Date ArticleType
12/8/2014 Insights

Less Stress, More Profit for Your Dental Practice

Less Stress, More Profit for Your Dental Practice
by Roger Levin, DDS

When dentists enter the profession, they often hear from their experienced colleagues that stress comes with the job, and that it increases in proportion to production. Fortunately, neither of these myths about dentistry is true.

Causes of stress
Most stress results from disorganization in the practice, which usually indicates outdatedmanagement systems. When a practice’s systems are plagued by inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, it’s almost impossible for any doctor – no matter how skilled or motivated – to rise above those limitations. As high achievers, however, most dentists will try to push through, which causes their stress levels to skyrocket.

Crucial systems
Instead of continuing to struggle in less-than-ideal conditions, doctors need to take a step back to evaluate and replace management systems that are no longer working. Where should they begin?

Levin Group has identified the following “9 Areas of Expertise” that dental practices must master:

  1. Production
  2. Collections
  3. Team building
  4. Scripting
  5. Case acceptance
  6. New patient experience
  7. Hygiene
  8. Scheduling
  9. Marketing

By implementing systems in each of these areas (or replacing obsolete systems with new ones), dentists can increase production while reducing pressure on themselves and their team members.   

Successful scheduling
One system that has a considerable impact on stress levels is scheduling. It affects nearly every aspect of practice operations. Poorly constructed schedules can have devastating results – frustrated patients, lost production, and a chaotic work environment. Time is a finite resource, so the better it’s managed, the more successful the practice will be.

From one day to the next, the schedule’s format should be very similar. Mornings should be reserved for long, high-revenue procedures that make up most of the day’s production goal. Afternoons can then be filled with simple procedures. A high-performance scheduling system also uses 10-minute units (rather than 15) to accurately time appointments and allow more scheduling flexibility. This type of schedule keeps everyone on a steady but not frantic pace, which empowers the practice to meet daily production goals.

  Dr. Roger P. Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the Chairman and CEO of Levin Group, Inc., the largest dental practice consulting firm in the world. Levin Group was founded in 1985 when Dr. Levin recognized a vital missing link that was preventing his fellow dentists and specialists from increasing practice production. As a leading authority on dental practice management and marketing, he has developed the scientific systems-based consulting method that will rapidly increase practice production and profitability, while lowering stress.