Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Will Your Dental Practice Survive?


What a great question. We all dream of long and successful careers but forces beyond our control often derail or demoralize the dream. Just 10 years ago the industry leaders were all preaching “fee for service” and look how fast that changed. Now it is all about managing the patients insurance to maximize benefit expenditures. Regulation, annual registrations, OSHA, HIPAA and more are consuming time and revenue. What is going to happen over the next 10 years, where will your dental practice be? You could be a windshield or a bug.

The Windshield and the Bug … Your driving along the NJ Turnpike and SPLAT! After a moment of silence, you hit your washer switch and the mess is gone. But what just happened, the bug didn’t see you coming and the windshield was put in place to prevent a collision with your face. The healthcare industry is flying down the highway and you don’t want to be the bug. It is time to start thinking, the changes are inevitable.

Changes … The climate has been changing for billions of years. Like a wave it has peaks and valleys and as long as the earth exists I don’t see that changing. The practice of dentistry has also been changing over the years. 20 years ago the federal government enacted the “Clean Water Act” and we couldn’t dump developer and fixer down the drain. For those of us of more tender years, that’s what we used to develop xray film. Today, students graduating dental school don’t know how to develop film or what a PeriPro is. They also never heard of a NuvaLight or the difference between dispersed phase and spherical blend amalgams. Change happens and the last 25 years has been amazing, so where are we going and where are you now?

Where are You Now? … Another great question! The introduction of 3D printers into dentistry is the next step. The software is ready, the equipment is ready, and now the materials are starting to come into the dental market place. In a short while you will be able to “print out” temporary crowns and (invisalign style) aligning brackets. Yesterday’s future is today, it’s time to engage.

It’s Time to Engage … As a modern dentist you need to invest time in learning new techniques and procedures. As a modern business owner you need to reinvest in your business and utilize the new technologies to support clinical advancements. From digital impression scanners to CBT to insurance management, it all starts with your information (computer) network.

Your Information Network … You used to have a computer network but today you need to change that terminology and think of it as an “information network”. The paperless world is here and your network needs to be able to handle and store all the data that will be required to maintain your dental practice records. This will cost money as upgrades and support services become necessary and you have to include these costs into you quarterly and annual budgets. This starts with a comprehensive review of your computer hardware and a discussion of what will be needed over the next 5 years. This is a “today” conversation with an informed professional. How far are you behind the curve. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


October 29, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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