By Roger P. Levin, DDS

July 19, 2018 -- Dr. Roger P. Levin brings you the most thought-provoking topics from the Dental Business Study Clubs, an organization focused on the business of successful dentistry. Each month, Dr. Levin will explore an aspect of the business of dentistry in detail.

Stress has always been a part of dentistry. However, stress levels seem to be rising as dental practices become increasingly challenged with new services, advanced technologies, and stiff competition. Still, the rewards of dentistry can be great. It allows you to have a lucrative career and help people at the same time.

So how can you beat the daily stressors that come with the job?

4 ways

Dentists work eight or nine hours a day and are responsible for every aspect of their business. While it would be impossible to completely alleviate or avoid stress throughout an entire dental career, you can take steps to decrease stress and move past it. Use these four steps to pass quickly through stress plateaus.

Dr. Roger Levin
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the executive founder of the Dental Business Study Clubs.

1. Identify the top stressors

Whether it's a cranky team member, drop-in new patients, or reduced insurance reimbursement, there are always challenges that can hold you back from making progress in your practice and career. It helps to identify the ones that affecting your practice the most so that you can take action and find solutions.

2. Identify solutions

You may have identified that you have an insurance plan that has just reduced reimbursements. Or, perhaps you have a difficult team member. Don't sit back and let things worsen. Take the time to analyze your situation and a find a solution.

Look closely at the troubling insurance plan and you may find that it only contributes a minimal amount of practice revenue. You may be able to work toward eliminating it by capitalizing on the fact that the right management or marketing systems allow practices to grow by 15% to 20% per year.

And while hiring and training a new person may not be easy, nothing can be gained by keeping bad team members on staff. You'll be much happier when they are no longer part of the practice.

3. Increase efficiency

“Take the time to analyze your situation and a find a solution.”

Most stress in dental offices comes from inefficient practice systems. Practices eventually build inefficiency into systems because teams make changes without considering the entire system.

When overhauling a system, you must look at the entire system and identify how each part relates to the rest of the system and all other systems in the office. By evaluating each system step by step, you can make proper changes that have a positive influence on all practice areas.

4. Communicate openly

The goal should be to create opportunities for open communication in which everyone shares their thoughts without any fear of judgment or retribution. When people communicate openly and freely, excellent ideas surface, team members feel better about their place in the practice, and stress decreases because people don't hold it in.

You can help keep staff focused during these times by performing what the business world refers to as a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. By training your team in a semiannual SWOT analysis, you will increase participation and impart a greater sense of responsibility to team members.

Winning the stress game

Stress in dentistry, like most businesses today, is rising. However, by looking at stress as an opportunity to identify areas of practice improvement that can gradually lead to practice growth and development, you have taken one of the least desirable parts of dental practice and turned it into a positive. Follow these recommendations you will be well on your way to winning the stress game.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the executive founder of the Dental Business Study Clubs.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.


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