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12 July, 2021

7 Ways to Improve your Dental Practice Profits

There are nearly 200,000 dentists operating in the U.S. and the American Dental Association predicts this number will grow in the years ahead.

It is safe to say that each one of these dentists wants to do everything possible to limit expenses and grow revenue. In order to run a successful dental practice, it is imperative that owners and managers of dental offices run a lean operation and emphasize the need for identifying new revenue sources and cutting expenses.

There are numerous ways to boost your dental practice revenues.

Here are just some ways that your dental business can maximize revenues to ensure you operate a successful practice for years to come.

7 Ways to Boost Your Dental Practice Revenues

1)     Increase Your Capacity to do More Dentistry

The more patients you treat per hour, the more income you generate for your practice. So increasing the capacity of your business is essential. You can pull this off by adding another treatment room or hygiene room, supplementing your administrative staff, or bringing on another dentist or hygienist.

One obvious way to increase revenue is to put the spotlight on efficiency. By improving your systems, you can create more time to carry out your dental treatments for your patients. Some examples include shortening room set-up time, streamlining the sterilization process, and expediting the dental procedures through organization.

 2)     Include More High Profit Procedures in Your Treatment Repertoire

Which procedures have a higher profit margin?  They include implants, endodontics, porcelain veneers, and crowns and bridges. These dental procedures typically generate more profit than your standard care treatments.

Keep in mind the efficiency of these various procedures when you consider which ones to add to your practice. For example, just because a service comes with a higher fee, it doesn’t automatically translate into more profits.  If a procedure takes too much time or has too high a cost to provide that service relative to the fee charged, then you are not increasing your profit margin.

It is important to add procedures that are efficient to carry out and make your practice money.

3)     Accept More Patients into Your Practice

New patients in a dental practice means growth, and growth is exciting. Increasing the number of patients treated at your dental practice is sure to boost your revenue. In fact, expanding the number of patients is one of the first options you should consider when thinking of ways to bring more money into the business.

One key way of adding to your patient rolls is by leveraging marketing. If you have been gradually building your patient base, you should have the necessary funds to put toward modest marketing initiatives to acquire even more patients.

By already having identified ways to increase capacity, you have laid the groundwork for bringing more patients into your practice. This extra time you now have enables you to fit more patients into your daily and weekly schedules.

 4)     Increase Your Case Acceptance Rate

Typically, dentists have a case acceptance rate of 20 percent to 30 percent. This low rate translates into seven to eight out of 10 new patients each month who did not receive the dental treatment that was required or recommended.

So if you extend your case acceptance rate to 60 percent to 70 percent, then you can double revenue with those same number of patients.

Increasing your case acceptance rate is best executed by having the collaboration of your staff to motivate your patients to have the necessary treatments done that will boost your revenue.  For example, convince patients of how important the necessary treatment is and include your entire team in this effort. If you persuade your patients to want these dental treatments, they will more likely find ways to pay for them.

When you approach patients about these important oral health treatments, don’t educate them as opposed to reaching them on an emotional level. For instance, you could bring up aspects that include having a nicer smile, being able to chew better, avoiding cavities, and not having to worry about bleeding gums, etc. When you boil down the treatments to how they will affect patients in their every-day lives, they will be more motivated to agree to them.

 5)     Expand Responsibilities of Your Dental Assistants

You could improve your revenue stream by more effectively leveraging the skills of your dental assistants. In order to have a successful dental practice, do what you can to evolve the role of your dental assistants in ways that transcend their standard responsibilities.

In addition to their traditional duties, have your dental assistants ensure patient comfort and assist dentists. They can also take x-rays, apply sealants, conduct coronal polishing for hygiene patients, etc.

You will experience increased productivity at your practice by employing dental assistants who carry out a higher level of care.

 6)     Be Less Dependent on Dental Insurance

Insurance carriers have a way of sometimes suppressing your profits. In some instances, insurance companies dictate the prices you can establish for dental treatments.

Instead of being so reliant on insurance companies, you can create your own in-house membership program that makes it possible for patients to pay your practice a monthly or annual membership. This program allows patients to earn structured benefits at your dental practice.

It comes down to your practice creating an alternative option that is less dependent on the middleman, or insurance companies. In turn, your practice establishes greater loyalty with patients, and you are able to accurately diagnose issues, provide excellent quality dental care, and generate consistent revenue.

 7)     Maximize Your Customer Service System

Having good customer service – creating happy patients – can produce benefits that ripple throughout your entire dental practice. Positive reviews will help your practice cultivate a stellar reputation. Conversely, negative reviews can lead to losing patients and result in plummeting revenues.

It is fiscally advantageous to retain current patients as acquiring new ones tends to be more expensive. In fact, bringing on a new patient can be six to seven times costlier than retaining a current one.

One effective way to retain current patients is establishing a foundation of core expectations that holds your entire staff – from the dentists to the receptionists – accountable for providing outstanding customer service. Maintaining these high standards for positive patient interactions will support a practice’s marketing efforts by ensuring patients are satisfied and motivated to leave glowing reviews, and share their sentiments with other people in their lives.

The DrillDown Solution team has helped dentists improve their practice management leading to higher profits for over 5 years. They have built systems that are proven to help grow dental businesses and increase personal freedom. This brief overview is just the start of what is possible; small changes in these 7 key areas will heighten the growth of your practice profits!

Drilldown Solution Can Help Your Dental Practice Optimize Your Profits

At Drilldown Solution, we are all about helping dentists continue to own their practices and showing them how oral health and profit are paired together for the betterment of both dentists and their patients’ health.

Drilldown Solution offers a full suite of financial services that includes bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation. We have the expert team to help any dental business thrive, even under the current COVID-19 pandemic circumstances. We accomplish this strategy with a three-part system comprised of patient-experience excellence, financial focused operations, and accountability.

Our goal at Drilldown Solution is to put your dental business in the best financial position possible, utilizing proactive processes and personal care!

Note: The material and contents provided in this article are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

Ed Gabriel, CPA is President of DrillDown Solution and a graduate of Brigham Young University. His clients benefit from over 40 years of experience in maximizing profits, minimizing taxes and putting them in the best financial position possible.