4 Keys to Expanding a Dental Practice

February 28, 2022

Many new businesses fail. No, most new businesses fail. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 20 percent of new companies fail within the first two years, 45 percent in the first five years, and 65 percent in the first ten years. Only about 25 percent of new companies make it to 15 years.

Why is this the case? Well, first off, the success of a company depends on many factors:

  • An excellent understanding of the target market
  • An ability to adapt and innovate based on market challenges
  • The right team in place to back you up
  • Just a hint of luck

Let’s explore each of the above four keys to expand your dental practice and build a successful company.

An Understanding of the Market

Understanding the target market is the first key pillar in expanding your dental practice and building a successful company. First things first: Do you know your target market? What matters to them, and what pain point do you solve? The more you know about the market, the better you can position your products and services to attract a positive response from suppliers, insurers, patients, and clients.

Today, many young dentists choose to join a dental service organization (DSO)—around 10 percent. DSOs deal with sellers, recoursing, inventory management, financials, and other business-related matters. In short, DSOs provide business support and expertise so dentists can focus on what matters most—the patient. This is an excellent option for those who don’t have a solid understanding of the dental market.

On the other hand, maybe you have the foundation but need continuing education (CE) in this realm. Many online courses are available to teach you about the dental market, from inventory to management and gaining new patients. See here for the vast array of CE offerings from the American Dental Association (ADA) or here for some excellent in-person courses from your friends at Vivos Therapeutics.

The Ability to Adapt and Innovate

The second key pillar in building a successful company is adapting and innovating based on market challenges. This could mean hiring employees with different perspectives and experiences to bring new ideas or adding services because you notice an increasing need for them.

For instance, building a dental practice around children may require employing pediatric specialists. It’s all about adapting to current market conditions and meeting the needs of your customers where they are (in this case, their mouths). Just like building a solid foundation at home requires building blocks, creating a reliable company requires innovation and adaptation to meet the changing needs of patients.

Another excellent example of innovation and adaptability in dentistry is the creation of tooth-colored fillings. The first step was building the right team, with dedicated dental researchers who dreamed up the tooth-colored filling solution. The next step? Putting it into practice and building a modified delivery system to ensure that patients are happy with their new smile colors.

Nowadays, tooth-colored composite resins are standard material in any dental office, just like how the early 2000s saw the rise of offering whitening services for patients because everyone wants whiter teeth. As a dental professional, your responsibility is to stay on top of industry standards and patient desires.

A more recent expansion for many dental offices has been into the world of sleep and airway dentistry. This is becoming the next industry trend, and, like any trend, it’s essential to be at the forefront to maximize revenue and success. For more information on airway and sleep disorders and your role as a dentist, visit us on our Airway Integration Tour (AIT), coming to a city near you.

The Right Team

This pillar is critical to making sure your company has a strong foundation. You need a team that can back you up and help expand your practice on all fronts: marketing, production, elevating your products, services, and customer service. To accomplish this, you need to understand the personality and aspirations of each individual on your team.

Are they passionate about dentistry? Are they comfortable managing social media campaigns? Do they love building relationships with patients? The list goes on.

When building your team, you should never forget that it’s not just about hiring “nice” people. It’s also about making sure all team members are efficient in their roles and can work well together toward goals. When expanding your dental practice, be sure to hire the right professionals for each position, so everyone understands what is expected of them when getting the job done.

In short, the building blocks for building a successful company are the same building blocks we all need to make our homes: a solid foundation and support system.

A Hint of Luck

Building a successful dental practice is about building your team and relationships. From creating an excellent network of dentists to providing ongoing support from highly qualified professionals, you need more than just drive and determination to create a thriving business. You need an excellent support system that can help you grow through challenges as they arise. And don’t forget, success might require a hint of luck.

Expanding a dental practice into one that is adaptable, innovative, and driven by a passion for dentistry will allow you and your team to thrive! And with some luck, your company may even do some good in the world—like reducing tooth decay, curing sleep apnea, or preventing infections.