Can dentistry be a profitable profession? Ask practice owners that question, and many will nod their heads in agreement. Like any professional services firm, however, every successful dental office started from humble beginnings.
Practice owners, at the beginning of their careers tend to stumble about running their dental offices, learning things along the way and improvising until they succeed. As they gain more experience and learn from their mistakes, many find their practices booming and patients lining up outside their door.
So, what makes for a successful dental practice? What principles do successful dental practitioners swear by to keep the patients coming, reputation growing, and money flowing in? The answer lies not only in handling patients, but also in making financial and other crucial decisions the right way.
Follow these 6 Principles to Boost Your Dental Practice
Successful practice management for a dental clinic can be traced to the following 6 main principles:
- Acquisition of the latest dental equipment
- Professional-looking dental office design
- An efficient and effective team
- Emphasis on improving patient experience
- Discipline-based decision making
- Effective problem-solving techniques
We’ll look at each of these in greater detail, to understand how and why they work.
1) Invest in the Latest Dental Equipment
Dental offices should exert extra effort in acquiring the latest dentistry equipment and training their staff in its use. There’s another important step, however – practice owners also need to let the world (or their potential markets, to be more exact) know about this effort!
When state-of-the-art equipment arrives and is set up at your dental office, take pictures. Post them on social media, issue a press release and include them in your newsletter. Word spreads fast in this business, and before you know it, patients will be flocking to your door.
2) Aim for a Professional-Looking Design
Nothing could be more attractive to potential clients than a dental office that is both professional-looking and attractively-designed. Design the interiors and exteriors in a manner that projects comfort, safety and perhaps even luxury.
Patients who are comfortable with the environment within which they are treated will not hesitate in booking their next appointment (and keeping it). Again, public relations go a long way, and those same patients will talk about your practice to family, friends and anyone else who would care to listen.
3) Build an Efficient and Effective Team
Practice owners should hone their leadership skills and spend time finding the right fit for each post, since an effective team goes a long way in moving their dental practices towards success. Training, mentoring and coaching your team will go a long way towards building their personal stake in your practice.
Here are some other things that will help – Formulating a vision statement and goals, empowering your team members by delegating responsibilities, investing in career development, performing regular reviews, organizing team activities and other events meant to encourage cooperation.
4) Improve your Patient Experience
Aside from a professional-looking office, exceptional customer service that wows new patients will go a long way towards boosting return business. Have a script ready for new patients that show them how important they are to you, with a welcome that allays their apprehension and a comprehensive oral health examination, and treatment plan.
5) Focus on Discipline-Based Decision Making
The day-to-day running of your dental practice requires decisions based on discipline. Otherwise, you’ll fall along the roadside.
Fiscal responsibility requires you to set a budget for running your dental office. If that equipment purchase will set your budget back by a thousand dollars, do you go ahead and purchase it? Or do you postpone it until you have the money to afford it? Always keep in mind that keeping your overhead costs to a minimum will pave the road to your success.
6) Incorporate Problem-Solving Techniques
Effective problem-solving techniques should be staples in a practice owner’s arsenal. Always keep facts in mind. If you can find someone to solve a problem for you, do so – do not forget your budget, though. Take the necessary steps to prevent the problem from happening again. Once you’ve solved it, don’t dwell on it anymore. Keep moving forward.
A Few Bonus Tips to Keep in Mind
- Know your patients by name. Follow up after a procedure and ask about their condition.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and testimonials. They will spread the word about your practice.
- Sell your expertise. Maintain a blog, write articles, and speak at community gatherings or other events.
- Hire only good people. Your staff is your reputation. Instill good practices and show them your appreciation.
With the above practice management principles in mind, you shouldn’t have a problem getting on the fast lane to success. What are you waiting for? Get started on them now!
Dr Amruta Patel is a warm and compassionate dentist caring for the community of San Antonio, TX. Dr. Patel attended Marquette University, where she received both her dental degree and her bachelor’s degree.
She practices at All About Smiles, where she provides cosmetic braces, endodontic treatments, implants, and veneers, as well as basic general dental services. During her consultations, Dr. Patel fully explains patients’ conditions and helps them choose an appropriate treatment plan. Outside of practicing dentistry, Dr. Patel enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs.
Last modified: July 4, 2018