A Busy Dental Office Can Actually Be Losing You Money

One of my clients was telling me about a friend of hers.

Well not so much a friend, but just another dentist that she knows.

And my client said to me:

“Well, I know what sort of a practice I *DON’T* want to have!!”


Harsh words.

So my client’s friend has a big big multi-dentist multi-staff office.

Forty-nine employees.

And headaches like you would not believe.

She takes every insurance she can, yet she has never analysed which insurances are costing her money, and which insurances are costing her time.

She appears to have no idea about much.

Except that she feels that she needs to just keep working the office at a hundred miles an hour.


It’s a case of the old adage:

“You don’t create a faster horse by making it eat more oats.”

The oats is not the answer.

It’s the training, and the type of training.

Not the oats.

My client’s friend has lost touch with reality.

She’s failing to see the forest for the trees.

Maybe she’s created an illusion of grandeur for herself that she now has to live up to?

Maybe she feels that her friends, her colleagues and her family now expect her to have this big big dental practice?

I knew a dentist here in Australia with a similar issue.

He also was running a not so profitable office.

His associate dentists were screaming out for more patients for their books, but at the same time they were telling the owner dentist that the fees of the office were too high.

So the principal dentist pumped more new patients toward those noisy associates.

And he dropped his dental fees.

Despite the fact that the New Patient value for those dentists was considerably lower than for New Patients seen by the Principal.

And the nightmare just continued on.

And on and on…

Even with lower fees and more new patients, the spoon fed associates did not have the skills to diagnose correctly, treatment plan correctly, present correctly and create urgency and concern for their patients.

Patients don’t know what they don’t hear and they don’t understand.

And they don’t own it.

My principal dentist in this case can diagnose present and close.

The associates could not.

Would not.

And would not bother to learn.

Sometimes bigger is not better.

More employees can often mean more headaches.

The Pareto principle can apply to staff as well as to patients.

Sadly in both these instances, the owners would be better if they downsized, and streamlined.

They’d look smaller, but their bottom lines would be better.

Sometimes dentists confuse activity with accomplishment.

There is no point in being busy and losing money.

There is always an opportunity to draw stumps, regroup, and start over.

There’s zero point in providing charitable employment to people costing you money.



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Email me at david@theupe.com

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