Your dental office needs to provide superior care, but it also needs to offer an ideal location that provides a safe place for patients to visit. All of these facets combined show patients and potential patients that your dentistry offers excellence in dental care. If you thought that a high-quality dental business only revolves around the dental care you provide, keep reading to learn the ins and outs of setting up a business, maintaining offices, and interacting with patients of all ages. Let’s start with people skills.
Patience With Children
Of all the ages of patients to work with, children might prove the toughest. You show your excellence in dental care when you excel as a childrens dentist. This requires extreme patience since young children have yet to develop the verbal skills to explain the pain they feel, its location and its type. Those three criteria every doctor uses to determine the problem.
Simply figuring out why the young person sits in your chair on a given day provides a challenge. They may not understand your questions or may yet have developed the outgoing nature required to tell you anything. This means everything hinges on your examination skills and X-rays.
Of course, dental schools teach courses about working with kids but doing so varies from words in a textbook. Consider talking with a child psychologist to learn techniques for drawing information out of children. This might include having toys or dolls in the children’s exam room to calm them and help them communicate. Ask the child to point to the area on the doll where they hurt, for example.
Older people often dread the dentist because they’ve already lost teeth. They may want to keep their remaining teeth to avoid full dentures but lack the means to pay for expensive treatments like multiple crowns or replacement teeth (posts and faux permanent teeth that screw on and stay in place permanently). Their dread may lead them to leave out details about pain or signs of gum disease. In other cases, they simply can’t afford the needed treatment.
They aren’t ignoring your diagnosis; they simply may lack funds to act upon it. Although each individual in the U.S. becomes eligible for Medicare at age 65, it does not include free dental insurance. It only covers hospitalization.
Show your excellence in dental care by researching local charities and grant programs for low-income and elderly patients. Create a database of options and a flyer or information sheet that you provide each patient in need. Don’t fear frankly, but sympathetically approach the topic of the cost of treatment, especially with those who you know pay their own bills and lack insurance.
Offering payment plans or financing provides another way to exhibit your excellence of care. Partnering with a local bank or a medical credit card provider can allow you to do what many auto sales lots do – offer direct financing. This lets you accept individuals who might not typically qualify for a credit card, but whom you know and have treated for some time. Using this option also helps the individual build or rebuild their credit, while improving their self-esteem and health.
Show your excellence in dental care by hiring affable, kind individuals to work in your office. The health care services industry should fill its offices with people who genuinely respect people and show it through their interactions and willingness to help.
Besides being friendly and helpful, of course, your dental office should hire the most experienced people. Knowledgeable dental hygienists, dental assistants, and others can help provide top-quality care to your patients. Hiring an experienced office manager also goes a long way to ensure your office runs efficiently and can offer the optimum help to others.
Patients know that for them, accepting their dental insurance means you show excellence in dental care – at least to them. Accepting as many insurance carriers as possible can help you grow a new practice and it can help keep an established one going. Ensure that your offices work well with each Medicare insurance agent, so your older patients receive the same quality of care that younger, working people do. If they spend part of their fixed income on the dental part of Medicare coverage, they remain dedicated to caring for their teeth and gums. Help them do so with high-quality office staff.
Offering many orthodontic options may take a lot of preparation and office space, but it also shows your excellence in dental care. Popular options like Invisalign for teeth straightening and teeth whitening, have become some of the most requested services. You will need to also offer items like traditional braces, ceramic braces, and dental appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea to offer a full treatment selection.
Also, consider which surgical options you want to offer at your dentistry. Many patients prefer to go to the same dentist for their regular cleanings and checkups as for major treatments, like having their wisdom teeth removed. The greater the number of services you can provide, the higher the quality of service many people perceive you offering.
Nearly every dentist’s office offers a full mouth and tooth cleaning service. Most individuals visit the dentist twice per year for teeth cleaning, so your staff’s savvy at this shows your excellence in dental care. Your staff’s training, your dental processes, and your office equipment all contribute to your dental office’s ability to offer superb dental cleanings. While the scraping portion of this cleaning can hurt some patients, if your staff can manage a pain-free cleaning, you raise yourselves in the esteem of that patient.
Here’s one you probably guessed. Patients look at their surroundings, including your office equipment as a clue to the excellence in dental care they receive. From your lift chairs to the sinks they spit into, the equipment they see and use speaks to your quality as a dentist.
