“I recommend amalgam fillings 100% of the time.”
“The oral-systemic link is more hype than fact.”
“Looks like my schedule’s got some holes in it. Nancy, break out the Rolodex.”
If you’ve said any of those things in the last 20 years, color me surprised. Not just because they’re suddenly unfashionable (even though Rolodexes, assuming a receptionist is female, and the name Nancy itself are now unfashionable), but because dentistry has moved on.
Dentistry evolves like any other science does. The community gathers data, reviews it, and uses it to devise more effective systems of care. So as new procedures and materials are proven to be more effective than what preceded them, the new things replace the old clinical standards.
“Keeping up with the times” isn’t about appearances, it’s about effectiveness.
That’s obvious. So why am I writing a blog post about it?
Because being a dentist isn’t just about science. Sure, dentistry itself is healthcare, but running a dental practice isn’t science, it’s business. It’s sort of an unfair arrangement, really. Go to dental school for years, become an expert in the field, and now you’re suddenly expected to run a business as if you earned an MBA instead of a DDS.
But business and science aren’t total opposites. There’s one guiding principle in particular that scientists and successful business owners have in common, which is this:
Follow the data.
Clinically, following the data means staying up-to-date with reputable CE and well-respected publications. From a business perspective, following the data means adjusting to modern, well-documented customer expectations.
Sears could have been Amazon if they hadn’t lollygagged on internet sales, which they thought were a fad in the early 2000’s.
These data points aren’t surprising in a world where we can get anything we want off Amazon in a few clicks, without ever talking to another living person. But the bottom line this:
- If you don’t have data to follow, you’re leaving money on the table.
- If you have data, but choose to ignore it, you’re leaving money on the table.
- If you’re still forcing your patients to do inconvenient things, like having to call to book an appointment, or having to arrive early to fill out forms in your office, you’re leaving money on the table.
Follow the market data just as closely as the scientific data, and your business will improve.
We can’t afford to leave anything on the table. Especially not now. So do some research for yourself, and I bet you’ll come to the same conclusion I did - the data says that convenience is the quickest way to help your practice grow.
I recommend LocalMed and Dental Intelligence for this. There’s no better way to get data and turn it into a fuller schedule and a bigger bottom line.
If you decide to check them out, tell them I sent you. They should be able to find you a discount.
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