3 Ways to set Your Dental Practice up for Continued Success
“Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you what you are.” I’m sure you’ve heard this sentiment before. I know I heard it at least 1000 times growing up. I always hated it. I never believed that I was who my friends were. I believed I was a unique and good individual. This was probably because my friends growing up were “bad”. But somehow, no matter how much I distained the idea of it, I was always associated as a “bad” kid. By other kids, by teachers, by parents, I was essential a bad kid because I hung out with other bad kids. I couldn’t shake this label, no matter how hard I tried. Looking back, I really was a good kid that got mislabeled because of who I hung out with. I feel like being a dentist is a lot like this.
Since its creation, dentistry had a dark cloud above its proverbial head. In the public’s mind dentistry is a medical field but not quite a medical field. Dentists have always been medical professionals but then again, not quite doctors. It seems as though the field has never quite been accepted for what it actually is. I blame terrible dentists for the public’s perception of our field. Terrible dentists who are terrible people. Terrible people that would be terrible even if they weren’t dentists.
There are plenty of ways bad dentists ruin the name “dentist” for all of us. Luckily, there are even more ways to clean the mud off and make the title “dentist” sparkle like a set of freshly cleaned pearly whites.
Price discrimination. Don’t switch the prices of your service based on someone’s ethnicity, gender, age, or education level. To avoid even the perception of price discrimination some practices have their prices for service clearly stated and clearly laid out in print, on their website, or both. Being upfront with cost of service could protect you from your patients thinking your ripping them off. With tons of articles on the internet titled things like “how to not get ripped off at the dentist’s office”, its and obvious concern in the public’s mind. It’s possible that upfront pricing could put their mind at ease.
Upcoding. Don’t do it. Don’t bill insurance for something you didn’t do. If patients feel like you’re being dishonest with insurance companies, what’s to stop you from being dishonest with them. Sometimes mistakes are made and overcharges happen. If you catch this mistake, it’s crucial to your business to apologize and take every step you can to make things right with your patients.
These seem like obvious things to avoid to keep a healthy and successful practice open. But if you take a few minutes to read through the news, you’ll find plenty of stories about dentists behaving badly. Another tip to avoid ruing your business and further damaging the reputation of dentists, don’t prescribe drugs and then sell them. Unfortunately, no matter how many positive things you do as a dentist, some people may always think of you as shady car mechanics of the mouth, pretending to find problems as you go along. Even so, there are still things you can do to prove you are a decent dentist, and more importantly, a decent human: don’t price discriminate, don’t upcode, and don’t sell drugs.