Successful Dentists Go Far Beyond Just Treating Teeth
As healthcare providers, they’re dedicated to improving their patient’s overall well-being, which takes a combination of skills, winning habits, and even business and technological know-how. The most successful dentists are strong communicators, leaders, and business managers, on top of being exceptionally skilled clinical dentists.
In this article, we’ll explore 18 winning habits and strategies you can adopt to help you be a more successful dentist.
1. Develop Strong Interpersonal Skills
Successful dentists are excellent communicators. Using words and a smile to put your patients at ease makes their experience much more enjoyable, and they’re more likely to recommend you to friends and family.
Plus, being able to explain complex procedures in easy-to-understand terms and show empathy toward your patients goes a long way. Some successful dentists are naturally social and good communicators. Others need to work at it. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, look for some tips for developing stronger interpersonal skills and practice every day—your success as a dentist may depend on it!
2. Stay Positive!
People like to follow positive people. So, if you want to lead your team to success, staying energetic and positive is essential, even when things aren’t going well. Your staff will absorb your positivity and pass it along to your patients. And your patients will look forward to seeing you and your team. Remember, smiles are contagious—so where yours as often as you can!
3. Set Clear Goals and Objectives
Successful dentists set clear goals and objectives for themselves and their practice. Setting goals, especially measurable ones, keeps you and your team focused. These could be things like revenue growth, customer satisfaction, or speed of service. According to one study, employees with goals are 3.6 times more likely to be committed to their organization. When your team has specific goals to strive for, you’re much more likely to be successful.
4. Stay Up on Industry Trends
Successful dentists need to stay current with the latest trends in their industry. Whether it’s clinical care, customer service, or advertising, trends can change quickly. Attending the best dental conferences, building strong relationships with other dentists, and staying on top of industry publications will help you discover what’s happening. Actively seek out the new strategies and techniques the best dentists use so that you can incorporate them into your practice.
5. Commit to Staff Development
You can be the best clinical dentist in the world, but from the patient’s point of view, you’re only as good as the team around you. So they invest time and money in developing their staff. Your staff is the face of your practice, and their skills, knowledge, and attitude will drive your success. So invest in them through regular training and professional development opportunities to help them grow their skills and expertise, like continuing education courses, mentoring, and regular performance evaluations.
6. Prioritize Patient Care and Education
Successful dentists take the time to educate their patients about their oral health and treatment options to help them make informed decisions about their care. This includes explaining procedures in detail and answering any questions or concerns the patient may have. Patients who feel informed and empowered are more likely to trust and value your services. And that means they’re more likely to refer you to others, boosting your success.
7. Put Patients Before Profits
The best dentists always prioritize the patient’s well-being over their own financial gain. That’s why you should provide honest treatment recommendations without pressuring patients into unnecessary procedures or treatments. It may seem like you’re losing money by not pushing every available treatment, but your patients will appreciate it and keep coming back. Remember, it’s much cheaper to keep a patient than to find a new one, so always put your patients first, and your business will grow.
8. Engage in Community Outreach
Successful dentists give back to their community by participating in local events, providing free or low-cost dental services to those in need, and promoting oral health education. This helps build a positive reputation for your practice and shows that you care about the well-being of your community. And beyond that, it’s just a good thing to do!
9. Build a Strong Team Culture
A cohesive team can make or break the success of your dental practice. Building a positive culture that promotes open communication, trust, and a shared vision between team members is essential for your success as a dentist. Encourage team-building activities, reward performance, and set clear expectations for roles and responsibilities to ensure your values are clear and your culture thrives.
10. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies
Marketing is crucial for any business, especially dental practices. You need a consistent flow of new patients and effective marketing strategies help you attract new patients while simultaneously building your brand. Use a variety of marketing channels to spread your message far and wide. Consider using social media, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, direct mail, and patient referral programs to be visible in your community and attract new patients.
11. Embrace Technological Advances
The dental industry constantly evolves with technological advances that can improve patient care and help you streamline practice management. Successful dentists embrace these advances by investing in new equipment, software, and other technologies that can help them provide better care, improve efficiency, and increase profitability. Use your network to find out which technology other dentists use, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
12. Make Customer Service ‘King’
As a dentist, you’re a medical professional, but you’re in the customer service business. Providing an excellent customer experience is necessary for any dental practice that wants to succeed in today’s competitive market. Patients usually choose their dentist based on how comfortable they feel, not their clinical skills. So greet patients with a smile, provide a comfortable and welcoming environment, and go above and beyond to meet their needs. Train your staff to provide excellent customer service, and make sure they know patient satisfaction is priority #1 in your practice!
13. Build Strong Relationships with Patients
Building strong relationships with patients is essential for long-term success. You should take the time to get to know your patients, listen to their concerns, and provide personalized care. Building solid relationships with your patients can create a loyal patient base and increase referrals.
14. Focus on Preventive Care
Preventive care is an essential component of dentistry. Encouraging your patients to practice good oral hygiene and scheduling regular checkups can help prevent serious dental problems and save them money in the long run. Educate your patients on the importance of preventive care and provide them with the tools they need to maintain good oral health.
15. Invest for Success
The most successful dentists know that growing a business requires investment. So they’re not afraid to invest money strategically, even though it involves some risk. Whether you are launching a new ad campaign, remodeling the waiting room, or upgrading your equipment, building a successful practice will require a financial investment. Keep a growth mindset and realize that if you choose wisely, that money will come back to you many times over.
16. Develop a Business Mindset
Running a successful dental practice requires some skills they didn’t teach you in dental school. Developing a business mindset can help you maximize the efficiency of your office and increase profitability. Get some training or coaching to help you understand financial statements, track key performance indicators, and set goals and objectives for your practice.
17. Listen to Your Patients
Patient feedback gives you valuable insights into what you’re doing well and where you have room for improvement. Ask patients to provide feedback through email surveys or online reviews, and use this feedback to make necessary improvements to your practice. Everyone wants to feel that their opinion matters. So by listening to your patients and making changes based on their feedback, you’ll improve the overall patient experience and increase patient loyalty.
18. Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance
No successful dentist can work all the time, so it’s crucial to invest time and energy in things outside the office. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will help you prevent burnout, stay mentally and physically fit, and allow you to continue enjoying your work. Practice setting boundaries between work and personal time, taking breaks throughout the day, and getting some exercise every day.
Are You Practicing the Habits of a Successful Dentist?
Successful dentists intentionally build specific habits and strategies in their businesses and life. If you want to grow your dental practice, you’ll review this list and find out where you may be lacking. Then dedicate yourself to improving in your areas of need.
Ultimately, success means taking care of yourself, your employees, and your practice. Be growth-minded, supportive, and conscientious in all you do, and your life and practice will be a huge success!