Dentistry Reborn: How to Transform Your Dental Practice as a Business
The business of dentistry is rewarding, allowing you to protect your patients' oral health and create beautiful smiles.
It can also be a lucrative profession, especially if you run your own practice. The average net income for a general private practice dentist was $204,710 in 2019. For those with specialties, it was $343,410.
Of course, that kind of money doesn’t come without some effort. A successful dental practice requires you to provide top-quality care that prioritizes patient wellbeing.
In addition to fulfilling your role as a healthcare practitioner, you must also fulfill the role of business owner. This requires a different set of skills and line of thinking. For many dental professionals, making the shift from care provider to business owner can be a challenge.
This guide provides actionable advice on how you can transform your dental practice and take the business of dentistry to the next level.
The Business of Dentistry: How to Enhance Your Practice
The below tips are focused on the business perspective. Follow these guidelines to streamline your day-to-day operations, improve employee happiness, and boost patient satisfaction.
Monitor the Latest Developments in Your Field
As a dental professional, you're obliged to stay abreast of your field's latest technological and medical advancements. This ensures that you can offer patients cutting-edge care and a diverse array of treatment options.
Staying on top of the latest developments in your practice area is also a profitable business.
Take braces, for example. A couple of decades ago, patients had no choice but to opt for traditional metal braces composed of brackets and wires. Then, invisible aligners – more discrete and comfortable to wear – stormed the market. As an orthodontist, being able to offer this new technology was a big boon.
Being at the forefront of such developments gives you a competitive edge, allowing you to update your offering to provide products and services competitors may not. Reading dental journals and attending conferences in your field are two ways to monitor progress.
Upgrade Your Operational Systems and Processes
Offering advanced dental care is only half the battle. You want to ensure the systems you use to support the business of dentistry are up to speed as well.
For example, electronic health records (EHRs) are becoming the new norm inpatient care. If you don’t already have a clear-cut health information system (HIS) to record, store, and manage such digital data, now is an excellent time to implement one.
You can then securely save and organize patient data electronically, cutting down on redundant paperwork. This minimizes hassle for your patients and makes it easier for your staff to access essential details, like a patient's medical history, lab results, and prescriptions.
As you upgrade such systems, make sure to update your work processes as well. Create clear guidance for team members to follow and organize training as needed to ensure all individuals are at ease with the new technology.
Figure Out What Makes Your Practice Unique
Think about what makes your dental clinic unique and leverage these assets.
Perhaps you offer sedation dentistry (e.g., nitrous oxide or pharmaceutical prescriptions) to help ease anxious patients' nerves, for example. Not all dental practices do this, and you can use it to stand out from the crowd.
Another example: You treat children as well as adults. This also isn't a given as some dentists only treat kids or adults. Providing a busy family a "one-stop-shop" that caters to the dental needs of young and old alike can be a big selling point.
Proactively advertising this unique asset can help you win new clientele and foster loyalty among existing clientele.
Rethink Your Marketing Efforts
Once you've pinpointed what makes your dental practice unique, you can use that information in future marketing campaigns. Digital marketing is a cost-efficient means of attracting new patients.
At the least, you should have a well-organized and informative webpage and a Google business listing (ideally linked to your office's location on Google Maps). This makes it easier to find your business in the virtual world and the real world.
You can further help improve your website's visibility online with search engine optimization and social media marketing. Listing your dental clinic in business directories like Yelp also helps local patients find you.
Invest in Your Team
Cutting-edge treatments, state-of-the-art operational systems, and fancy digital marketing aside – it’s ultimately the peoplethat make your dental practice a success. Reliable support staff, from administrative assistants to dental hygienists, are on the front lines of patient care.
Your team is your dental practice's most valuable asset. Invest in it accordingly. For example, you might pay for team members to further their education and expand their skills. You can also host team-building events, provide mentorship, or sponsor educational visits to conferences.
Developing a welcoming office culture by defining shared values and an open communication system is also crucial to staff wellbeing. A positive corporate culture usually translates to happier staff and a friendlier overall atmosphere – something that patients will notice when they visit your practice.
You should also protect your team. One way to do this is with comprehensive workers' compensation coverage, which helps to cover damages if a staff member is hurt on the job.
Protect Your Dental Practice
Finally, one of the most critical business-savvy moves you can make to transform your dental practice and build a thriving business is to invest in comprehensive insurance.
Professional liability insurance (to help protect against malpractice claims) is just half the equation. You should also consider a business owner's policy insurance (BOP), which packages general and property liability coverage for your practice.
A BOP can help safeguard your business in case of burglary or cyberattacks, among other scenarios.
Help Protect Your Dental Practice with Dentist’s Advantage
Dentist’s Advantage helps dental care professionals protect their businesses with a diversity of insurance products. We provide professional liability, BOP, workers’ compensation coverage, and more.
We know that your dental practice is unique and will work with you to determine what kind of coverage fits your needs. The added security our policies provide will help protect your investment and give you peace of mind.
Let us help you take the business of dentistry to the next level.
Contact us today for a quote.