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Everything Dental Blog – November 2015


Have you reached your Tipping Point?

As we approach the end of 2015 we must operate with one eye on the prize and the other on opportunity for 2016. This is a critical time of year for all businesses. Most of us are trying to close the year on a positive note while putting the finishing touches on our game plan and goal setting for the upcoming year. All businesses must evolve by embracing change and technology while concentrating on profitability. Growth is not an option; it’s is a requirement to survive and thrive in our perspective businesses.

I often travel across the country participating in various educational and industry functions. I’ve meet thousands of dentist’s in addition to the 120 I currently serve in the Hudson valley of New York. I have seen what works in a dental environment and what does not. Here are fifteen ways to grow your practices relevance and revenue generation.

  1. Pro-active fee balancing
  2. Work more hours
  3. Improve operational and clinical efficiency
  4. Offer a larger menu of services
  5. Increase your new patient numbers
  6. Practice Same Day Dentistry
  7. Market your practice and services traditionally and on the web
  8. Negotiate insurance reimbursement
  9. Fine tune and improve financial systems
  10. Treatment plan and produce comprehensive dentistry
  11. Communicate simple, easy and agreeable patient payment options (know your third party rates and fees)
  12. Reduce human capital costs
  13. Merge, acquire or build another facility
  14. Hire a practice management consultant
  15. Provide a great patient experience with incredible customer service!

Dentistry is beginning to/currently tipping on several fronts. Most experts including Malcom Gladwell (author of the best seller – Tipping Point) believe that the tipping point occurs when the adoption rate is somewhere north of 17% to 20%. As explained by Malcolm Gladwell, the tipping point is that moment when the early majority pulls the trigger, and we see massive change over a period of just a few years. I have seen this happen with dental materials, equipment and technology. I was around when composites were not the restoration of choice and film was king. I remember pioneering sonic and cavitation devices because hygienists preferred hand scaling. Twenty five years ago steam sterilizers were seldom used or owned and the average dental office was not computerized. However, the biggest change of all was the adoption of digital radiography. Today, over 70% of all USA dental facilities use digital radiography (sensors or phosphorous plates).

Trending towards or already Tipped:

  • PPO saturation (dominant form of insurance and patient dental benefit)
  • Digital Impressioning
  • Cad/Cam – Computer Aided Design (scanning and design)/ Computer Aided Manufacturing (milling)
  • The movement towards Total Health (emphasis on preventive dentistry)
  • Same Day Dentistry (do the procedures on the day they are diagnosed)
  • Growth of small groups. They already represents 20% of the dental landscape
  • Management enterprise software programs that deliver key performance/production indicators and categorical dashboards which provide businesses the data they need to manage and execute pro-actively
  • Implants are being treatment planned in lieu of dentures but the denture business is still robust because of the Boomers and cost
  • Multi-specialty services under one roof
  • Laser dentistry (hard and soft tissue lasers) is omnipresent
  • Patient communication software (e-mail/text/constant contact) – to appoint/confirm and reactivate patients is the preferred communication today
  • Social media cannot be ignored – Your online reputation is your reputation!
  • Web based training (on demand) is the preferred method for obtaining clinical and practice management continuing education credit
  • Virtual office services and process outsourcing is gaining traction for dentists looking to expand their administration/management capabilities while reducing or controlling human capital costs
  • Electronic ordering is the norm and preferred method for ordering dental supplies and consumables today. Companies like Schein reward this behavior with a loyalty program
  • Going chartless (paper-less) is on the “to do” list for thousands of dental offices
  • Movement towards 3D imaging is accelerating at a rate no one expected because of the digital workplace revolution
  • Dental management programs like the Dental Business Institute are providing the tools dentist need to run a small business or group practice.


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