Building Success: Adding Specialties Tailored to Dental Associates’ Strengths

Blog post about micromanaging less with checklists

I have been fortunate enough in my career to work with several new graduate associate dentists. Before having this opportunity, I thought everyone who went into general dentistry wanted to do that only, because if they didn’t they would have gone into a specialty right? Over several years of working with these new grads, they naturally started to find the procedures new to our practice which they loved to do. This got me thinking about how we can ensure each associate is fulfilled and we still have a successful practice. This is when we started to build in mini specialties that catered to each associate’s strengths. Over the course of two years, our practice has implemented the following specialties:

adding specialty services checklist

  1. IV sedation and wisdom teeth removal
  2. All on 4 dentures
  3. Pediatric dentistry
  4. Botox

Once we knew the direction each associate wanted to go, we then started to build the systems around each of these services. IV sedation and wisdom teeth have by far been our most successful mini specialties, which we were even able to take to other offices to help them build their specialties. We started to build this out by determining the days and hours this best fit into our practice, then we decided the supplies needed and the team members it would take to make this a reality. We then broke down the most efficient ways to set up, and travel with our supplies when needed.  We came up with headrest covers that we put all the disposable IV supplies into, which turned out to be the best thing we could have created. Then as a team, we practiced emergency protocols, verbiage when speaking to patients, and how to handle post-op care. We even made fun take-home care bags to jump-start our patients’ healing.

We repeated this process with all of our associates and the specialties they wanted to pursue. Some required more team training. When it came to all-on-4 dentures we had to work with our treatment coordinators to ensure they understood patient financing, how to handle objections when treatment planning, and how to schedule the procedure, including all the post-operative care.

We had our biggest and most productive months when we started to incorporate these specialty services into our office. We broke down each procedure we added in to know the exact cost of supplies and cost per procedure, per hour to ensure these procedures were going to help the office to grow. The biggest and best change we saw happen was the increase in happiness of our associates and team. It makes a world of difference when the team is working toward something they are passionate about. Even the team members started to contribute ideas to their mini-specialties to make them excel. From my perspective it is worth having a conversation with your associate dentists to see what lights them up and if you can add in some specialty services to continue to give the best care to your patients. We can truly say we are a one-stop shop now at our office!



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About the Author

Sarah Hayward, FAADOM

Sarah Hayward has been in the dental field for over 20 years spending, 18 of those years in dental office management. Sarah has been a member of AADOM since 2020 and received her Fellowship in 2022.  She is enrolled to receive her AADOM Mastership in 2024.  Sarah lives in Colorado and when she is not at the office, she spends her time with her amazing husband and son.









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