Doing Dentistry You Like

Episode 003

Would you like to develop your practice around the procedures you like the most while still maintaining productivity? I wanted to do just that, and so I did.

On this episode of the Business of Dentistry I explain how I went from doing numerous procedures to focusing on five key areas. And I also explain how doing so has allowed me to increase my producitity while growing my practice and my profitability at the same time.

More About This Show

Not so long ago I was reaching the point of burn out in my practice. I was doing any number of different procedures on any given day, and finding myself to be less and less happy and more and more tired at the end of the day. I even dreaded some patient visits – not because of the patient but because I didn’t enjoy the procedure they needed!

So I sat down and made a list of all the various procedures I had done in my 10 years in private practice, I wrote down all of them. From there I chose the five I liked the most out of that list.

It took some internal searching but I narrowed it down to five: wisdom teeth with sedation, dental implants, bone grafts/soft tissue grafts, other procedures with sedation and pathology. I knew after honing in on those five if I could spend the majority of my days doing that work I would enjoy myself.

Naturally I was concerned about staying profitable and productive, I worried if I focused on those five activities my bottom line would suffer. To avoid losing money in my practice I had to dig a little deeper and look at what procedures were generating what amount of income, and then compare those with my top five.

Using my Oral Surgery Executive software to find all of my procedures, the money we charge for them and the money we collect for them. From there I could look at the numbers and decided if focusing on these five procedures could still be profitable for the practice.

Happily the numbers reflected positively; we could continue to be both profitable and productive if we focused our days doing those five key activities. We could also streamline our days better, and that’s what we started doing. I asked the staff to start scheduling our days differently: we would spend our mornings doing the more profitable activities and then our afternoons would involve other necessities like post-ops and general office visits.

Of course we still would have to make exceptions to this (and we still do today) but overall that is the schedule we use two years later, and it has made a world of difference. We are all happier, and have more mental and physical energy at the office. No one is stressed out trying to find instructions for a procedure we haven’t done in a long time, and we all can plan better.

Making the change in our schedule and focusing on these 5 procedures didn’t happen overnight. We had to gradually ween our patients off of the other procedures, and we did this by limiting the number of appointments we would take for other procedures every week. We also found good referrals for the other procedures we weren’t going to do any longer.

Once we were booked out 2-3 months in advance for any of those non-five areas people asked for referrals to go elsewhere. Changing our availability along with our marketing, advertising and promotional materials meant eventually we just stopped getting calls for other procedures.

On this episode I share more details and examples of how we did this, and also how long it took for me to really notice a difference in the practice. If you’ve ever wanted to be more productive, happier and still profitable in your practice you’ll want to hear all of the details on this episode of the Business of Dentistry podcast!

“You can find a balance, and I think that’s important.”

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