By Dr. Joe Blaes, Editor
Some 1,076 dentists responded to the Dental Economics® 2006 survey for general dentists. This information was integrated with data from the Academy of Dental CPA firms. The Dental Fee Survey was published in the October 2006 issue of DE®.
The production of dental offices has increased once again and dentist compensation has increased as well. While it is interesting to compare yourself to the 50th and 90th percentiles in this and other surveys, it is your own internal numbers that really matter. We have for many years followed the advice of Dr. Charles Blair on which numbers to watch in a dental practice.
It seems like doctors always focus on overhead in their practices, but most of your financial problems are not overhead. Some doctors think that the word sell is a dirty word and that we should not “sell” anything in a dental practice, but until you ring up a sale, the office is just a nice place to show off your high-tech equipment. It appears that someone has convinced a lot of doctors that there is something wrong with being fairly compensated for their professional skills and knowledge. It is impossible for you to stay in practice without a reasonable profit.
Sometimes it is hard to convince doctors whose production has leveled off or actually dropped that more is possible. I know a lot of doctors who are producing at levels two and three times more than these doctors are doing. Dr. Omer Reed used to always say that if someone has already done something, then it is probably possible. These doctors are producing high-quality dentistry at a very healthy profit.
Enjoy comparing yourself in the different areas of the dental practice and remember that you can be at the top if that is what you want.