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Creating a Balance with Dental Practice Management

Dental Practice Management

Dental Practice Management by Drs. Bill Blatchford and Christina Blatchford

In dentistry, it is all about time.  With our dental practice management consultancy we believe that planning and utilizing time well makes you more efficient and effective. With dental practice management, you are also profitable as well. Installing systems for time management creates the delicate balance between work and play, so critical to your happiness in dentistry.

We all want more quality vacation time or time away from the office.  Your team would be on board if they could produce the same or even more in less time.  The good news is you need time dental practice management so that you can re-energize and reinvent yourself.  Time off is mandatory for success.

A bold leadership step is to change from hourly pay to “guaranteed pay per pay period.” This motivates teams to be more conscious of time. If you presently pay hourly, one-way for increased pay is to slow the work down to work extra hours or create big case days. You and your team will actually produce the same or more in fewer days, creating the opportunity for more time away. You cover your office during vacations by cross training your team, including hygienists, to rotate phone and office duties.

Another important dental practice management system is the task analysis for each team member and the doctor. List everything you do in a week, how much time it takes, why you do it, who else could do it, or who can train to do it. You will find some tasks are repetitive and other important tasks are neglected. Our purpose is to become more efficient with our time and eliminate the wasted motion.  Contact us as for a dental practice management task analysis.

Clinical efficiency creates profitability and time away.  Block booking and checklists are keys. Your first four hours are blocked for large implant cases, which should equal 80% of your daily goal.  These cases are paid in advance, virtually eliminating a no show.  All trays are prepared the afternoon before because you have checklists and extra tray set-ups.  You have checklists for starting and ending your day.

You and your team have a new mantra called, “You are here and we are here…let’s get this done.”  Calling an audible at the line of scrimmage and being ready to do treatment now, is much more efficient than scheduling a separate and not profitable appointment.

Your team knows your overhead per hour – the cost of doing business in your office – so they focus on effective scheduling. If your overhead is $300 an hour, they know you need to exceed your costs. Most teams do not know the hourly cost of your dental business.

Communication and leadership allow your team to work together on goals.  An effective morning meeting with the entire team present takes 10 minutes, discussing today’s schedule and exceeding goals for the next three days.  When teams know where there are openings, you all work together.

Have a five minute wrap up before you leave together. No one stays later as you are on guaranteed pay per pay period and you are on a bonus to reward contributions for timely production/collections, case presentation skills, and focus. The evening meeting celebrates the accomplishments and completes the day.  Are you prepared for tomorrow’s great goals?

In our dental practice management consultancy we believe that time off is mandatory for your success. In the hourly mentality we have all experienced, a one-week vacation was given after a year of work. Two years of work created two weeks of vacation at the end. The physicality and time pressure of dentistry shows you can focus at maximum for about 6-8 weeks.  Then a mechanical response sets in and you continue to work, soon reaching burn out. You are in burn out when your hygienist shares an opportunity for several units and your response is, “We can watch it.” The answer is time away to rejuvenate.  See vacation as a re-invigoration. Don’t wait too long or your attitude is, “I really NEED a vacation.”

Plan your time away 12 months in advance. Everyone has input so there are no last minute changes.  Use holidays as a basis, like July 4 week or Thanksgiving week.

Being aware of time creates a completely new dynamic for the team. They have a new purpose in communicating efficiently with patients and more time off is the reward.

Creating a dental practice management system is imperative. Call or click and schedule an appointment for dental practice management consultancy today.

Dr. Bill Blatchford and daughter, Dr. Christina Blatchford are leading the way for dentists to enjoy more profitability, more time off and the freedoms of private practice at Blatchford Solutions.  Their book, No Nonsense Transitions, is available at or call (888) 977-4600.

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