

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