Shop at a well-known medical or dental supply store for your equipment. Purchase new pieces and care for them with daily maintenance. Train each staff member on the needed care for each piece of equipment, so if one person gets sick and misses work, everyone else knows how to clean the equipment, too.
Besides undergoing sanitizing after each use, we’re referring to above and beyond levels of care. These deep cleanings at the end of each work day help the chairs, trays, x-ray machines, and other exam equipment look good and last longer.
Hire an office cleaning crew to clean the waiting room and offices each night. These maintenance crews also clean and sanitize the bathrooms in your dental offices. Their thorough scrub down of every area leaves it smelling fresh and clean, plus they look professional.
Have your staff complete the filing before leaving each day. Nothing detracts from people’s perception of your excellence in dental care like piles of charts in the front office. Patients have become more cognizant of their privacy today and expect to see the quick filing of charts so their medical data gets protected.
Clean up your own desk each evening. Don’t let charts or paperwork pile up on the desk. Maintain a neat, orderly office that inspires confidence in your patients.
Certain areas of your office also need to maintain a certain “medical look” to them. People expect clinical flooring in a medical or dental office, so show your excellence in dental care by hiring a flooring company to install the appropriate flooring. Choose a white or cream-colored tile that offers a slip-proof coating.
Choosing medical flooring offers just the first step. Your office also needs professional-looking walls and ceilings. Consider covering the walls with a muted wallpaper or wallboard.
Most dentists start out in a rented office. Check with your landlord about the changes you can make. Replace any ceiling tiles that show wear, or chips, or that are broken.
The outside of the office also needs to show excellence in dental care. Your landlord should clean the roof, roofing gutters, and parking lot, but if they don’t, hire gutter services and a parking lot cleaning service yourself. The outside of your offices offers each potential patient their first impression of your practice. Make it a good one.
Your office may also need landscaping services to care for the lawn, shrubs, and bushes. Hire this company to mow the lawn at least every two weeks to keep it trimmed. Some landscapers employ an arborist and that’s what you will need if any of the trees around the office building get sick.
If you own your dental office building, all of these building and exterior care items remain up to you. Building owners, even dentists, must also maintain the electrical and plumbing of the building. That doesn’t just mean the office lights and bathrooms inside, but also the exterior lights, parking lot lighting, and the sprinkler system that waters the lawn.
Some dentists who own the building in which they office hire a property maintenance company to handle all of these items for them. The property maintenance manager hires all contractors and schedules their work in and around the building. This option leaves the dentist to focus on excellence in dental care instead of parking lot maintenance.
Have the HVAC inspected and maintenance conducted on it annually. Show your excellence in dental care by ensuring your office always provides a comfortable temperature, regardless of the season. Set the thermostat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it there because that’s the temperature that the majority of people find comfortable. Comfort translates to productivity when it comes to office staff, so keep yours happy with an ideal and cozy office climate.
For the final curb appeal item to showcase your excellence in dental care, replace old windows in the building. Choose a replacement window design that exudes professionalism and matches the exterior design of the building. Most window installers can help with these choices.
Choose Low-E double or triple-pane windows and also have storm windows installed on the exterior. This combination results in the greatest energy efficiency. It also offers greater safety during storms.
Showcasing Your Excellence of Care
Running a great dentist’s office comes down to much more than how well you practice dentistry. How your office appears and the care your staff and you take with caring for it shows your commitment to your practice. When you file all the charts each day and clean off your desk at night, your office exudes a professional commitment to patient care.
It’s about more than offering the latest treatments. Excellent dentistry makes care affordable to all without sacrificing profits. That requires research on charities and grants that patients can use to afford the care they need. It means offering financing so each patient can purchase the best care option, instead of the cheapest.
Become one of the best dentists in the U.S. by showing how much you respect and care for your patients and potential patients. Care for the buildings they visit and the equipment they use. Make sure the bathrooms in the office offer a clean, sanitary environment and the waiting room provides a comfortable place to sit.
Dental school teaches the complexities of dental work. You learn to pull teeth, operate on jaws, install braces, etc. It can’t teach what running a practice does – true patient care and business skills. Opening your own dental practice offers a way to excel as a dentist that working for another dentist doesn’t. It lets you put into place the business processes and procedures that protect patients and make your dentistry the choice for miles around.
Whether you rent or own your building, once you open your own practice, everything remains up to you. Make the decisions that shape your business and your dental practice for excellence. Care for your building, staff, patients, and yourself by showing the excellence you offer at every turn. If you want to offer a great dental service, be sure to remember the tips we discussed.