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What makes THAT dentist so special?

If you own a dental practice, you own a business. So it’s essential to be proactive in strategically planning for new levels of success.   It’s one thing to be a gifted dentist, but it’s another to be a savvy entrepreneur.

In our changing healthcare economy, there are several elements to a strong practice that separates those that are thriving, from those that are not. Dentistry is a blend of art, science and business. It takes a well-rounded person to be successful in all three at once. 

Every owner is looking for ways to make their dental practice better and discover keys to achieving the kind of success that launches their practice ahead of the competition. We’ve tapped into a pool of dental industry specialists that we’ve been expanding upon over time, to ask for their expert advice on four questions:

  1. What it the single biggest opportunity in dentistry today?
  2. For a Dentist with a typical practice, what is the one thing that they can do to make the practice more valuable?
  3. What separates the best operators from the average dental practice owners?
  4. What is the best advice you’ve ever given or been given?

As the third in a four-part series of questions, we collected answers from a cross section of industry leaders on the question:


KATE:______________________________________“Business Acumen”
The most profitable dental practices are those that are led by a dentist who takes time to develop his or her business and leadership acumen.  These dentists take time to truly study the concepts of business and team development and how to run a profitable business while serving others.  These dentists know that the business is a vehicle for the doc to achieve the income and the quality of life they want and that, in order to be successful, they need to be running their business not only as a clinician but more importantly as an entrepreneur.

Kate Willeford is the President of The Willeford Group, CPA, PC, an accountancy and consulting firm focused on helping dental practices shape retirement plans, practice transitions and personal financial plans.

The best practice operators are those doctors who are overseeing the entire operation of the practice by holding everyone accountable.  They have a daily business meeting with all staff to focus on the success and opportunities that lie ahead for that particular day. Not all doctors are comfortable dealing with the Human Resource aspect of dentistry.

Margaret McIntyre is the founder of M. Mcintyre & Associates, the city’s premier dental management consulting firm.

JOHN:______________________________________“Do More. Refer Less”
The best operators do more work inside the office, they refer less, and their assistants multitask.  They bring in other specialists (even part time) as part of the practice, keeping these specialties on site.  In addition, the best offices have no turn-over.  They have a good system in place, employees know what is expected of them, and they are happy.  The structure works efficiently and there are no surprises.  It’s also important that their facilities accurately represent the type of dentistry they do.

John Zengel has been a top producing dental equipment representative at Henry Schein for many of his 38 years of experience. John’s expertise goes beyond the typical in helping to update, open or equip a new dental office.

I’d probably say vision. The best Clients I have seem to possess a vision for growth and profitability of their practices. They work toward that vision every day and create a place where others enjoy the work.

Bryant Cornett, SIOR, LEED AP is the President at DTSpade. Bryant began working in real estate in Atlanta in 1999 and is one of 250 Office-focused SIORs in the United States.

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