How To Overcome These 7 Common Challenges in Dentistry
What does it take to run your dental practice with excellence?
Most people believe that dentists solely deal with teeth, but the truth is there are so many more challenges to being a dental owner than the mouth. Unfortunately, most dentists don’t receive much practice management training in dental school and have to learn it on their own through trial and error.
The common challenges in dentistry can range from dealing with insurance contracts to managing staff personalities, but they all present their unique stresses that many dentists are not prepared for. The best thing a dentist can do to succeed and move forward is to understand how to overcome challenges in dentistry and learn to make simple changes so their practice grows in a positive direction.
1. Managing Financials
Who ever knew that running a dental practice required so much financial organization? Dentistry is a combination of healthcare, science, art, and of course, business. It takes a good understanding of how to budget payroll, supplies, equipment, IT, and more to run a successful practice.
A good way for dentists to stay afloat and even grow financially is to take business courses either online or at a local college. There are numerous programs that offer continuing education for dentists to understand the business side of dentistry and how to keep overhead low and profits high.
2. Human Resources
Hiring, firing, and managing a dental team is a common challenge for dentists because of all the unique personalities that exist under one roof. Just like a family, there can be issues that arise among team members that cause challenging working efficiently. Managing a successful team means having team meetings, outings, and get-togethers to bond even outside of the office.
Sometimes having a one-on-one meeting with a team member to discuss issues can overcome a problem, while other times it requires a group effort. The best thing a dentist can do is hire motivated, compassionate, and dedicated employees that have the same vision so you know they are there to provide quality patient care, but also help move your practice in the right direction.
3. Being a Respected Team Leader
Dentists wear so many hats, but sometimes being the team leader can be tough when a dentist wants to simply focus on patient care. A dental owner needs to be there for his/her patients as well as all employees. Being a good team leader means communicating clearly, listening to your staff’s concerns, and rewarding and acknowledging staff when it is appropriate. Sometimes a dentist team leader has to be the “bad guy” and also do what is best for the practice by setting boundaries and ensuring all staff adhere to office policies.
Helpful tips to being a successful team leader in your practice are having a practice manual so staff can always reference it if there is a problem. Hold meetings with your team, both individually and in groups to work on team-building skills.
4. Communication with Patients
It may seem like patients understand the treatment you recommend, but there are times they go home and disappear, because they are too nervous to complete dental work or didn’t really understand the recommendation.
When you speak to patients, always ask if they have any questions and if they think of something outside of the office, they can follow-up call or email you. A good way to bridge a communication gap is to have a clinical or administrative staff member follow up with patients after restorative or orthodontic treatment to ensure they are comfortable and if they have any concerns.
5. Staying Current in Dentistry
Dentistry is constantly evolving and changing, so if you are not taking continuing education courses to learn about the latest techniques or materials, you are falling behind. Orthodontic courses for general dentists are a fantastic way to bridge the gap between prosthodontics and orthodontics so you have the best grasp of cosmetics and a harmonious occlusion.
To stay up-to-date with dentistry, sign up for an orthodontic course for general dentists with Synergy Orthodontic Seminars. There are courses for dentists at all levels, and aside from attaining necessary CE credits, you gain a professional support system and new skill set to benefit your patients and practice.
6. Pursuing Continuing Education
Common challenges in dentistry are taking continuing education courses that can actually benefit your career. Can you easily find CE credits to satisfy state licensure requirements? Sure, but when they have no impact on your practice or are just time-wasting courses, what is the benefit?
Take an orthodontic course with Synergy Orthodontic Seminars to gain knowledge and exposure to general dentist orthodontics. It is a simple way to gain your CE credits, but also give you a generous passive income in your practice. If you don’t have the time to get away for a long-weekend course, don’t fret. Synergy Orthodontic Seminars offers virtual events for dentists who still want to get exposure to orthodontics and begin their orthodontic educational journey.
7. Marketing Your Practice
Your practice is well-designed, but no one knows about you. This is a common challenge for dentists because most are not trained in marketing strategies or understand what type of marketing is beneficial to give a good return on investment.
If you plan to do your marketing yourself, start with local social media campaigns on Facebook or Instagram. They are affordable and usually easy enough to do on your own. If you are looking for professional support, consider hiring an outside agency to work with your practice on SEO, Google Ads, and strategies to reel patients in from your local community.
Challenges in dentistry are not unique, but common among all dentists. The issue is knowing what challenges you face and how you can overcome them so you can focus on what you really want: patient care. Think about hiring a highly motivated team, like Synergy Orthodontic Seminars, and taking beneficial orthodontic continuing education to make your dental career a little less stressful.