Chris Salierno, DDS

Profit is the most important consideration for your business

Feb. 1, 2020
DE’s Chief Editor Dr. Chris Salierno says profit is a noble pursuit and not mutually exclusive to proper patient care. He explains why running a leaner practice is conducive to providing the best care for patients.
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Dental Officer, Tend

We put patients first. We do not value money above all else. Whether we recall an oath sworn upon graduation from dental school or have implicit agreement in the Principles of Ethics and Code of Conduct as a member of the American Dental Association, we respect patient autonomy, we pledge to do no harm and to do good, and we promise to be fair and truthful in our dealings with patients. With that in mind, we also must run a successful business.

Successfully running a business means paying attention to the bottom line—revenue versus expenses. Pay your team, pay your bills, and take enough home to support your family. If we fail to do that, then it’s a lot harder to give patients the care they deserve. If we truly strive to provide the best care patients can get, we must be able to afford the education and technology that improve our standards of care. If we want to discount or donate services to those most in need, we must have the financial means available. Profit is a noble pursuit, and it is not mutually exclusive to proper patient care.

Running a leaner practice with less overhead and more profit is no easy feat. It requires that we have multiple systems operating smoothly and the keen eyes to measure and improve them. This year, DE’s Principles of Practice Management Conference (June 25–26 in Las Vegas, Nevada) will have a special theme: The Profit Summit. Wherever you are in your practice journey and whatever your business model may be, profit is what keeps the lights on. I hope you’ll consider joining us for what will be a master class on cash flow for dentists. (See my article on page 12 for more details.) 

I would be remiss if I didn’t call attention to one of the stellar speakers of past Principles of Practice Management Conferences, Dianne Watterson, MBA, RDH. This issue marks the last installment of her Practice Wisdom column. Dianne first appeared in Dental Economics in 1998, and her regular column began in 1999. Over the past 20 years, she has helped countless dentists become better team leaders, more personable health-care providers, and more sound stewards of their businesses. As a young dentist, I found her content invaluable. Being able to work with her as a columnist and speaker in my role with DE has been my great honor. Our profession can never pay her back for the education she’s given us. I know you’ll join me in wishing Dianne Watterson a happy and healthy retirement.


Chris Salierno, DDS

[email protected]

About the Author

Chris Salierno, DDS | Chief Dental Officer, Tend

Chris Salierno, DDS, is a general dentist from Long Island, New York. He graduated from Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine in 2005. Dr. Salierno lectures internationally on clinical dentistry, practice management, and leadership development. In 2017 he became a chief development officer with the Cellerant Consulting Group, and he was the chief editor of Dental Economics from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, he became the chief dental officer at Tend. He can be reached on Instagram @the_curious_dentist.

Updated May 13, 2022

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