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    Posted June 27, 2014 by

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    Why “If You Build It, They Will Come” Belief Doesn’t Work For Building Successful Dental Practices Anymore

    Although dentists are skilled at dentistry, most never received practice management and business training in dental school on how to run and grow a profitable dental practice. The challenge is most dental schools don’t offer any formal business training and dentists often believe their dental skills alone (caring for teeth) are enough to grow and build a successful dental practice. The dental industry also suffers from an outdated “If you build it, they will come” mentality. Put simply, many dentists are relying on outdated methods such as relying on patient referrals, placing ads in the phone book or a sign on the corner to get new patients. Today’s consumers, however, are more likely to Google a dental practice and read online reviews before scheduling an appointment.

    Dr. David Silber, DMD, a practice management consultant and dentist explained that, in his opinion, one of the biggest problems in the industry is that dentists don’t understand how to correctly price their services. Rather than focus on offering services that offer a higher rate of return, he explains that many dentists feel pressure to drop their prices on services with low profit margins to begin with (such as cleanings) just to compete for new business. “Competing on price is never a good scenario for any dentist-or their competition. It’s a race to the bottom,” says Dr. Silber.

    Dr. Silber educates dentists about the business side of dentistry, focusing on providing insight into where dentists commonly fail in setting up and managing their practices. He offers common sense advice that doesn’t pull punches about the realities of the high cost of keeping up with new technology in dentistry. He says, “Dental practices need to keep up with new technology, with new, high tech materials, adding new machines or office management software all the time. There is a huge expense in just keeping up with the technological changes and providing the best care by having the latest and best research backed materials and machines. All of these things contribute to the dentist needing to make decisions about how to allocate the resources they have available to grow the practice.”

    The dental industry is struggling to keep up with changing technology and the need for business training in dental school. Until then, dentists learn as they build their practice, often from trial and error.
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