The Permanency of Independent Dentistry

Here is the cold hard truth: the very existence of Private Practice Dentistry is under mounting threats. You see this with DSOs, insurance cutting fees and reimbursements, hiring shortages, expenses going up and profits going down. There isn’t a single major industry variable trending in your favor.

Yet, while some will throw up their hands and surrender, there are others – you and the rest of the doctors here in our DST Universe – who choose to use it as motivation, a battle cry to rally around, a challenge you gladly accept, an opportunity to remind everyone why you exist and why independent dentistry will outlast it all.

You are doubling down on your purpose, your beliefs, your commitments… the reasons why you became a private practice doctor in the first place.

The great Napoleon Hill said anyone who wanted to be successful need only two things…

Enough reasons to be self-motivated to achieve their goals and enough reasons to reliably believe that the result was possible (meaning that it was not built upon blind faith but solid principles backed by disciplined action).

If you are relying on anyone else to motivate you or to ensure your success, including the dental industry as a whole or your team or patients, then you will never fully realize the independence and the success you are capable of.

The most frustrating behavior I see in dentistry is all of the doctors who hop around trying different tactics to circumvent this reality. Whether it’s a new marketing gimmick or a procedure that has a boost in reimbursement or a team management strategy or any other soon-to-be-tired trend of the month. Their focus, priorities, schedule, even clinical philosophy shift as they try to catch an easy wave dragging through in the industry.

Too many doctors are chasing fool’s gold or looking for greener grass or relying on some new social media to save their practice’s future.

Trust me, the answer ain’t out there. There is nothing to suddenly discover that’s going to alter your fortunes.

Now, I tend to attract like-minded doctors who all share common principles, so I’m not too worried about any of you falling for these traps. However, I’m sure you’ve all seen their effects.

Have you ever had a flood of new patients where you thought you’d struck gold? A month filled with new patient appointments. So many in fact, you started to condense appointments, make more room, find a way to see them all. How did that turn out?

Sure, the patients left happy, received a thorough exam, and the doctors likely made a great first impression but not much dentistry resulted for all of the effort. When you sacrifice one of your fundamental principles, it will never result in meaningful, sustainable results.

You can have the best A patients in the world but when you run them through a B patient experience, you will turn them into B Patients. Or possibly worse, you’ll run them off and lose them because don’t feel the connection.

On the flip side, you can run a B patient through an A patient experience and you might actually make them an A- at the very least a B+. It’s the experience that makes the patient, not the patient that makes the experience.

I know you’ve had a recent month where it felt slow or you missed your new patient numbers and still resulted in more production than average.

My point is: even though there are threats to private practice dentistry, even though you see fellow doctors compromising their philosophy, even though there are times you question yourself – you must stray true to your mission, revert back to the reasons you become a doctor, and rely on your purpose and passion to set the course.

This is exactly what I set out to do. Reshape the way independent dentist practice owners looked at their business in order to achieve full alignment with their personal preferences and ideals. The goal was to make the practice fit the doctor, rather than forcing the doctor to fit the practice (and certainly not forcing the doctor to fit the trends of the industry).

When doctors start sacrificing on what’s important to them and allowing their own values to fade to the background, they simply can’t be invigorated by their work, their dentistry, their team, their patients, even themselves.

And when the fulfillment meter isn’t registering very high, self-doubt and even indifference creeps in. The same thing happens to your patient experience, your schedule, your treatment planning, your team’s mindset, and everything else in your practice.

We aren’t going to let this happen, not on my watch.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to get back to the reasons why you choose to become a doctor in the first place. The original motivations, desires, vision, goals of why you made the very deliberate and on purpose choice to become a business owner and a private practice doctor. These are the same reasons that after all this time you remained in the fight for the good of independent dentistry.

Naturally, overtime you can lose sight of this and you start acting like something you’re not or following advice that doesn’t feel congruent or chasing shortcuts that never pan out. Self-limiting beliefs take shape, bad habits set in, false dependency becomes the norm, and you accept less from everyone around you (including yourself).

Each week I show up right here helping you regain your control, exert your power, and achieve practice independence.

Of course, you still have permission to change, evolve, grow, and redefine your definition of success. At any time, you can adjust your practice model to your clinical interests, knowledge, passions, and preferences – but only because it moves you closer in alignment with your values and mission (and no one else’s).

If you want to spend some more time on this topic and dissect how to ensure your profit is equal to your passion and purpose, then watch the replay of my recent Whiteboard Session: “Increasing Private Dental Practice Profits.”

You’ll have a new understanding of the profit power of private practice and how to harness the control you have to liberate yourself, to remove the shackles of dependence, and take your independence to a new level of success. I show you exactly how…

Practice Success Whiteboard Session with Scott J Manning, MBA

“Increasing Private
Dental Practice Profits”