Escape The Dental Chair – Dr. Mark Costes, DDS

Reimagining the Dental Practice: Three Radical Ways to Escape the Chair

The concept of a dental practice can spark stark imagery of cold, clinical walls and the dreaded dental chair. However, dentist professionals aren’t resigned to an existence spent merely in the operatory. Modern dental practice owners are beginning to realize the potential to redefine their profession. It’s a transformation from a mere ‘service’ to a comprehensive, engaging, and value-driven experience for patients and practitioners alike.

In this article, we’ll explore three transformational avenues. Each is a radical move that takes dental professionals away from the austerity of standard practice and into a future where the business of dentistry is as vibrant and diverse as the smiles they create. This is not just a theoretical exercise but a practical guide on how to execute these ideas, providing step-by-step insights into each venture.

A Breath of Fresh Process: The Procedural Overhaul

The ‘process’ is the lifeblood of any dental practice, but the clinical and administrative procedures that keep the gears turning can, at times, be the very ‘straitjackets’ that confine productivity and creativity. The key to breaking free is reevaluation. It might seem daunting to change systems that have been in place for years, but the potential benefits are too great to ignore.

Break Down Bottlenecks

Start by identifying where your office seems to ‘bottle up.’ This often occurs at the junction of patient intake, diagnosis, and the actual procedures. Streamlining these processes with digital tools like patient management software can smoothen the workflow, save time, and allow for a more efficient patient experience.

Lean Methodology

Adopt the principles of Lean Six Sigma, focusing on reducing waste and creating a synchronous operation. This often includes better inventory management, recognizing which procedures take the most time, and finding ways to optimize them.

Technology Integration

Bringing in new technology can be intimidating, but it’s often the catalyst for efficiency. Whether it’s digital radiography, 3D scanning for impressions, or AI tools for diagnosis, the integration of technology can lead to quicker, more accurate results, benefiting both practice and patients.

By rethinking how you do what you do, you can find yourself with more time and energy to dedicate to growing your practice in new and exciting ways.

Membership Has Its Benefits: The BoomCloud Effect

The concept of a dental membership may sound revolutionary, but it’s already been successfully deployed in many practices with explosive results. Programs like BoomCloud provide the infrastructure to set up and manage dental membership plans easily, allowing dental practices to offer an in-house solution for patients without dental insurance.

Designing a Membership Plan

Launch a membership program that appeals to both your patient base and your practice’s needs. This could come in the form of different tiers, offering various levels of care, or specialized plans for specific demographics.

Marketing and Sales

Connecting with patients on the benefits of membership often starts with quality marketing content. Highlight the long-term cost savings, additional perks like discounts on cosmetic procedures, and the peace of mind that comes with consistent care.

The Administrative Advantage

For many patients, a membership plan simplifies the financial side of dental care. For your practice, this often results in more predictable revenue streams, increased patient loyalty, and the ability to foster stronger patient-doctor relationships.

The membership route is more than just a new way of billing; it’s a testament to your adaptability and commitment to providing a service that places value on continued care over one-time transactions.

Associate Escapes: Blazing New Paths in Practice Expansion

Hiring associates has been a standard move for practices looking to grow, but bringing in new dentists doesn’t have to equate to extending the status quo. By thoughtfully designing roles and expectations, new associates can offer fresh direction and even lead entire divisions of the practice without simply replicating the owner’s role.

Define the Role

It’s critical to clearly outline the responsibilities and expectations for each associate. Perhaps one focuses on orthodontics while the other specializes in pediatric care.

Team Synergy

Create an environment where each associate feels empowered to gain experience, take on leadership roles, and contribute to the overall practice vision. Regular team meetings can keep everyone aligned and allow associates to voice their perspectives.

Specialization Stations

Encourage and support your associates in creating their niches within the practice. Whether it’s spearheading community events or integrating new techniques, specialization can lead to a more diverse and appealing practice for patients.

Associate programs should be approached as partnerships designed not just to expand labor capability but to also enhance the overall knowledge base and growth potential of the practice.

Crafting Your Escape Plan

While these methods may seem like a significant departure from ‘how things have always been done,’ they all share the common goal of expanding one’s professional horizons within the dental field. The dental practice is evolving, and those that are nimble enough to adapt will not just survive, but thrive.

It’s important to reiterate the opportunity here; dentistry is not static. It can be an industry that’s as innovative and forward-thinking as any other. Embracing novel approaches to operation, service, and business structure is how you make your mark and, ultimately, how you escape the chair. Whether it’s through refining your practice’s processes, offering membership models, or reimagining staffing structures, the potential for growth and success is as abundant as the bright smiles you’ll help create along the way.

Begin with a Vision

The first step towards your escape is to envision what it might look like. Identify what you want to achieve and why. This clarity of purpose will guide your tactical decisions as you move forward.

Cultivate a Responsive Mindset

Change is rarely comfortable, but a mindset that accepts and even embraces it is vital. Continuously reassess your strategies and be open to adopting new technologies and methodologies that align with your vision.

Communicate Your Intentions Clearly

Whether it’s with your team, your patients, or potential hires, be clear about the ‘why’ behind your changes. A transparent path of communication can garner essential buy-in, leading to smoother transitions and more enthusiastic participation.

The future of dentistry is not confined to the chair; it’s dynamic, multifaceted, and ripe for innovation. It’s up to practice owners to champion this change and create an environment where both patients and professionals can flourish. With these radical divergences from the traditional, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible. For those willing to step out and make their escape from the status quo, the potential is limitless.

Download "The Million Dollar Membership Plan" E-book!

Learn tactics and strategies from practices that have built a million dollars in recurring revenue from their membership subscriptions alone! Creating a patient membership plan is the smartest strategy to implment in your practice. You will increase patient satisfaction & loyalty, Increase predictable recurring revenue & improve your case acceptence by 3X with members. Download the book Now!