A Single Dental Practice Leads Thousands
A dental practice is responsible for leading thousands of people to better oral health.
The dental industry is built around dental practices, which on average, care for the health and physical welfare of two thousand patients each. Beyond the individual office is a web of supporting services and businesses that depend on practice success.
For a practice to run successfully, it utilizes the resources of dental supply companies, dental equipment sales teams, equipment service support technicians, laboratory technicians, commercial realtors, construction personnel, software equipment sales, technical support, information technology (IT) technicians, website developers, state licensing agencies, dental insurance companies, dental schools, direct dental support staff, and referrals to outside dental practices.
Today, a dental practice has a direct economic effect on the financial well-being of thousands of personnel in and outside of the dental industry. According to The Journal of American Dental Association, “The annual impact of one additional dentist on the economy was estimated at $1,278,253.” The success of your dental practice is a success for the economy of the community you serve. What does it take to create a successful practice? There are leadership characteristics consistent with a profitable, well-managed clinic with solid organizational systems in place. Such as:
The dentist is the true leader of the dental practice and must exude an unshakeable level of confidence not only to his patients but all personnel they do business with on behalf of the clinic. The office manager and dental staff must support the dentist by all means possible and maintain that same level of confidence with patients and outside support personnel. People need to have confidence in the leader with which they do business.
Dental providers need to have passion for what they do, primarily because it affects the health and welfare of patients. The passion has to transition to the rest of the dental practice. Patients and outside vendors will pick up on the passion that is present. They, too, will become passionate about supporting the clinic’s mission.
Patients want to support a dental team that has integrity. Their dentist should surround themselves with office support personnel and outside vendors that have integrity. The office manager and dental consultants need to aid the dentist in accomplishing this task.
You and your dental team must communicate the right goals and vision for your practice. Dentists start by communicating their vision with their dental staff, patients, outside vendors, bankers, and all outside personnel directly affected by the practice. Once people understand the vision of what the clinic is trying to accomplish, it’s much easier to get on board and support it.
Every dental team needs to have a plan in place to accomplish set goals. The dentist can obtain the support of the office manager, dental consultant, and outside dental personnel to make this possible. It’s easy to obtain support in reaching goals once you have the right team in place. In some cases, the teams may change depending on the goals you are trying to reach.
Dental providers must be flexible and keep abreast of the current dental climate. A dental practice should be open to making changes when needed. It is the responsibility of the dental support staff to assist in keeping the dentist informed of any outside factors that would adversely affect the dental practice when changes take place. That’s also why keeping your outside vendors aware of your goals for the dental practice’s vision is important. It takes a team working for the overall health and welfare of the dental practice to make the dentist’s vision a success.
The dentist and office manager need to delegate whenever possible. They must train appropriately, delegate, and supervise because the person in authority is still ultimately responsible for the task. Keep some checks and balances in place in case the team member struggles with their newfound responsibilities.
The dentist and office manager should learn how to empower the support staff. Once a person is in charge, a different personality comes out. Monitor the personnel and how they are handling their new role. Empower the patients by informing them of the rules of the dental practice, as they also aid in this role.
A dentist leads thousands of people in managing a dental practice. They are supported directly by their office manager, dental consultant, and dental support staff. With the right team, a dentist accomplishes leadership through their ability to influence others, maintain enthusiasm, build team resilience, and personal accountability. A true leader has a system where everyone knows the rules, and soon the dental practice is leading itself.
About the Author
Veronica La Chapelle, MAADOM, began her career in dentistry after retiring from a municipal government position she held for 27 years. Today, she is the assistant manager for Advanced Premier Dental and Implant Dentistry in The Woodlands, TX. Veronica has been an AADOM member since 2009, received her Fellowship (FAADOM) in 2013, and received her AADOM Masters (MAADOM) in September 2022.