How Many Staff Does Your Dental Office Need? (Dental Office Manager Tip)

This week, we’re discussing a common question among dental office managers…

That question is simply this; “How many dental office staff members do we need?”

For the answer to this tricky question, we’ll consult a management expert, Greg Winteregg, to let him explain exactly how to figure out how many staff members your office needs to hire to be productive and more profitable than ever.

Check out the video below and read on to optimize your dental office’s productivity…


(video source: How Many Staff Do you Need? Dental Practice Pro Tip)

Dental Office Manager Traps to Avoid

The Dental industry is notorious for getting caught up in expenses.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

  • “How much am I spending on cotton rolls or impression material”
  • “What’s my lab fee to make a crown?”
  • What is my staff salary on a weekly and monthly basis?

Following this lethal trail of thought all the way ultimately leads to a dental office manager (or the dentist) thinking how they can be as thrifty as possible to save the most amount of money.

However, this is the wrong way to go about managing your dental practice.

Cutting costs are an important aspect to running any dental office… but it should not be the ultimate goal.

The real goal for any dental office manager should be to EXPAND the business.

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Most smaller minded dental practices tend to follow the same formula set up in the office:

  • They have no staff. (a few doctors doctors even run the entire practice by themselves!)
  • They are very thrifty.
  • They have an overhead of about 30%

 

What a Struggling Dental Office Looks Like

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A dentist who is not optimized to make the most money possible is typically making between 15,000 – 20,000 per month

The reason? Because he does not have the office set up properly.
As an office manager, if your dental practice is only making this range per month… there is a lot of money that you and your dentist are leaving on the table.

This is NOT very productive or profitable for the dentist who should only have to do one thing very well: DENTISTRY.

Your dentist should NOT be helping you file insurance claims or managing the day to day operations.
It’s a waste of their time. They should be in the back making the office money by seeing more patients.

Plus, as a dental office manager, we’re sure you can agree that being micromanaged is unproductive and can even feel belittling.

 

How to Fix a Disfunctional Office

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We have to dial this question back and take a look at what your goals are for the dental practice.

  • Are your goals to just maintain and not lose anymore patients?
  • Are your goals to expand?

If you’ve said yes to these two goals, then the answer is simple: You are going to have to add staff.

 

Example of Growth in Your Dental Practice

For a practical example, let’s take a look at how many new patients you get in a month:

  • Let’s say it’s 25 new patients per month.

That’s 300 new patients a year.

Over the span of five years, that’s 1500 patients!

And, if you haven’t added three or four or five days of hygiene over that period of time, do it now! This is free revenue for the dental practice that you’re definitely leaving on the table.

As a bonus tip, ALWAYS consider implementing a “pre-payment” system into your practice.

We’ve explained how to do this in our article titled, “How Successful Dental Office Managers Collect Pre-Payment From Patients”. Click the link to check it out!

What’s the benefit for you? Collecting pre-payments allows your dental office to have more working capital as your patients will be paying BEFORE dental services are performed.

 

Cost Vs. Lost Production

There are two modes of thinking when growing your dental practice;

  1. You can look at the cost side of staff
  2. Focusing on lost production due to the lack of staff. (Also known as having a “capacity” problem.)

As dental office managers and dental owners, we should be focusing primarily on these areas of growth:

  • Service more patients
  • Provide more products
  • Help more people keep their teeth

When dental practices focus on these 3 modalities of revenue, the overall office production goes up.

So, rather than focusing on staff cost, constantly remind yourself (and your staff) to focus on lost production.

 

Who to Hire?

You also have to hire staff that are capable of moving fast and with precise accuracy.

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They are willing to work and they’re not happy when there are no patients in the office.

A highly productive staff is very profitable for the office because you get a lot more production from each staff member.
This enables your office to become a relaxed working environment. Plus, the cost of your highly productive staff members will result in huge dividends to your dental practice.

 

Always Think “Expansion”

Your practice should be expanding every year.

What does that mean? It means you should be adding at least one day of hygiene every year.

Keeping this idea of “expansion” as the number one objective to your practice will pay for itself in the long run (if done properly).

Eradicate the ideas of “shrinking” and “scarcity”. Consider the abundance and potential your practice can achieve with every decision the office makes.

If you’re consistent, the dental office’s expansion will come naturally.

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