How to Run a Dental Office

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Running a dental practice can be challenging for those new to practice management or those who have to take on more managerial responsibilities. A successful dental practice requires different factors, which includes a dedicated dentist, competent staff members and satisfied patients. Some areas of dental practice preparation involves setting a fair pricing structure and providing patient service. Individuals who choose to run a dental practice can find a rewarding career working in the health care industry.

Review your legal, insurance and financial paperwork, since this information needs to be up to date when running your dental practice. Meet with your legal, insurance and financial advisors about your dental practice. Create a list of practice issues for each advisor, such as dental practice liability insurance or new hire concerns.

Schedule regular meetings with your dental practice staff members, including dental receptionists and dental hygienists. Decide on a staff meeting date and make sure the meeting does not interfere with patient flow. Look at your least busy work day before scheduling a meeting time. Keep a copy of each staff meeting minutes for future reference.

Use technology for running your practice in areas such as dental patient scheduling and billing. Compare dental practice software, since the wrong software can be expensive to replace. Ask for a second person's opinion before purchasing. Your dental practice manager and you can review what is missing from the current software and what should be included with the new software. Ascertain what type of technology support is included when purchasing dental practice software.

Establish a dental practice pricing structure to reduce your expenses, keep patients and maintain your staff members. Look at how much you spend on expenses, ranging from commercial office rent to dental supplies to staff salaries. Remember to choose a financial advisor who has worked with health care professionals. Keep your pricing structure high enough that you can meet for financial obligations without your practice suffering.

Teach your staff the importance of customer service. Spend time with patients and watch how staff members interact with patients, including eye contact. Offer your patients a patient satisfaction survey and monitor their responses, especially how they feel about wait times. Respect your patients' opinions and let them know how much you appreciate their business.

Market your dental practice. Inform patients when your practice is accepting new patients, so they can let friends and family know. Keep track of patient visits and send postcards about semi-annual cleanings or special pricing rates, such as an annual discount. Use additional marketing methods like flyers or business cards.


  • Join professional associations. Work with qualified financial and legal professionals. Research dental practice management. Take continuing education classes.