Why More New Dental Patients Aren’t Necessarily Better

Let’s start with a basic proposition: when it comes to service providers, quality trumps quantity unless you’re a discount retailer.

Since you’re a dentist, you shouldn’t be operating from a discount model. And yet, tens of thousands of dentists across the country run their practices like they’re a Dollar General store.

That’s a bad idea for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at each.

Bad Reason #1: You’re Not Set Up To Be A Volume Operation

The only way that discount stores stay in business is to do a lot of business. With thin margins, it takes a lot of products going out the door to cover operating costs, much less make any money.

Discount stores such as Walmart and Target can handle a high customer volume. In part, that’s because they have staff that they can rotate in on different shifts. You’re not staffed to keep a full waiting room being served by the same people for 8-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. That way lies clinical errors, staff burnout, and patient defections.

Reason #2: Dental Practices Run Poorly On Thin Margins

Every dentist knows that demand for service varies by month, if not by week or even day. Every hour that one of your chairs is open eats into your profits. To keep your chairs filled, you need to spend more on marketing. You also need to offer specials and discounts, in all likelihood. Either option cuts into your bottom line unnecessarily.

Reason #3: Ultimately, it all depends on you

Whether you’re the practice owner with associates, or a solo dentist, you are the linchpin of your business. Some of your staff may be able to take over certain responsibilities, but success hinges on you and your performance as a dentist and a business owner. A high-volume, high-stress approach to practice success wears on you over time, and may result in physical problems that will limit your ability to practice.

Reason #4: You DON’T Have To Do This Crap

Dentistry was never intended to be a constant sprint. It was also never intended to be operated at discount prices. There’s a wealth of conventional wisdom, however, that the only way to succeed is to compete harder – more hours, more days, more patients.

That’s one way, but it’s neither the only way nor the best.

Back to that basic proposition: quality trumps quantity. Attracting more patients who represent higher average case value is the way to compete successfully without running yourself or your staff into the ground. With higher average case value, you need fewer patients – not more – to make as much money or more.

Let’s be clear: you cannot present yourself as a discount dentist and expect to attract new patients with disposable income and the will to use it for elective dentistry.

Here’s a more-or-less idea: if you want more, but you also want to work less, contact SmartBox. We specialize in helping dentists grow their practices the way they want to. And we cut our eye teeth, so to speak, on helping dentists get better dental patients.

Invest about the amount of time you need to place a single crown or an implant in a no-obligation Roadmap call. After taking a deep dive into your goals and the competitive forces in your market, we’ll send your completely personalized Roadmap to the kind of success you want.

More isn’t necessarily better, but better is definitely good! Give SmartBox a call.