Dentaltown June 2019 - 75

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coordinator/office manager-to
figure out a way for the patient's treatment to fit into his or her budget. You
should have several options, including
third-party financing or a local bank
that works with your patients, as a
solution for treatment costs.
If they respond with "no," then circle
back and make sure patients fully
understand your recommendations
and why they need the treatment you're
recommending. Refrain from questions
like, "Do you understand what/why I
recommended?" because patients will
almost always say yes to this, even if
they don't understand, because saying
no implies they don't understand
or aren't intelligent enough to grasp
your explanations. A better question
to use is, "Did I explain that well?"
This allows the patient to freely say no
and for you to come up with another
explanation to the "what and why."

Evaluating
expenses
Expenses in the dental
practice are always more than
meets the eye. Sure, we have fi xed costs,
such as staff salaries, rent and materials;
however, I believe these are fi xed expenses
that quite often can't be changed or don't
greatly affect profitability. The commonly
misunderstood expenses I love to talk about
are down time/open chair time, procedure
times for the dentist and hygienist, lab
remake percentage, and procedures that
the dentist is performing that should be
handled by auxiliary members.
The doctor and hygienist are arguably
the two highest expenses in a dental practice
... and considered by many to be the only
producers, as well. An important team
member not to overlook is the dental assistant,
who can reduce the time patients spend with
both the dentist and hygienist by being the
one to break down or set up the room and

take radiographs. Likewise, depending
on your state, dental assistants should be
performing as many procedures as possible
to become a third producer in the practice.
Procedures like study models, night guards
and bleaching impressions, bleaching trays,
retainers and night guard fabrications-as
well as placing direct restorations, if your
state allows-change your assistants into
producers.
Are you performing enough indirect
dentistry? When evaluating practices,
consultants want to see that 7-10% of
your overall overhead goes to lab expenses.
If you're running higher than this-for
example, a prosthetic office should be at least
15%-then you may have a phenomenal
practice performing a lot of indirect dentistry.
If you are operating less than the 7-10%
range, you should evaluate and potentially
look to increase these services as a way
to both add an underserved area in your
practice and increase overall profitability.
Evaluating capacity and systems is a subgroup that should
fall under expenses. Many
doctors are overstaffed or have
far more hours than necessary
in their hygiene or associates
scheduled, based on the number
of true patients they're caring for
in the practice. Doing a careful
analysis of how many patient
hours are needed for hygiene and
ensuring you are maximizing
your producers' schedule by
having effective systems in recare,
scheduling, case follow-up and
follow-through, and managing
cancellations is an important
consideration in optimizing
profitability.
Cutting chair time is often
overlooked as a way to increase
profit and decrease overhead.
This isn't just about being "fast,"
which ca n resu lt in
sloppy work-it's
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Dentaltown June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2019

Dentaltown June 2019 - Intro
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover1
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover2
Dentaltown June 2019 - 1
Dentaltown June 2019 - 2
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