The General Dental Practice
So you are a general dentist, and you recently bought a new practice. You have been there a few years now and are contemplating adding more to the list of services you provide to your patients of record and new patients. Or perhaps you have been in practice for many years and are considering making some changes. Either way, there are some things you may want to look at before making changes to your practice.
The first thing to ask yourself is, will the change be cost effective? This applies to hiring a consultant, adding new treatments, taking continuing educations courses, buying equipment, or training your staff. This article will focus on adding new treatment to what you already offer your patients.
In addition to the cost, you should also consider the following: will you get a return for the money you invest? The manufacturing companies selling the new program to you will paint the best picture possible. They are not going to tell you about the offices that have implemented the new treatment into their practice with little or no success, as that would put them out of business.
Think about what has made your practice successful. Is it your hygiene department, cosmetics, orthodontia, periodontal treatment, or implants? If you are a newer dentist to the practice, ask your staff (if you have maintained some of them). You may also be able to run a report to see what the production by provider was in the past, based on the American Dental Association codes.
In many software systems, you are able to enter specific dates that you want to base the report on, whether you want to look at five years prior to you starting or only two years. However, keep in mind the economic changes that have happened in the last few years.
Once you have this report you can determine where the highest percentage of revenue came from in your practice. This may be where you want to concentrate your expertise. If it is cosmetics, even if you are good at them, you may want to hone your skills and become even better. There is always room for improvement. The same is true with implants or any procedures. You might not even need to become better at the procedures themselves, but you may need to improve your verbiage and case presentation to the patients.
If periodontal treatment has been a big producer in your practice, you may want to send yourself and even your staff to some courses to help understand the disease even more and become better at presentation. This can be particularly important if you have had recent staff changes and existing team members are taking on new responsibilities to their job descriptions. Perhaps you and your team are not completely comfortable with presenting periodontal disease – it can certainly help case acceptance to implement specific verbiage regarding periodontal disease.
You do not want to spread yourself too thin with what you offer patients. It’s important to look at what you currently offer in your practice before adding more. Is the product you are looking at really within the scope of dentistry, or should it be in medical? If you are using a lot of medical codes rather than dental codes, this may be one of your first clues that it won’t be a good fit. Or it may be that you’re sitting on a gold mine and just don’t know it! Looking back at the past history of the practice will give you a great place to start.
Interested in improving your hygiene department? Email email@example.com and ask us about our 1-Day Hygiene Training Program or call 877-777-6151
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