Three Things You Need To Run A Successful Dental Office

The biggest problem solo Dental Practice owners have is running their businesses while at the same time needing to have to be producing the dentistry.

Whenever a Dentist/Owner is treating patients he’s working “in his business”.

Only when he’s not with patients does he have the opportunity to work “on his business”, to manage and direct his business and those employed by the business in the direction he wants the business to go.

And the two are really mutually exclusive.

Because to do both jobs well, there has to be distinct delineation in times allocated to each of these two roles.

An owner Dentist cannot be barking out orders and instructions to staff members and the like while at the same time be providing an Ultimate Patient Experience for the paying customer he is treating.

Because it just wouldn’t be an *Experience* at all for the customer.

Or it would be an Experience that the Customer would want to forget in a hurry…

In traditional business, the owner has a more managerial role, walking the floor of the business ensuring all his employees are carrying on their daily duties and tasks without any snags or difficulties.

It’s a very supervisory role.

In Dentistry, as an owner and a Dentist, the dentist must not only supervise and manage the activities of his team, he is also required to perform the dentistry and the treatments.

Because when the dentistry is not being performed, in a one Dentist Office the wheels stop spinning.

Collections, and income come to a grinding halt.


It’s with this thought in mind that Dentists need to be sure that they have the best and most proficient people working on their teams for them.

It’s important that the Dental Office employs people who know their roles and what’s expected of them at times when they are working on their own.

Employees who know that while and whenever the Dentist is treating patients, that their job and their duties need to be performed in as diligent and proficient manner as if the Dentist had been standing there beside them.

Sadly, because of the very nature of dentistry, it’s difficult for some to comprehend the appropriate mindset required at times when the Dentist is not treating patients, both during the day as well as at times when the Dentist is absent from the practice.

And sometimes the Dentist is guilty of setting this sort of tone themselves.

Sometimes the Dentist goes “looking for a chat” with team members at times when he has no patients to see.

And so the distraction of relaxation, of this moment of Down Time, can be taken as a sign that it’s OK to do less than best at times.

“After all, the Doc has down time?”

“Why can’t we have it to?”

As an owner, it’s difficult to know where the line needs to be drawn between being the boss and being a distraction in this situation.

The one thing that is most important is that customers of the Dental Practice deserve the Finest of Attention at all times.

When they walk in to make an appointment, they need to be made to feel that the practice is operating at its best.

At it’s optimal.

And not having to wind itself up just because a patient has come through the door.

The same goes for when the phone rings.

Patients must never be allowed to feel like they are an unpleasant interruption to someone else’s day.

However, with all the distractions of cell phones and social media that are around these days, it’s very hard for everybody to always maintain a productivity focus on the goals and mission of the business for every moment that they are being paid to work.

A good employer, a good workplace, will have clear and distinct guidelines and policies that create and reinforce the expectations of the organisation during both busy and less busy times.

As a solo Dentist Owner, you can’t be making things up along the way.

Nor can you be seen to be reversing behaviours and inventing policies after the fact.

Being a Dentist Owner is a tough task.

Most dentists just want to go in and drill teeth and go home.

And not have to deal with the businessy stuff.

The best Dental Offices I know are run well because there are firm policies, there are clear expectations and there is exemplary leadership.

Those that I see that are not being run well are deficient in at least one of these areas.

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.

Email me at

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