It can be tempting to increase fees – the economic indicators are up, many practices are seeing improvements in new patients, treatment acceptance, etc. Understandably, some are asking, “When can I increase my fees?” Since 2008, many dentists have chosen to forego the standard 3-5% annual fee increases that were common in the pre-recession years. By now a fair number want to get back on track with routine increases.
But it’s a whole new world out there, and the old standards no longer apply. Today, fees should be based on your actual overhead, expenses, patient base, your individual level of professional expertise, and debt. Don’t establish your fees based on the dentist down the hall or across the street.
Additionally, be honest with where you truly stand on the skill continuum. Newer dentists simply do not perform dentistry at the same speed as more experienced doctors. For these doctors, what they don’t have in speed they can make up in relationship building. And one thing is true across the board – the doctors who are successful in today’s economy have a relationship with their patients. They are focused on providing the level of dentistry that achieves the greatest return for the patient. After all, when patients have a good relationship with their dentist, they don’t question the fee.