By Dr. Edward Harsini, DDS, owner of Smile Dental Clinics in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Harsini graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School in 1998. He is certified by UCLA Aesthetic Continuum, the 3M Imtec Mini DentalImplants and GRU/AAID Maxi-Course Implant Dentistry.
The first thing you need to build a successful practice is being in a centralized location that has easy access for patients. If you are in an area with 50 or more dentists, you need to find an area that you can create and build your business, and an area where you set yourself apart.
Second, you need to have a great team and great culture in the workplace. Having a great team can take off a lot of the stresses of owning a business because everyone does their job and they do it well. Creating a great working environment and work culture will keep your employees enthusiastic about their job and excited to come to work every day.
Lastly, you must provide great patient care. Most dentists work off of referral because it doesn’t matter how much advertising you do, you want your patients referring their friends and family. This also helps build upyour credibility.
Patient engagement is really important because if the patient isn’t engaged in the diagnosis, case presentation and treatment plan, then you are basically talking to yourself. You have to have patient engagement because they areultimately paying for the procedure. If they are a passive listener whateveryou say isn’t going to hit home. You have to understand their goals. Sometimes they don’t know their goal, but by asking questions you find out what their ultimate goal is.
Let’s say I do an exam on you and I see you have a lot of wear on your teeth. I tell you that you need 10 crowns. Just telling you isn’t going to persuade the person to have the procedure they need. So, I go in and take pictures of the teeth and show them to you and tell you the ramifications if you don’t get the crowns. Then I’m engaging you instead of just telling you. Nobody says yes to what they need. They say yes to what they want.
Marketing is huge. It’s a tricky thing because if you are marketing but you aren’t answering the phones or not engaging the patient when they come in then it is just money down the drain. Marketing will be effective once you know how to convert them to treatment plans. Marketing is one hand of it but the other part is what happens when the patient comes through the door.
Thereare multiple different software’s you can use for scheduling. We send text reminders to patients to remind them of their upcoming appointment. It makes it convenient for the patient to communicate with the office.