Are Unskilled Employees Operating Your Expensive Medical Equipment?

You’re owning and running an expensive to set up dental practice.

There’s lots of equipment, specialised equipment, specialised medical equipment, and computers and things.

And part of the common sense of owning and running an expensive dental practice is that you wouldn’t let, or shouldn’t let someone who is unskilled or untrained or unregistered to operate any of that expensive equipment, would you?

After all, if you did let them loose on that equipment, something seriously dangerous and harmful could go wrong…

Your computer my malfunction and meltdown?

Or it could get a virus, or malware?

You might accidentally become the victim of a cyber ransom attack?

Your Cerec machine may default a setting and start milling something it may not necessarily be needing to do?

You could irradiate someone unnecessarily….

Or you could cause permanent damage to a patient if you let an untrained person loose on them with a dental drill or a scalpel or a pair of extraction forceps?

It’s just not the right sort of thing to be doing…

It’s just not the right sort of thing to be doing…

One of the most harmful and stupid things I see dental practice owners doing is letting untrained staff use expensive equipment that through its misuse, can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to a dental practice….

On a monthly basis.

Which works out being millions of dollars wasted on an annual basis.

And the sad part about this damage is that dentists kind of know that it goes on, but for some reason they condone the behaviour because they feel that it’s kind of OK to be doing it?

If you wouldn’t let an unskilled employee use a dental drill…

If you wouldn’t let an unskilled and untrained employee use a dental drill, then why would you allow an unskilled and untrained employee to answer your dental practice phones?

There’s more to answering a dental practice phone than just saying:


There’s more to answering a dental practice phone than just saying:

“I haven’t got anything available with Dr Jones for six weeks.”

There’s more to answering a dental practice phone than just saying:

“We’re very busy because of the backlog from the lockdown.”

There’s more to answering a dental practice phone than just saying:

What did you say your name was again?”

The role of a dental practice receptionist is to listen, empathise, and solve.

Yet so many times when I call dental practices, and when I hear recordings of dental practice phone calls, I hear receptionists who do not listen, rarely empathise, and fail to find solutions.

Either one.

Or two.

And sometimes three strikes.

Over and out.

Every caller to a dental practice is calling to make an appointment. They’ve already decided that they want to come to your practice.

That’s why they’re phoning your practice.

They’ve already done their research.

If they were wanting to go to another practice, they’d be on the phone to that other practice.

And yet I hear so many dental receptionists who have no understanding of this…

A new patient enquiry is a gift of treatment, and money and future referrals…

And all we need to do is listen to the caller, empathise with them about their dental issue, and find a suitable solution…

And then we’ve become their new best friend.

The trouble is….

No dentist ever walks up to a patient untrained, and unskilled and cuts a three unit bridge prep in five minutes.

They need to learn how to hold a drill, and manipulate a drill and use it efficiently and carefully, and effectively, to achieve an optimal result.

They need to review their preps and make notes on what they did well, and what they could do better next time….

And the time after that.

And the time after that.

And the time after that and after that and after that… and so on…

And yet most dental practice owners have no idea what’s being said on their practice phones.

They don’t know what’s being asked by callers.

And they don’t know what’s being said by employees [unless the dentist just happens to be walking past the reception desk while the receptionist is answering the phone… which isn’t often, and isn’t the full picture anyway]

Because the phone calls aren’t being recorded and aren’t being listened to by an expert, there are literally rivers of dollars flowing out of a dental practice every day because unskilled and untrained employees are being let loose on the general public by being allowed to answer the dental practice phones.

Here’s a true story…

I once heard recordings of the same caller phoning a dental practice twice, ten minutes apart, and enquiring about tooth whitening both times. The phone was answered by a different employee on each occasion. On both occasions, the caller received a detailed answer to her question.

But on both occasions the answers were different, despite the enquiry being the same.

And on both occasions, the result of the phone call was the same.

The caller did not schedule an appointment at the end of either phone call….

Here’s another true story…

I heard a phone call recording where a caller said:

“I’ve just been told that I need five implants. I’ve not been to your practice before but I’ve been recommended to go to you guys by one of my friends who goes there.”

And the receptionist said:

“I haven’t got any appointments available for six weeks. We’re fully booked.”

The receptionist could have answered that call in so many other ways that would have been better than saying:

“I haven’t got any appointments available for six weeks. We’re fully booked.”

Did that receptionist listen?

Did she empathise?

Did she solve the caller’s problem?

Strike One. Strike Two. Strike Three.

Did that referred patient wanting to spend $20K-$25K on implants make an appointment with that dentist?

Sadly not….

It’s not just the stupidity and the ignorance….

It’s not just the stupidity and the ignorance being displayed here that gets me…. Sometimes I wonder about the emotional trauma inflicted upon the unsuspecting caller who really only wants to make an appointment and get started on their treatment.

I can’t imagine how bad these callers end up feeling when their enquiry about an appointment is SLAPPED DOWN so arrogantly like this…

And I’m not sure whether this behaviour is a rehearsed display of power and arrogance, or whether it’s a frustration created by an inability to structure an appointment schedule effectively to accommodate these enquiries.

The answer is that this sort of behaviour needs to quickly be UNLEARNED  and a replacement behaviour needs to taught and substituted IMMEDIATELY, before the practice haemorrhages itself and bleeds itself to death [financially speaking].

If a hamburger chain can…

If a hamburger chain can train teenagers to ask all patrons routinely whether they’d like to supersize their meals or whether they’d like an apple pie, then surely a dental practice employee can learn and become disciplined in the conversational techniques required to listen, empathise and solve for a phone call enquiry to the dental practice.

The financial benefit to a dental practice that outsources the education of their front of house representatives is far greater in orders of magnitude than the investment made in that outsourced specialised training.

We all know that a dental receptionist doesn’t try to tell a dentist how to do a three unit bridge prep.

After all, she’s never had to cut teeth for a living.

Yet in that same vein, a dentist shouldn’t really be trying to tell a dental receptionist how to better answer all of the different types of telephone enquiries to the practice, should they?

After all, he’s never had to answer the phone all day, every day, day in and day out, for a living….

But the dentist often says:

“How hard can it really be?”

From our data, the answer is:

“It can be, and I,s quite hard…”

The answer is…

The answer is that from our observations we see these truths:

No matter how badly you think your dental practice phones are being answered, it’s always worse.


No matter how well you think your dental practice phones are being answered, it’s always worse.

When you hire a professional to fix your phones…

When you hire a professional to fix your phones, there’s always an immediate positive financial benefit purely and simply because the professional knows what to look for. But the professional also knows how to get the best long term sustainable results, too.

And the professional also knows how to gather the low hanging fruit for immediate improvement.

And isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Improvement? And results?


LIVE Workshop: Dr David Moffet and Jayne Bandy:

“How To Easily Run, Maintain And Grow The Ultimate Dental Practice In 2022 and Beyond”

If you’re sick and tired of drilling all day long, and not having anything close to what you deserve, to show for it… or if you’ve ever wondered, “What can successful dentists POSSIBLY know, that I don’t?”… then register for this LIVE workshop Thursday February 24, 2022 in Melbourne, VIC

Click here for more details.


Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link:

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email  for more details.


Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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