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How to Run a Successful Dental Practice

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Stephanie Davis

When it comes to owning a small business, one of the most common fears is “what happens if I fail?” While nobody ever wants their small business to fail, it’s, unfortunately, something that does happen.

A dentist giving a high-five to his patient.

The same is true when it comes to dental practices. The success of your dental practice doesn’t depend solely on your patients; you also need to keep factors that affect your employees in mind as well.

How to Be Successful for Your Patients

Without patients coming into your dental practice, you wouldn’t even have a successful business. To ensure that you have a business for many years, there are many things you need to do to make your patients want to come back, and refer you to everyone they know.

  • Think outside the traditional 9-5 window. With most medical offices, it’s common to operate within standard working hours. However, mid-day appointments can be challenging for people to fit into their schedules, and therefore they end up prolonging annual checkups. By offering flexible hours, such as evenings and weekends, this could boost patient traffic to your practice.
  • Expand your services. Perhaps due to staffing or the size of your practice, you are limited by the services you offer. By branching out and offering new things you can attract and retain more patients. This could be in the form of cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and veneers, or even just more complicated dental procedures. Bonus tip: if you use SurePayroll for your dental payroll needs, you can track the services you offer by categorizing them in the form of units in your payroll so you can track all of the services your employees are performing.
  • Flexible payment options. When it comes to medical services, patients tend to dread the bill and paying for services can be challenging. The first step in making things easier for your patients is to accept multiple insurances. With many options for dental insurance, you can have more patients by offering more coverage. When it comes to paying for something outside of insurance, people like to have options for payment, whether that be by check, credit card, or a debit card. Additionally, due to how expensive some procedures can be, offering options for a payment plan will be a strong way to win patients over.
  • Get online and stay engaged. In today’s digital world, it’s necessary for all businesses to have some type of online presence. This rings true for dentists as well. By being online, you can interact and engage with your patients and share important information about your practice easily. Online marketing is necessary to share your dental practice with others and attract new patients. Additionally, having a patient portal on your website would be helpful so they can check in on payments they owe, scheduling appointments, or emailing you with questions.

How to Be Successful For Your Employees

Just as you wouldn’t have a dental practice without patients, you can’t operate your practice on your own without any help from employees. It’s important to keep your employees in mind as you work on making your dental practice the most successful it can be, as they can help you get to that point.

  • Have a positive office culture. The quickest way to lose employees is to have a toxic office culture. Nobody wants to work in an environment where they aren’t appreciated or supported. By creating a fun environment, and you show you support your employees, you’ll have employees who genuinely want to come to work and can boost employee engagement.
  • Be realistic about growth. While growing your practice and offering new services is great for the clients, make sure that it’s going to benefit your employees as well. You don’t want them to be overloaded and so overworked that they become victims of burnout.
  • Offer proper training. Building on the previous point, if you begin offering new services, it’s important to provide any necessary training to your staff. In addition to being trained on services, it’s important that your staff is trained on how to have the best interactions with your clients, including how to handle any patient conflicts. Your staff is a reflection of your practice, and any of their actions can reflect on you, whether that’s positive or negative.

Bottom Line

Success doesn’t happen overnight and takes on various forms. As cliché as it may be, success doesn’t mean the same things to everyone and what success means to one person may be completely different for another. By first outlining what success means to your dental practice, you can take the necessary steps to reach that goal. Just remember to keep in mind all of the people that are apart of your journey, and take the time to thank them while you continue on your path.


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