Dentistry is hard work, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding field. It’s one of the few professions where we get to change people’s lives and see the gratitude on their faces. It’s also possible to make incredible money, but it takes work. It’s about more than just increasing production because it’s possible to produce $1 million each year but only take home $200,000 due to high overhead costs. When you’re only making 20 cents on the dollar, something must change. Kirk recently spoke with Dr. Leonard Hess of the Dawson Academy, and he attributes the ability to be in the top 10% to going beyond what you’ve learned in dental school and changing the way you think.
Dentistry is a Journey
Dental school is difficult, but in the end, it really only prepares you to be minimally competent and pass a board examination. There’s a high focus on bacteria-related problems, but when we get out into the real world, the challenges we face are far beyond bacteria and standard procedures. The people in the world who make the most money are the people who can solve the biggest problems. As Kirk says, the secret to elevating your practice is “not about cranking out more crowns; it’s about seeing things differently and understanding things differently.” You can either start to learn more or stick your head in the sand and hope things change. Instead of focusing on fixing individual teeth, gain perspective about how the teeth function within the masticatory system. The joints, muscles of mastication, back teeth, and front teeth all need to be working in harmony if you want your patients to have long-term success. You need to take steps down the road to further your education after dental school. It’s a time-consuming and costly process, but when you commit yourself to that journey, the money is going to start beating down your door.
Predictable is Profitable
Dentistry can be such a fun profession, but only when it becomes predictable and profitable. Predictability is the first step because it leads to profitability. When you lack predictability in your business, you’re going to have a rough road ahead. You need to be able to treat your patients without surprises, which will then increase their satisfaction and make them more likely to return in the future and recommend you to others. When your dentistry is predictable, your patients will be happy, and you will be profitable.
Money is the Byproduct
There’s an increasing amount of pressure these days to overtreat patients due to social media. We see posts of complicated, successful procedures and it makes us feel like there’s something wrong with us for not doing the same. You can’t let social media shame you into performing procedures that are unnecessary or that you’re not ready to do. Taking on additional or overly complex procedures is not the way to become profitable; you need to do what’s right for your patient. When you do the right thing, you will always make plenty of money. We have the opportunity to do so much more than show off on social media. Kirk says, “there are people that fix teeth, and there are people that change lives,” so stick to your core values and convictions and you’ll do well. Patients don’t make decisions based on how fancy your office or car are—they make them based on how they feel about you. When you can communicate the value of a treatment plan to the patient, they will choose to do it. The ability to slow down and connect with a patient is essential to having a successful practice because when you can understand your patients, you can better treat them. When you treat them with respect, integrity, and honesty, they will throw money at you. Money is not the focus, it’s the byproduct of your actions.
Dr. Hess believes that being in the top 10% for production is nice, but when you can put yourself into the top 10% of income, time, or quality of life, then you will have truly taken your practice to the next level. When you walk out your practice’s door, you want to be in a situation where you’re present with your family or friends, not thinking about work. Your practice needs to work for you, not the other way around.
Change the way you think about dentistry by furthering your education with courses from The Dawson Academy; you’ll unlock new knowledge and receive the support of like-minded people. Connect with the coaches from ACT, and they will help you implement what you’ve learned and create systems to bring predictability. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll achieve a Better Practice, and a Better Life!