This is a continuation of my previous post on the 5 Procedures Every New Dentist Must Perform. Whether you are an associate, the owner of a new start-up, or purchasing an existing practice, there are certain things you can do to maximize your production and keep busy even with a limited patient base. As a new dentist, there are five things that you must be comfortable performing. In our last blogs we talked about
#5 of the 5 procedures every New Dentist must perform is:
I know it’s not what you want to hear. No one wants to graduate from dental school and join, start, or buy a practice to be a hygienist. It’s not fun. It’s not glamorous. It’s not exciting, but it is one thing: production. If you are doing nothing else, why not fill some of your time with hygiene? Doing so could lead to a more profitable procedure. Most associates join practices in the summer when hygiene
schedules are packed full. If patients do not pre-book their appointments with the hygienist, odds are they will have a long wait during the summer to get their prophy appointment. As a new dentist, this is a no-brainer. Do the prophy,exam, and bitewings. The patient gets a chance to meet you and test you out with a low-stress procedure and may then be more willing to schedule any restorative work with you. For
an associate, it is a good way to show the senior doctor that you are willing to be a team player. If you are purchasing or starting your own practice, doing your own hygiene can not only generate production, it can also save overhead. Hygienists are expensive; they will be your most costly employee.
Doing your own hygiene for a time gives you a chance to get to know and impress your new patients. In addition, it gives you a much longer look at a patient’s oral condition while you are cleaning. This may lead to identifying more restorative opportunities. At some point, your schedule will be filled with enough restorative procedures to allow a part-time or full-time hygienist. Until then, keep it simple and do your own hygiene. Your patients will appreciate it!
Starting private practice after graduation from dental school is an intimidating prospect. By becoming comfortable with hygiene, endodontics, extractions, emergencies, and pediatrics, you can transition into practice with less stress, helping ease the burdens presented by post-dental school life.