It’s a truism in the dental industry that the only path to success lies in getting more and more new patients. Back in the Golden Age of dentistry, that might have been true, but it certainly isn’t these days.
Dentists today are a widely diverse group. One dentist’s idea of success is not the same as another’s. The type of practice, the market in which it operates, the age of the dentist, family considerations, and more help determine the outcome that a particular dentist would like to make happen.
What’s Your Idea Of Success?
Dentists everywhere complain of being swamped by patients. For the most part, these patients are low-value, insurance-driven, price shoppers. You can certainly make a decent living that way, but if yours is a solo practice you can pretty well forget about having a life outside the practice – particularly going forward. Keeping up that pace in your early 30’s is a very different proposition than running between operatories in your 40’s and 50’s.
Still, if that’s your idea of success, well and good.
However, there’s better out there.
Better can mean working less but earning as much or more. You accomplish that by attracting higher-value patients who are willing to pay for you to provide the services they need. In almost every market, those higher-value prospects constitute about 20-35 percent of prospects.
Better can also mean more interesting. Probably every dentist has certain types of cases that he or she loves to do. Typically, those will also be higher-value patients who need sleep apnea appliances, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, implants, prosthodontics, and so on. The point is that by attracting the cases you love to handle, you’ll make more money and put some zest back into the practice of dentistry.
Better can also mean higher practice valuation, particularly important for doctors who are considering retirement or simply looking to sell and then begin their next venture. Depending on which practice valuation model you go with, for every million dollars you add to annual revenue, and sustain over three years, you can expect to NET an additional $650,000 to $800,000 at the time of sale, depending on the type of practice and other factors. That difference will fund a much more comfortable and flexible retirement, or serve as at least seed money for your next venture
Better can also mean transitioning from general dentistry to a specialty practice; expanding your locations and/or services; or simply having more time away from the practice to enjoy your family, your friends, and the pastimes that recharge you.
It’s Not JUST The Number Of Patients
No one is arguing that dentists don’t need more new patients; profitable practices need to fill the gaps left by relocation, dropping out of care, and death. But you can keep your chairs filled with what most dentists are getting now, or you can fill them with the better patients who will help you reach your success goals fastest.
If your current dental marketing company can’t or won’t focus its efforts on attracting better patients, we invite you to explore what SmartBox does for dentists every day.