Feeling Frustrated? You aren’t alone.

Dental practices seem to be thriving once again, yet owners are now feeling that don’t have control of their own futures. The litany of reasons for this is as long as most “grocery lists” but there are some recurring frustrations that keep popping up.

Frustration Number One: There has been zero increase in income over the last two years while all costs have increased. Solution Number One: This is true, that all expenses have increased. Salaries and Sundries are usually the culprits so you may feel that slimming down your team member numbers or purchasing less your answer. This is not the answer. You will want to look at the reasons your income hasn’t increased by looking at your internal systems. Perhaps your systems that were running so well before March 2020 have taken a battering with team changes or modifications and if they were great before they may need sharpening again to continue growth. Ensure that you are measuring growth in ways that are more than your bottom line, know the smaller numbers as well to see which systems need a tune up or even an overhaul.

Frustration Number Two: Success isn’t what you thought it would be when you started out. You feel that you are “spinning your wheels” and are stuck in quicksand. Solution Number Two: It’s frustrating for sure but have you been concentrating on all your new skills and offerings without keeping a watch on the basics in your office. Set your goals for production and find the number you need to cover all your expenses and so that you are taking home what you need to support your lifestyle. If this number is greater than you are achieving now you will have to look at your own production along with others in the practice. If there are associates in the office, they should know there are expectations on their production in line with their experience levels. The hygienists should be producing between $190 and $210 per hour when you look at their scaling, polish and fluoride codes. Production success should not be solely on the owners’ shoulders, it should be shared by all providers.

Frustration Number Three: It may not seem like it to others, but dentistry is physically debilitating as you contort your body for hours every day in unnatural positions. Solution Number Three: This seems straight forward, ensure that you take a break each day miday, stretch, have some nutrition and give yourself a short mental break. Working straight through may seem more productive but it will shorten your career and cut down on your production as you tire through the day. Keep your neck, shoulders, back, chest and hands healthy by therapists who understand the specifics of dentist’s working positions. Don’t wait until you have a problem to see a therapist(s), just as you tell you patients prevention is the key to long term success. Take care of your most important assets.

Frustration Number Four: You have been practicing for many years and you are feeling like it’s time to slow down or retire but you can’t see a way to maintain your current lifestyle. Solution Number Four: First off speak with your financial advisor, find the value of your assets and take the time to figure out what your budget would be if you’re retired. If you aren’t willing to cut back on your lifestyle, you may need to continue working. At this point, ensure that you are running your best asset (your practice) to its most efficient and effective self. Every system needs to be at the top of industry norm to increase the bottom line so that you can reach your goal. This may take two to five years of planning on your part, but it will be worth it when you finish your dental career.


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