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What Successful Dental Office Managers Are Doing Differently in 2019

Real-world Insights from AADOM Authors: Gary Kadi

Fellow office managers, I feel your joy… and pain.

Being a dental office manager is one of the most rewarding, challenging, and sometimes thankless careers. Mostly overworked and sometimes underappreciated; part firefighter, part therapist, resident momma bear – you are not bossy; you just have better ideas. Getting buy-in with your doctor and team is a whole ‘nother deal.

Being successful dental office managers in 2019 and beyond is going to be even more difficult with the proper care of millennials, the digitization of dentistry, the rise of corporate competition, tightening insurance reimbursements and retiring baby boomers. I

If you feel like you are at the top of your game or salary range, are tired of working through lunches or getting home late, here is your first-class ticket to up-leveling your career. You may dramatically increase your income and skyrocket your satisfaction – personally and professionally.

There is a better way

I understand you because I have spent a lot of time in dental practices.

I got my start in dentistry as a marketer bringing in hundreds of new patients. I found that they came in the front door and went out the back. I realized that the business model being deployed didn’t have the fundamentals that every successful business needs to function at their best.

You know that there must be a smarter way.

The good news is, you are right!

Getting to the root cause of what you are dealing with is the only way to have everyone win: the patient, the team, and the practice.

Calculate the financial bottom line

Here is what to do.

Find out how much money you want to make annually and how much time your doctor wants to work. From here, we reverse engineer how much work you need to do annually, monthly, daily; and most importantly, how much each person on the team is accountable for.

For example:

You want to collect $2 million, you write off 10%, so you need to produce $2,200,000. Give your doctor at least four weeks off, which is 48 weeks working four days a week. This is 192 days. You should have at least two hygienists with 192 days x 2 = 384. Each hygienist has a benchmark of $1,200 per day, which equals $460,800. When you take $2,200,000 less $460,800 hygiene revenue, then the doctor is responsible for $1,739,200 in gross production. Take this number and divide by 192 days, and the doctor needs to do at least $9,058 per day.

Try this with your own numbers.

Let each team member know their DPO (Daily primary outcome)

Next, educate your team on their daily responsibility.

Your appointment coordinator is responsible for filling the schedule to $1,200 for each hygienist and $9,100 per day for the doctor. When they hit that number each day, they get a daily bonus of $10 per column per day or $30 total per day times 16 days a month or $480 per month. This bonus is calculated daily and only paid when the practice also collects the BBM (aka “bare butt minimum”) which includes ALL of the doctor’s expenses plus retirement, debt and the bonus cost.

This is a true performance bonus on individual accountability by person, and not shared by the group.

This does not create separation; instead, it establishes interdependency, with each team member focusing on the outcome based on their position. It also turns your most significant expense—your payroll—into a profit center.

Each position has what we call a DPO (daily primary outcome). To get the benchmarks and bonus for the other positions, get my book Million Dollar Dentistry in paperback, electronic or audio format by emailing me at or calling 212-388-1712.

Re-inventing team roles

If you are stressed or overwhelmed, you now have a way to know where your inefficiencies are.

Even more importantly, you and your team can patch into your software and push your daily data to a desktop, or even more millennial, a smartphone. Now each team member is responsible for tracking their own progress.

Yup, assistants will be looking for same-day treatment in their chair or from hygiene.

Yassss, your appointment coordinator will be proactively looking to help people wanting to cancel to find a kind, ethical way to have them come in.

Your hygienist will be educating your patients and seeing their intraoral camera as a tool instead of a task to fit into their already overloaded hour.

This is because you have reinvented their positions; they relate to who they are and what they do within a new context.

Front desk people are DOFIs (Directors of First Impressions) and Financial Freedom Fighters, Hygienists are Hy-Geniuses, Associates are Leaders Among Leaders, and Dentists are Complete Health Doctors. The only way to create alignment and make your team focused and inspired is to raise who they are for themselves and the patient.

Otherwise, they come in for a paycheck, just going through the motions.

The most crucial tactic for successful dental office managers

Now, you are ready for the ultimate Team Leader tool that all successful dental office managers need!

Just like a dentist cannot work without a handpiece, you will find it hard to work without your final piece: MBA or Management By Agreement.

This will change your personal and professional life. Every upset or inefficiency in your life and practice is rooted in a missing or broken agreement.

An agreement has three parts: who, what and by when.

As an example:

You ask the Financial Freedom Fighter if they are willing to let every patient with an out-of-pocket cost know the CareCredit healthcare credit card may provide a financing solution to help them invest in their dental care. They say yes. You request their agreement to start right now. Ask them to make it a habit. Your job is to take them back to what they agreed to, not what you have been forcing them to do without consent/agreement.

Ok, you have now graduated!

You have a business model that you can proactively use to diagnose and treat your business as successful dental office managers. If it’s off the rails, you have the time and state of mind to direct it the way you choose.

I would love to hear from you and learn how you are changing your life and the lives of those around you. Please email me at


This content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual business, financial, legal, tax, and/or other advisors with respect to any information presented. CareCredit, Synchrony Financial and any of its affiliates (collectively, “Synchrony”) make no representations or warranties regarding this content and accept no liability for any loss or harm arising from the use of the information provided. All statements and opinions are the sole opinions of the author. Your receipt of this material constitutes our acceptance of these terms and conditions.



Meet the AuthorAuthor Gary Kadi gives expert advice for successful dental office managers.

Gary Kadi spent two years working as a Dental Office Manager to develop a unique perspective to business and team development.

After two decades of practice management, he understands that the old school model of consulting doesn’t work. A new business model was invented where the consultant is the office manager, and Gary’s team is there to support that leader.

Advocate, Author, and Documentarian, Gary Kadi is the CEO of NextLevel Practice, a dental education company that is best in the world at implementing sustainable results.

To date, NextLevel Practice has created over 300 million dollars in revenue, 50,000 more vacation weeks, and over four million healthier patients with the practices they have worked with in both the United States and abroad.



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