How To Run a Successful Dental Practice – Time to Get Pumped UP!

By: Dr. Paul Caselle

We have closed out 2021, now it’s time to get pumped up about 2022 and run a successful dental practice by following these four steps:

Assessment, Objectives, Plan, and Execution

  1. Assessment
  2. Objectives
  3. Plan
  4. Execution

Assessment

  • How well did you meet your personal and professional goals for the past year?
  • What impediments to your success did you encounter and how well were you able to overcome these obstacles?
  • Going forward how will you adapt?

Objectives

What do you want to achieve in 2022?

Perhaps saving more money to overcome ups & downs in cash flow, fully funding a retirement plan, or increasing production and net income.

You may be thinking of selling your practice or buying another practice. Every year around this time people make all kinds of resolutions many of which are abandoned by the end of January.

You must be passionate about what you want to accomplish if you have any expectation of achieving your goals.   This requires a well-thought-out plan.

Plan

How will you achieve your objectives?

Cut Expenses

For example, the obvious idea of cutting expenses and looking for better pricing on products will be difficult with the current inflationary pressure.

Increase Productivity

Increasing productivity by better managing time and people as well assessing continued participation in insurance plans that have unrealistic reimbursements may help. Remember it’s not how much you produce but how much you net after you pay overhead is what counts. 

Selling or Purchasing a Practice

If you are thinking about selling your practice it is helpful to interview transition specialists who can provide an opinion of value. This is an overview of the estimated value of your practice. A transition specialist can advise you as to what steps you can take to enhance the value of your practice which is dependent on your time frame. A transition specialist can also assist in purchasing a practice whether this is a first-time purchase or a second office.  It is helpful to have a professional assist in making the right purchase based on your particular needs.

Review Hours of Operation

Look at your hours of operation. Are you open at lunch when many people are available to come into your office and do you have early morning or late afternoon appointments to accommodate patients who work?

Introduce New Technology

Can the introduction of new technology in your office allow you to increase productivity by providing an opportunity to do more treatment in your office and make you more efficient resulting in greater productivity per hour? Incorporating lasers will allow you to do more restorative procedures since many teeth can be treated without the need for local anesthesia. Consider soft tissue procedures that you previously referred out that can now be easily and comfortably treated in your office by using a laser. Managing periodontal disease by having a robust hygiene protocol that is greatly aided by the use of the Epic diode laser and Waterlase iPlus erbium laser by the doctor will be a tremendous boost to your practice. CDC estimates that 47% of patients have periodontal disease and the number rises as patients get older. 

Increase your efficiency with Cerec technology. It will allow you to fabricate crowns, veneers, or onlays in a single visit saving your patients time and the dreaded second appointment that means more cost to the practice in chair time and infection control materials.

Review Your Patient’s Needs

Look at your patient’s needs. Run a treatment plan report to ascertain the treatment that is being referred out.  Consider whether those procedures or conditions that are being referred out could be successfully treated in your office if you had the training or equipment.

Consider Your Level of Interest

However, it is important to consider your level of interest in pursuing the additional training needed to provide these services. Do you have enough need to justify your investment of time and money?  Perhaps being more efficient in a procedure you do now is a better investment.

Execution

Yes, it is great to think about what you want to do but how do you move from planning to executing your plan? 

Create a road map. Like all journeys, you need to follow a road map.

Start out by looking at operations.  How can you be more efficient? For example, streamlining procedures by using cassettes that are procedure specific such as one that encompasses restorative including crown and bridge.  

Consolidate, after all, doctor, do you really need all those instruments? Create a cassette for periodontal, hygiene, and root canal procedures.

Meet with your team ask them for their feedback. They speak to patients and very often get the inside story of how patients feel about your practice. I have often said to my team that they are my eyes & ears because many patients very often will not express their thoughts directly to the doctor. Your team can offer insight that you may have never considered.

Yes, your team is critical to the successful execution of your plan. Developing a road map and sharing it with your team lets everyone know where you’re going. Your team needs to understand your goals and vision so they can contribute to your journey. 

So, Ready to Get PUMPED UP?

Along the journey in 2022, you may encounter roadblocks or detours and may need to take an alternate route.  Pause, reassess, and choose your options based on your progress. Stay positive and keep your focus on your final destination, but enjoy the journey.

Dr. Paul Caselle – Bio

Dr. Caselle, a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry and Residency Program in Family Dentistry at Forsythe Dental Center, brings over 40 years of experience as a practicing dentist. He has Fellowship Certification in the World Clinical Laser Institute, certification in Invisalign, Six Months Smiles, and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, Chair-Elect of the Middlesex District Dental Society, Academy of Laser Dentistry, and National Speakers Association. Dr. Caselle’s articles have been published in multiple leading dental publications. Throughout his career, he has used leading-edge dental technology to provide the most up-to-date treatments in inpatient care. Dr. Caselle, with his extensive experience in owning a successful dental practice, offers support and provides real-world tips along with the organizational skills necessary for the successful implementation of technology and practice management concepts by the doctor and team. He has is a member of the Biolase Training Faculty and has presented programs on laser dentistry, practice management, and team communication.

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