Why a bigger dental practice is better: Part 1

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Cosmetic and Restorative Care
BSc, BDSc (Melb)

I’m amazed to read that Smile Solutions is made up of 20 dentists, 18 specialists and 10 dental hygienists all working under one roof. There are a lot of claims in the dental industry that the most productive practices are made up of only two to three clinicians. What do you say to that?

Smile Solutions Managing Director Dr Kia Pajouhesh answers this question as part of a two part series.

A productive dentist is one who enjoys the balance his/her career offers, and one who offers superior patient care and staff management. In light of this, I’ll attempt to summarise the reasons why my entire team and I believe we can all be more “productive” in a bigger practice.

In a larger dental practice:

• Due to cost sharing across a group of dentists, it is far more manageable to purchase and maintain technological equipment such as CEREC, lasers, digital radiology, dental microscopy, 3D imaging, and the latest advances in audiovisual and computer applications.

• With reduced overheads, the proficiency of the business will mean lower dental fees for the general public without income diminution for the clinicians.

• Informal group interaction is more dynamic, social events are more memorable and friendships are formed across a broad base of individuals. The pleasure of observing your team positively interacting in the hustle and bustle of a busy day’s work fills you, as principle of the practice, with a sense of achievement that is hard to match.

• Employing multiple nursing, reception and management staff may give you some administrative challenges but also brings some undeniable advantages:

1. The need for temporary agency staff is removed because, in almost all cases, contingency staffing is available from within your own infrastructure.

2. Auxiliary staff will educate, train, mentor and manage each other, freeing you from the endless cycle of training new junior staff.

3. Training more than one dental assistant in the particularities of each clinician allows for smoother succession at times of auxiliary staff sickness, annual leave and family planning.

4. Your management team will formulate new ideas and constantly enhance the existing procedural, administrative and patient management systems within your practice, thus releasing more precious time for you personally.

5. In the event that staff temporarily or permanently leave your practice, the gap is more readily filled in a larger team with a sound foundation of effective delegation. In a small practice the adverse effects of such losses are far more tangible and at times irreversible.

Read Part 2 here.

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