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Home Insights & Advice Starting a dental practice: Here’s what you need to succeed

Starting a dental practice: Here’s what you need to succeed

by John Saunders

I know you spent a lot of years in college, probably took part in several major industry-related activities, and even spent some months, if not years, practicing as an intern. Now, you’ve gone full-blown, and you’re proud to be called a dentist.

Take a moment to appreciate yourself. Yours is such an amazing profession, which is why we don’t find too many dentists roaming the streets,

Are you done patting yourself on the back?

Now let’s talk business.

Being a qualified dental practitioner is not a sure-pass for success in the dental business. In fact, being knowledgeable in the field is just half the puzzle; knowing how to monetize your knowledge is how you solve the other half.

I know I’m no dentist and in no place to show you around in your profession. But I can share with you some tips for doing business – I’m guessing you don’t know too much about those (LOL).

So, read on to discover how you can become a successful dentist.

Know that you can’t do it alone

Although it is you who will deliver the dental service to patients, your front-desk employees will be responsible for doing most of the pre-and-post dental service operations. They will be the ones taking calls from clients, welcoming clients with a smile when they come to your office, booking apartments, and setting up meetings with you.

If your front-desk employees suck or perhaps you’ve hired guys that don’t have the most welcoming sense of humor, you can be sure that your dental business will be done before it’s even begun.

By and large, as much as you want to focus on the quality of service you’ll be delivering to patients, take your time to hire the best support systems so that the minor aspect of your business won’t be the doom of the major aspect.

Think outside your office

Nobody said you have to make money from dentistry by simply working in your office only. What about working in groups (with other providers), working part-time as a specialist in other hospitals (probably government-owned), or lending a hand to co-practitioners?

There are lots of ways to make money from the business; you just have to research the opportunities around you to find out which ones best suit your schedule.

Ease the challenge of client attraction with new technology

One of the fundamental challenges that most dental businesses face is the issue of client attraction. So, what can you do to make sure your dental business doesn’t suffer the same fate as most dentists in the field?

Think technology. Every year, newer technologies are hitting the industry. And these techs have an ability to help you nail connections with patients, as well as other dental providers. One of such technologies is teledentistry.

This technology facilitates both patient-provider and provider-provider communications so that people in the industry can connect with each other on frequent occasions – be it via dental education, crisis response, or group practice or DSO. By and large, you can use this technology to discover new patient opportunities. And patients can, in turn, discover you through it too.

To learn more about teledentistry, you can check out Mouthwatch’s overview of teledentistry.

Go online

Again on patient attraction. There is no denying that a large percentage of the global community is now online; dental patients included. So, instead of just sitting by your office desk waiting for the next guy with enamel issues to walk through the door, go online and push your business into the faces of those that need your service.

There are lots of marketing tools online today that dentists can use to get the word out about their profession. You will never know, there might be people out there suffering from that condition you’re so good at treating. By working out your digital marketing strategies, you’ll become discoverable to these people.

 Improve patient referrals

When it comes to growing your patient base, nothing beats a word-of-mouth referral. A trusted recommendation from a friend, family member, colleague, or even the internet can be the sole reason why a patient chooses your dental practice over another.

As great as patient referrals are, existing patients are busy with their own lives and don’t often think about supporting and growing your business. So, to help encourage patients to tell others about your services, you’ll need to be proactive in asking for patient referrals. You could hand out referral cards at the office, tuck cards into your practice mailings, offer a referral bonus program, provide patients with quick links to online review sites, or even incentivize employees to motivate them to grow your practice.

Upgrade your scheduling system

A quality dental scheduling system does more than just allow you to book appointments. It creates better patient flow, maximizes productivity, decreases stress for both patients and staff, and ultimately contributes to the superior customer service that your patients expect. That’s why you need to ensure your dental practice has the most flexible, efficient, and up-to-date scheduling software possible.

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