5 Common Mistakes Dental Practices Should Avoid

by Dr. Megan Peterson Boyle

Running a dental practice isn’t all about how good you are at performing a wide array of dental procedures.

While being renowned for your expertise will always be great, there are other things you need to consider to ensure your dental practice’s success on all fronts.

Whether you’re offering regular dental services or advanced cosmetic dentistry, avoiding the following mistakes would be a great start:

1. Not Treating The Practice Like A Small Business

Many dentists make the mistake of thinking that all they must do is perform dental procedures to be successful. They tend to forget that their practice also happens to be a small business with plenty of moving parts to tend to daily.

If you want your dental practice to thrive, always treat it as a small business. You need a full understanding of every aspect of its operations, from the way your front office entertains patients to the back office’s accounting and record-keeping practices.

By knowing all areas of your dental business like the back of your hand, you will know which parts need improvement so that you can serve your clientele better.

2. Not Investing in Training

You may be attending seminars, conventions, and trade shows as part of your continuing education, but what about your staff?

Keep in mind that you need your team to be capable of, say, assisting you on a new procedure your practice is offering. Without providing sufficient budget and time to train your team on the procedure, how can you expect them to ably assist you when you’re doing it for real?

By investing in their continuing education, you will have a team updated on the latest trends and technology in dentistry and equipped with the skills and knowledge to help you provide your patients with the best service possible.

3. Not Being Concerned About The Staff’s Smiles

If you were a patient, how much confidence would you have in a dental practice staffed by people with crooked or yellowish teeth?

Your staff, especially those tending the front office, represent your dental practice to patients. They’re the ones who spend the most time with them, talking them up and making them feel comfortable before they sit in the dentist’s chair.

If your staff members have unattractive smiles, they will likely turn patients off and make them think twice about spending their money on your services.

If any member of your team has smile issues, you might want to consider investing in improving their smiles with simple and quick procedures. That way, they’ll be facing patients with smiles that will inspire confidence in your skills.

4. Having A Bad Chairside Manner

Many people already suffer from dental anxiety. You won’t be helping them overcome their fear of the dentist if your chairside manner is horrible enough to give them a bad experience.

One common complaint is the way some dentists become judgmental of a patient’s current dental state. They shame, even scold, their patients for neglecting their teeth, which makes patients uncomfortable at the very least. Others are downright offended, sometimes to the point of leaving without finishing the checkup and never coming back, ever. They are even likely to write bad reviews of that practice online.

Then there are dentists who think of their patients as nothing more than a set of teeth that needs fixing. They make no effort to make their patients feel comfortable and relaxed and just proceed to do their work. Some even just leave their patients abruptly without even informing them that the procedure’s finished.

It wouldn’t hurt to smile at patients and engage them in small talk to help them relax. It also helps to ask them about their past dental experiences and listen to their answers with utmost sincerity.

When you build a reputation for having a super chairside manner, patients will likely keep coming back to your practice for their dental care.

5. Not Putting an Effort Toward Marketing

Some dentists think they don’t need to market their practice, but reality begs to differ.

The competition among dental practices these days is so intense that dental marketing has become as crucial to their success as the dental procedures themselves.

Considering that most people now search the Internet for the products and services they need, dentists must have a dental practice website to have any chance of being seen online. A presence on social media will also help promote their business.

In an increasingly digital world, failing to market your dental practice online will probably be one of the biggest mistakes you will make.

These are just some of the mistakes that many dental practices make. If you think you’re making some of them, then you might want to work on that.

It’s natural to make mistakes, and they provide us an opportunity to learn and improve. For dental practices that commit some of the mistakes listed above, it is never too late to make the necessary adjustments to achieve those business goals.

About the Author

Dr. Megan Peterson Boyle is the lead cosmetic dentist with Dental Studio 101 in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is focused on providing anxiety-free cosmetic dentistry services including Invisalign, dental implants, dental crowns and cosmetic fillings. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends and family.

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