Improving at “The Business” of Dentistry

Making better business decisions for your dental practice comes down to four key goals: (1) doing more dentistry patients need, (2) helping patients have healthier mouths, (3) making more money and (4) stressing less.

Improving your success in any one of these areas will affect the others, which is why you should think of these various elements comprehensively rather than separately.

How to Do More Dentistry

If you feel that you’re not making enough or treating enough patients, the problem likely isn’t economic downturn. The truth is, if you have a strong system in place, external economic factors shouldn’t have a huge effect on how many patients return for basic treatments such as hygiene.

One of the most common issues practices face is the efficacy of their systems. You may be seeing plenty of patients but without a clear system for setting new appointments, you may not have a full schedule.

Retention is all about measurements. What this means is that when you track or record data, you’re more likely to pay attention to it. A great way to increase the number of hygiene appointments you have is to track how many your are scheduling and how many patients are showing up for.

Simply by measuring this information, you will be more likely to ensure appointments are made. The same goes for your staff who actually carry out scheduling and encourage patients to return. This will also help you better understand what appointment scheduling methods you should offer. Different people like to be reminded differently. Some prefer an email, some prefer a text, some prefer the date and time written on a piece of paper, and some prefer a call.

The lesson of retention illustrates a thought process that can be applied to all areas of your business. Essentially, remember that one size does not fit all and simply paying more attention can improve your success.

What do you think is the hardest part of running a dental practice? 

Mark Murphy DDS

Mark is the Lead Faculty for Clinical Education at ProSomnus Sleep Technologies, Principal of Funktional Consulting, serves on the Guest Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and is a Regular Presenter on Business Development, Practice Management and Leadership at The Pankey Institute. He has served on the Boards of Directors of The Pankey Institute, National Association of Dental Laboratories, the Identalloy Council, the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, St. Vincent DePaul's Dental Center and the Dental Advisor. He lectures internationally on Leadership, Practice Management, Communication, Case Acceptance, Planning, Occlusion, Sleep and TMD. He has a knack for presenting pertinent information in an entertaining manner. [email protected]

Mark Murphy DDS

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