Pursuing a career in dentistry is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I believe every dental student needs to understand that they’ve selected an excellent profession for themselves. Given my love for dentistry, I find it an extremely fulfilling career. However, my journey hasn’t always been easy. After more than two decades in this field, I have learned a couple of rules that are critical in becoming a great dentist and establishing a successful practice.
I want to share these five golden rules with everyone in dentistry to help them find a positive direction in their profession.
1. Be Willing to Learn from Failures
Factors that make a dentist stand out are advanced training, ongoing education, and a willingness to keep on learning and experimenting. Constantly looking for challenges and not fearing failures will help you, your team, and your practice grow substantially.
Success is a must. However, many of the lessons we learn are from our failures. Don’t focus on doing everything perfectly—that’s unrealistic. Understanding why you failed is critical in fixing the issue and improving your practice and promoting growth. As far as my personal experience is concerned, learning from my failures has played a significant role in making me a better dentist.
Also Read: How I Started My Dental Practice in Iowa
2. Continuously Promote Great Oral Health
I can treat patients at my office, but if they don't pay attention to regular oral care at home, their problem may worsen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one-third of Americans suffer from cavities and they don't visit a dentist because they don't consider it a big deal.
I invest time in educating my patients about how important it is to maintain excellent oral health habits at home. When my patients come in for a check-up or cleaning, I ideally want my patients to have minimal issues. I believe that all dentists should make a conscious effort to help patients place a higher emphasis on oral hygiene as it will prevent more severe complications.
3. Providing Great Patient Care is Everything
I believe that patients having trust in you is just as important as your technical skills. It’s essential for dental professionals to realize that patient care is not just limited to mechanical diagnosis and treatment. Patients need to have full trust in their dentists, knowing that they are not only experienced but are also concerned about the recovery of patients. Having great bedside manner is critical.
Even though I may think that a procedure had gone smoothly, I will make an effort to follow-up with patients over the phone the day after a procedure. I want them to know that I’m available if they have any questions or concerns. I think a patient who trusts their dentists and knows they have received excellent care will be a loyal patient.
Also Read: Steffany Mohan DDS: My New Dentist Life
Also Read: How I Manage Communication at My Dental Office
4. Respect and Trust Your Team
Actively make an effort to praise and encourage your team. Provide constant feedback. You should acknowledge that you trust your team members by delegating additional responsibilities to them. I believe that having a skilled and caring staff plays a significant role in developing a successful practice. Building a strong and healthy relationship with your team is important to creating a clear pathway of communication. Patients will also appreciate and benefit from a dental staff that is on the same page.
Over the years, I have employed and managed a team of outstanding professionals. I realized that I need to trust my team to let them freely perform their role and refrain from continually questioning them about their work. The staff in return will trust me. You also need to be compassionate and supportive of their needs and emphasize a healthy family/work-life balance.
5. Be Mindful of Your Business Needs
I believe that dental practices need consistent and proper nurturing to be successful. You need to be actively involved with your practice’s operational activities to increase efficiency, grow revenue, and acquire more patients.
Start by monitoring the day-to-day operations at your practice which will help you better address the issues related to employees, patients, and your overall business success. You must also consider the investment needed for new equipment and training that will further improve your practice. Patients will highly appreciate the steps you take to provide on-time service in a well-organized dental office because it shows that you care about your staff, practice, and patients.
These are some lessons that I have learned through my years of operating my dental practices. While you may not always have the perfect day at your office, remembering these five rules will help your practice run smoother and grow.
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