Dentists, Business, and Success
Dentists can own and manage a successful dental practice when they know how to “[operate] their practices like businesses…” (Rubin 2016). As owners, they need to know about the factors that affect the clinic’s business, such as “production and collections, end of day reports, collection percentages, accounts receivable, insurance tracking (review report regularly), and overhead” (Fisher-Day 2014). However, some dentists cannot do everything. Consequently, dentists should also hire people for other duties in order to concentrate more on utilizing their skills for their patients (Jillian 2018; Legend Funding 2015). For instance, they should employ an accountant for their finances, a marketing professional for “an effective marketing strategy,” a hygienist for cleanings, etc. (John 2015; Legend Funding 2015). With their staff members, dentists can develop a profitable clinic, depending on their business decisions.
Dentists could utilize different strategies to attract and retain patients for financial success. They should advertise their practices to their patients, through a variety of means, utilizing social media, YouTube, their websites, etc. (Duty 2017; Jillian 2018). Furthermore, Shauna Duty, “owner of Identiwrite, and an experienced dental marketing professional,” states, “Once you determine which area of dentistry you’d like to focus on, you’ll need to create a brand and online presence for that particular area of expertise,” attracting patients with certain needs, such as wisdom teeth extractions or orthodontics (2017). Dentists also need to create websites that “impresses current patients to promote referrals… while also attracting new patients… and prompting them to call the office for an appointment” (Duty 2017). When dentists advertise discounts, they should know that discounts affect the income of the practice and may prove fruitless, when considering high overhead costs (Gradeless 2007). In addition to marketing, dentists should drop certain insurance plans after considering “how many patients are in the plan, the fee schedule, and how much of [their] production comes from each plan” (Gradeless 2007). Michael Gradeless, “adjunct faculty member at Indiana University,” recommends, “Drop the plans that have the least economic impact to your practice first. Only drop the next plan when the practice has grown enough to offset the projected production loss” (2007). While some patients would accept dental treatments and services right away, other patients, particularly new patients, that do not undergo treatment plans due to poor presentation contributes to the failure of the clinic (John 2015). To persuade them to go through the treatment plan, they could utilize technology to teach them about the need for certain procedures by, for example, “[letting their] patients see what [they] see via [their] intraoral camera. Print a picture and send it home with them as a reminder of needed treatment” (Fisher-Day 2014). Furthermore, dentists should show that they care for their patients by calling them after they went through invasive treatments (Fisher-Day 2014).
Dentists will struggle managing their clinic while providing dental treatments to patients. If they can apply effective business decisions to the practice, their clinic can thrive.
Duty, Shauna. “3 No-Fail Strategies for Dental Practice Growth.” Identiwrite, January 3,
Fisher-Day, Mary. “Top 9 mistakes made by dental practice owners.” DentistryiQ, October 20,
Gradeless, Michael. “Do you struggle?” Dental Economics, August 1, 2007.
Jillian. “The Most Common Reasons Dental Practices Fail to Grow.” Dental Prosthetics, Inc.,
March 12, 2018. https://dentalprostheticsinc.com/common-reasons-dental-practices-fail-grow/.
John, Tim St. “Top 6 Reasons Dental Practices Fail.” Linkedin, November 17, 2015.
Legend Funding. “Top 10 Mistakes Dentists Make When Trying To Expand Their Practice.”
Legend Funding, June 29, 2015. http://legendadvancefunding.com/2016/10/top-10-mistakes-dentists-make-when-trying-to-expand-their-practice/.
Rubin, Ken. “It’s a phenomenal time to be a practice owner.” Dental Economics, May 19, 2016.
Background information on some Authors:
Tim St. John: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aeoninternetmarketing.
Legend Funding: http://legendadvancefunding.com/about/.